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I’ve spent this past week thinking about how to follow up on my last two posts. In years past, I had so much creative juice flowing through my head, it was easy to write post after post. Now that I’ve left my job and actually enjoy what I do, my mind is working in a much different way..

I remember a few years ago when much of my inspiration came while I was at my loathesome job, counting the minutes until 5 o’clock. I would literally take 6 or 7 walks each day not only to prevent myself from quitting, but to brainstorm on post ideas. I’m sure the people in my office thought I was dealing crack or something, given all the times I would disappear. I remember getting so angry, bitter, hopeless, desperate, (fill in the blank-this could go on forever), that I would just start writing then and there.

A Bittersweet Victory

It’s a weird thing, going from spending 11+ years in the wrong career to waking up each day and getting to do something that means something to you and to those you serve. It took me weeks to adjust to not dreading my day and actually enjoying my workday.

And after all those years working in brokerage firms and watching the stock market every day, I have yet to even look once to see where the Dow Jones is or what Apple stock is doing. It just reiterates what I knew all along. I had given up on my job. I just didn’t care.

But I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t miss certain things about my former job. I see now that I took a number of thing for granted and although I have not yet once regretted my decision to leave, I can appreciate those little things.

For example, having flexibility in my day was HUGE! I came and went as I pleased (usually I went) and had a great deal of autonomy. I worked alongside some very sharp business minds and highly successful people. I had great benefits, financial incentives, and enormous earning potential.

And the 8 minutes door to door commute was almost priceless! Just ask anyone living in the Washington D.C. area…

But the fact that I woke up each day looking forward to the end of the day was not good. And over the years, it became a dreadful feeling that I could not shake.

I weighed heavily on all the positives and negatives in my job and what a career shift at age 42 might bring. Would it be as great as I thought or would it turn out to just be another job? Or worse yet, would it be a mistake?

But I knew one thing. I knew that I didn’t want to regret my decision. I had regretted staying in my job for so long and allowing it to suck the happiness from my life for so many years. I regretted not making a change 5, 7, or 8 years earlier. I regretted being too weak to take action on creating a better life for myself.

And I wasn’t going to regret this decision!

Well Intentioned Sheep

Since quitting my job, I’ve thought many times of the conversations I’ve had in my life from well intentioned friends and family. You know, the “supportive” people in your life. And many of them revolve around the following thought processes:

  • Be grateful that you have a job
  • There are a lot of people who would kill for your job
  • Never leave your “secure” job
  • Nobody likes their job, that’s why they call it “work”
  • Don’t rock the boat, you might lose your job
  • You get such great benefits, you can’t quit

The list goes on and on..

I used to get pissed that people actually thought this way and didn’t expect more from life. I thought that these were the people who worked their entire lives, doing whatever jobs that they are “lucky” enough to find, and live out an average and unfulfilling existence.

It angered me to think that a person could be so foolish to think that life revolved around keeping a shitty job just to pay the bills. That this person could be so naive to think that their job would always be there and that they could just punch a clock for 40 years and then retire.

And while I still firmly believe these things to be true, I am letting go of the anger I hold. I realize now that people, for the most part, are sheep. They will follow the social norms even though it doesn’t make them happy in the least.

The vast majority of people walking around are totally ignorant. And by ignorant, I mean they don’t know what they don’t know.

They don’t know that life doesn’t have to be difficult. They don’t know that a job doesn’t have to be boring or unfulfiulling. They don’t know that just because we are all expected to follow certain “rules” in life, it doesn’t have to be that way at all.

Fleeting Moments Of Hope

About a week after I left my job, I remember waking up around 9am and going for a run in my neighborhood. It was a pretty warm day for October and I felt good. Actually, I felt great. I remember the warm sun beating down on my head as I ran.

And as my mind started to clear, which happens often when I run, I was overcome with a deep sense of hope. I felt truly blessed that I was finally free from the confines of my old job. I felt so powerful at that moment that I was brought to tears. It was a defining moment and in that moment I chose to give 100% to the pursuit of my dreams.

I find it incredibly sad that most of us will have countless moments of inspiration and hope in our lives, yet do nothing about them. Try to remember the last time you felt invincible. Maybe it was right after you worked your ass off for 6 months and got that big promotion or maybe it was after you ran a 10k after having never run a race before, but we all have them.

The sad part is that 98% of us will never do a fucking thing about it. We let these moments pass and let these opportunities to stand up and change the direction of our lives slip away.

A Bit Harsh??

I don’t think so.

Consider that the average American worker will spend upwards of 90,000 hours at work, I say it’s utter bullshit to accept a mediocre job, which leads to a mediocre life. Think about this, the average U.S. employee will work for 45 years before they retire (or die). At 40 hours per week, that is more than 10 full years of our lives completely gone towards our occupation.

Now I don’t know about you, but when I’m 65 years old, I know for a fact that I would do anything for those 10 years back. My point is why waste those years doing something that means little or nothing to you? Don’t do it!!

Some of you will not agree with me here, but I am a firm believer that trying to keep your work life and personal life completely separate is like trying to keep Michael Jackson away from prepubescent children (yes, I realize he’s dead). It doesn’t work!

