Working a 9 to 5 is highly over-rated and so is earning a paycheque. People base so much of their lives on their job and forget that living isn’t about working, it’s about living. How then, can we combine the joy of living with the need for an income? A dream job?
A dream job is an outlet where you achieve and feel fulfilled. You want a dream job because you want to feel like you are making a difference and you’re making a difference when you are helping other people. After all, isn’t that all a job is? People pay you to do something for them or provide them with something, tangible or not.
If you help other people get what they want, and allow them to see the value in what you offer, you in turn will get everything you want and feel fulfilled.
You have been living someone else’s life, achieving someone else’s goals.
It’s time to set your own rules, to play your own game. To have the courage to say “I will not settle anymore and I am tired of listening to other people.” When you do this, you set your own standards and you are able to enjoy the process of life and appreciate when you have achieved your goal. Imagine yourself living by your own standards and the freedom that comes with it. This sounds easy right? Just quit your job and travel the world, go on shopping sprees, play hockey all day and party all night. Oh wait, we need money, I guess we still need to work. But while work is a necessary part of life, unhappy or unfulfilled work doesn’t need to be part of the deal.
Success is much easier than fulfillment. Why? Because success is external and fulfillment is internal. It is much more challenging to identify your own standards than to borrow those of others, of what society places on us. The real benefit of stealing other people’s standards is that if you fail, you can blame them and not yourself. This is the benefit, but is it really that great when it comes with the price tag of failure just because it comes prepackaged with a scapegoat? There is no long term fulfillment with external motivators.
My buddy is an Account Executive for a fortune 100 software company (as I once was) and travels across North America. He has week stays in New York, dining with clients. Travels to LA, San Fran, Austin, and even Raleigh North Carolina (which have some of the nicest people in the States by the way). He makes a great income, has car and cell phone allowances, company credit cards, stock options, the works. But he’s miserable. No matter how much money he makes or how many interesting projects he is working on, he’s always thinking about what he doesn’t have and he’s always thinking of that because he’d rather be doing something else.
He’s achieving success externally, but hardly fulfilled internally. A dream job is where both your talents and interests collide. Your talents will allow you to achieve, and your interests will allow you to be fulfilled. The real trick is to do what you love, what you have passion for and still be able to monetize it. Sounds easy right? We all know it’s not or else all we’d see on Monday mornings are smiley happy faces, eager and ready to start the week. But instead Mondays suck. To those of you who are making a living that is comfortable for you and allows you freedom to express your creativity, knowledge and interests, I envy you. To those of you who are brave enough to say “Screw this, I quit. Life’s too short to be spending 9 hours a day unhappy.” and take a plunge into the unknown for a chance of something better, I salute you. To those of you who stay at your positions, moping day in and day out, complaining that your life sucks while doing nothing about it, I pity you.
Listen. Screw this. I quit.