We have all been told to follow our dreams, and that if you find something you’re passionate about to make that your job and you will never work a day in your life. That is all well and good, but nobody ever really tells you how or truly believes what they’re saying. There, I said it. All these folks encouraging you to follow your dreams are liars. Because if they weren’t liars, they wouldn’t shudder or look at you like a weirdo when you tell them your dream is to create a business model that allows you to work remotely from anywhere in the world, but that you are still in the research phase. When you tell someone you’re going against the grain of normalization, they can’t fathom such an idea, and so on one hand it’s “follow your heart” and on the other it’s like “you’re heart is an idiot, go get a traditional 9-5 like the rest of us, sparky.” And so, we do. We become good little citizens with a dog and a mortgage. Think about that idea for just a moment. When you buy a home, you have just signed your life away for 30 years. This isn’t the kind of freedom I am looking for. Sure, we can move at anytime, but the idea of a 30 year mortgage to me sounds more like indentured servitude than freedom. A surefire way to keep me from the life I desire by locking me into a 30 year promise.So what’s the solution, right? How do we break free from the traditional way of “normal” society. The first thing we have to do is figure out what the hell our purpose is. Here in America, we expect 18 year olds to have this figured out so that they justify they enormous amount of debt they are about to take on in that deep, dark hole of despair we refer to as college education. Don’t get me wrong. I am very much pro-college degrees, but what I am not for is the high price tag that comes along with it. #Berniewillsaveus! College has become nothing more than high priced luxury item used to lure our most vulnerable citizens into yet another form of lifetime servitude, but alas my friends, this post is not about college. This post is about finding out who you are, and how who you are can help you determine what career path is best for you.
Ask Yourself If You are Happy or Merely Following the Path of Least Resistance
At the ripe old age of 13, I told my parents I was going to be a lawyer. You can imagine their delight! From that day forward, the word on the street had been that Amy was going to be a lawyer, and that was that. Amy went on to college and studied pre-law aka political science, and then went on to law school. I didn’t finish, however because, truth be told, what Amy really wanted to do was to play a lawyer on TV, but that dream was a scary one you see, because that wasn’t main stream. Over and over and over again, I was told things like “do you know how few people can make it as an actor?” or “Do you know how many starving actors are out there?” or “Yeah, you have talent, but the competition is too much”, and people in the theatre community where I am from have flat out said to me “Give it up, kid. You’ll never make it.” I am not saying my parents said these things to me. They of course were and are my biggest supporters of anything and everything, but it wasn’t realistic according to the world around me. It wasn’t an easy path, and so I was diverted away from it by teachers, professors, and colleagues. Since then, I have constantly been trying to conform to mainstream, and while I’ve done very well with the conformity piece, my soul is screaming to break free. I am meant for other things than what I am doing, but what are those other things? This is the question I have struggled with for years because every time I ask myself this question, those demons pop into my head reminding me that my dreams are unrealistic, and then I give up. This is no longer the case though. I am at a point in my life were my husband and I are done with the mainstream. The definition of insanity is when you continue the same behaviors expecting different results. We have followed the rules of society only to be left with a large amount of student debt and nothing else to really show for it. If I am working to merely pay Sallie Mae, then it is going to be on my terms. (More on this later.) Here is a photo of me from Chicago Med. At the tail end of last year, I actively started to pursue my dreams of becoming an actor. This experience has lit the fire under my ass to seek out my dreams! WOOT!
Ask Yourself What You Find Yourself Doing That You Enjoy, But Never Get Paid To Do
For me, this is easy. There are two things I love to do, yet have never really been paid for either. The first is, of course, acting/singing. The second, is giving advice. I absolutely LOVE to help people with personal issues that life throws their way. I find pleasure in helping people with something that has been super perplexing for them, and seeing them resolve a situation due to the different perspective I was able to provide. I love to connect people whether it is on a personal or professional level. One of my dear friends used to joke that she owed me her life because of the connections I was able to provide for her from both a professional and a personal standpoint. I, of course, told her she did all the hard work because that is the truth of the matter. I gave her a hand up not a hand out and she turned the dreams into realities. The things you love to do may not directly lead you to a dream job, but if you look at it from a different angle, you may find exactly what you’re looking for.
Ask Yourself If You Are Settling
This is probably the most important question to concern yourself with. The millennial generation catches a lot of BS from our preceding generations. We are lazy. We don’t know what it means to work hard. We don’t know…well, anything really according to those before us. Perhaps it just cliché, typical rhetoric from our elders, but most experts agree our generation is the worst hit generation since WWII. Most of us graduated either right before or during the big crash of 2008, and that left us with fancy schmancy degrees that cost us boku bucks in a market where unemployment was on the rise. I don’t know about you guys, but I basically fell into the career I am in now in 2009 thinking it would just tide me over until something better came along. Well, 7 years later, I am still in the same industry. We settle. We get comfortable and we don’t leave for the fear of what we don’t know. I talk with people about their finances all the time, and the one thing that is a recurring theme is that they have a strong desire for job satisfaction through entrepreneurship but the desire is quickly clouded by their unwilling nature to leave the cushy confines of their salaried gig. This to me is sad. Why do we do this to ourselves? Several reasons, I am sure, but I wouldn’t doubt that a lot of it comes from our fear to break from the societal norms imposed on us through our elders and our media. If you answered “yes” to this question, I implore you to grab a piece of paper write now and write out what you would be doing tomorrow morning for a career if there were absolutely no restraints on you whatsoever. The one caveat is that you can’t say “sleeping in and doing nothing.” 😉 Although, I admit with our goal to work our own business online one day, that may very well become every Monday for us and I absolutely hate Mondays!
Guys, I know these aren’t easy questions to ask ourselves. These questions force us to look at who we are, who we have become, and if this is the person we thought we would be when we were teenagers. For me, the answer is a resounding “NO!” And so this is the year I begin to take control of my life to be that person. I have always felt I was destined to do great things, but the one person constantly holding me back was……..me. If you are holding yourself back from becoming who you are meant to be then make today the day that you stop. Stop telling yourself you can’t. Henry Ford reminds us of this, “whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” You can take control of your life. You can be whatever you want to be. You are the only one who can decide what your dream life looks like and make it happen. So if you are living life based on what all the naysayers tell you that you can or cannot do, I beg you to stop. Tune those sons’abitches out and start creating the life you were destined to live! “No day but today” – Rent.