Who do you know that can literally just turn off all the emotions they had all day while sitting in a soul sucking job? Unless you’re Robert DeNiro and can act your way into believing you’re happy about having to process TPS reports for 9 hours a day, then you will carry your stresses/unhappiness into your personal life.

Still Ranting?

blog-ranting

If you’re wondering why I’m still ranting about shitty jobs, I want to assure you that I’m not about to go down that path again. If you have read my early posts, I was a highly negative son of a bitch. I spewed negativity from every pore and unfortunately brought many people around me down.

No, that is not something that I am doing going forward.

I believed very strongly, and still do, that life is waaaayyyyy too short to spend it being unhappy for 8+ hours each and every day. It just doesn’t make sense.

We will all be on our death beds before we know it and I don’t know about any of you, but it scares the shit out of me! I think about that constantly. Will we wish we had made more money? Probably not. Will we wish we worked harder and spent more time at the office? Not a chance. Will we wish we had spent all those extra hours working for someone else? Hell no!

What’s YOUR Wish?

What will you wish for when you’re too old to do anything about it? I’ll tell you what mine were going to be had I not made the changes I’ve recently made:

  • I wish I had spent more quality time with my two daughters
  • I wished I grew old with my soul mate
  • I wish I had laughed more often
  • I wish I had more excitement in my life
  • I wish I spent more time outdoors, enjoying the beauty of this world
  • I wish I had more “me” time
  • I wish that I called my parents more frequently
  • I wish IĀ  spent more time with my friends
  • I wish I had control over my schedule

I’m not saying that I still won’t have any of these thoughts when I’m lying in a geriatric unit getting ready to pass on from this life, but I am sure as hell going to do my best to live with fewer regrets.

What will be your wishes?

How About This?

How about this? Let’s say fuck the wish list and just do the things we know we will be wishing for!!!

Why not?!?

Because we’ve let “life” get in the way. And by “life”, I mean what the world expects us to do every day. Get up, go to work, make money, buy a nice car, get married, buy a house with a white picket fence, have children, sell the nice car and buy a blue minivan, raise your kids, send them to college, travel with (or divorce) your spouse once the kids are gone, continue to work until age 65, un-retire at age 65 and 3 months because you’re bored out of your mind, work in the same field you just retired from for another 6 or 7 years and then really retire because you’re now peeing yourself twice a day.

And then what?

Oh yes..you die.

I am not being cynical, negative, or morose. I am just simply stating that this is what we, as Americans, are expected to do with our lives and guess what? Most of us do exactly that.

What Can You Do With Your Life Instead?

I’ve seen this multiple times and still get chills when I watch it. Most of you have probably seen it as well, but please take a few minutes to watch/listen to it and truly understand what he is saying.

 

At the 8:21 mark, he says some truly inspiring words which reach me at a very deep level. He says: “You’ve got to find what you love. And that’s as true for work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”

He also had a habit of asking himself the following question every single day “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And if his answer was “no” too many days in a row, he would change it.

What an incredible way to live. Note that I said “live” not just survive.

What I’ve learned over the past few years and even more recently is that life doesn’t give two shits about us. It will pass just like it does for everyone else. It’s up to us to make it remarkable. Only we can make our lives worth living.

I don’t care if you think that sitting in a wooden canoe for 12 hours a day fishing for trout is your idea of heaven. If that’s what truly lights your fire, then go for it. You owe it yourself.

And so did I. That’s why I quit a ridiculously good job in order to follow my passion for teaching people how and why to exercise so they can live better quality lives.

A Long Way To Go…

long-way-to-go

I’m not saying I have found my muse, am doing my life’s work or changing the world (yet), but I am doing something I truly enjoy. I have had plenty of struggles so far in my new career and am trying to improve each and every day.

But what drives me forward….what really gets my heart pumping full speed is the feeling I get when I know I have truly helped someone towards making a positive change in their life.

Yes, I do that as a personal trainer and it’s an incredible feeling. But the feeling I get from making a deep impact on people through my writing is truly remarkable. My writing has the ability to reach people on a grand scale and it’s the spark that lights my fire. Truly it is. Just reading a comment or an email from someone who read one of my posts and was truly inspired by my words is a feeling that is indescribable.

To read that a total stranger connected so deeply with my words that they are literally forced into taking action is what keeps me up at night. It did almost 3.5 years ago when I started this site and it does now.

I received an email a few weeks ago and I’m going to share a portion of it with you.

It read “I think your blog is and can be a profound template to help others. I notice you mention the consideration of heroes, and for me I don’t think the heroes need to be so mythically large. Given what I’ve found in your blog and given what I’ve seen you do with it, I am being quite honest in saying that I consider you among my heroes-so thank you!”

This email came to me on January 4th. One day before I published my first post since February 2012. To know that my writing is still reaching people years after I’d quit is a incredibly remarkable feeling. One that I live for….

Why I share all of this and why I think it’s important to you is that I believe with all my heart that we must, must, must find what we love to do. I believe we all have a calling and we are cheating ourselves and the world by not finding it and pursuing it.

Sure many of us will fail and run back to our old jobs and habits and live an ordinary life….

But some of us won’t…

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