Tofino, 2003. Where I moved spontaneously for a year and still dream about.
It makes sense why hardly anyone goes after their dreams.
We wake up and work for other people for hours on end, going home exhausted, too tired to do what we really want to do. And on days off, we spend doing chores or errands, staying distracted, wasting time, “keeping busy” instead of doing what is important to us.
The real shit. The important stuff is not the laundry or the dishes, it’s not playing video games, it’s not staring at a phone looking for cartoon creatures, it’s not clearing clutter off the desk or dusting the shelves. Those things can wait until after the important work – the stuff that feeds our souls.
Did you know that JK Rowling says the reason she managed to write while in poverty and get so much done, is because she lived in squalor for years?
She knew where the priorities were: Her daughter, and her dreams. The rest could wait – it’s not going anywhere.
We have it backwards. Either we need to get up REALLY early and go after what we want before we sell our souls to others to get our basic needs met, or not have “jobs” at all, and focus on our real work. Ourselves.
Your real job is yourself.
Your real money is TIME. The real focus should be FREEDOM, not things that tie us down.
We need to minimize, focus, and take little steps towards what we most desire. You know, the things your heart sings to you every night, what you daydream about while you’re stuck in the drudgery of your JOB, or what you imagine life being if you could only escape.
Eventually, we must take a GIANT one.
It has to be scary, or it’s not worthwhile.
It doesn’t need to all be worked out – in fact thinking about the outcome TOO much may hinder it from happening at all. We think about all that could go wrong, instead of all that could go right.
The thing is, we can’t imagine everything that will come our way. We simply can’t fathom certain things in life.
For example, there is no way in hell I would have ever imagined working for someone I looked up to for so long – even becoming her friend, but to have her offer me work, work that I enjoy, and that I can do nomadically and at my leisure (as long as it gets done) – never in my wildest imagination did I even consider this would be a possibility. People beg her for mentorship and to work for her, and it just fell in my lap. I didn’t even have to try. The only “step” I took was writing about how I felt about a situation happening to her, which she happened to read, and then we spoke and over time became friends. I was struggling to find a job, I couldn’t find anything in this new city I moved to – and eventually I got sick of that process and tried the opposite – ANYTHING and everything I could do to make money on my own.
Not long after, she offered me work because she wanted to help me – and she needed help, too. We helped each other.
I fully believe that this happened because my mindset changed and I started looking at life in a different way – one where I did not need a typical job to get by. I could hustle up my own way, and this allowed me so much freedom and so much more opportunity. It got rid of the humiliating processes of job-searching, the daunting, menial, boring tasks of writing cover letters and resumes – it allowed me to use my BRAIN, to problem solve, and to FIND SOLUTIONS.
No one else was offering me a solution when I wrote out my plan. No one else came to my rescue. I took responsibility, instead of feeling like a victim, and I also focused on the goodness of not being able to find a job – the freedom it allowed me. I wrote out my Plan Z and it sounded like an adventure, not destitution. But when I was finally in this mindset, a perfect opportunity came to me, that I still do in conjunction with everything else I have thought out.
Everything I do now allows me a lot of freedom. Freedom is my number one value. I can work from wherever I am, at what I enjoy. I get to say yes or no to any sort of work I take on. I set my schedule. I set my own pace. I am in charge of me, no one else.
My point in all this is to say: Jobs are something human beings should do as LITTLE as possible, so our most precious resource (TIME) can be utilized to LIVE, and to do the work we are MEANT to do – OUR OWN. Even if we do have to slave for others, in order to have enough to get by, raise children, and more, the bits of time we can allot for ourselves make every shred of difference to what will come to us in the future if we focus on simplifying our lives and focusing NOW on what we want.
The things we have always imagined. The things we have desired since childhood – the fantasies we always have. THOSE things. They are not meant to be ignored. You can do anything at all. It doesn’t matter. People surf with one arm, people snowboard who have no legs, people write books who can’t move their bodies, people escape prisons, escape war-torn countries, people survive being lost at sea – WE can overcome our stupid problems. None of these people were taught how to do these things – they managed to do them because the alternative was soul-death, a wasted life, complete and utter despair. A suicide. A half-life. They did anything and everything they could to get what they wanted, and it’s all because they were determined and knew precisely what they wanted to accomplish.
Instead of lamenting our lots in life, we must start to look for all the threads that lead away from them. They’re there, we just have to look for them – every place has ways out. Every dream has ways to begin. We just don’t want to consider them. We start off saying “I can’t.”
We need to start off saying, “I can – but how?”
And then we plan, we plot, we draw maps, we set sights on what we want, on those realities just waiting to come to life – because they can. They CAN. Despite ANY reason we can think up, they are possible.
We decide whether to prosper, survive, succeed, overcome – or we decide to turn over, be pummeled, and be steamrolled into a flat version of who we really are.
We don’t believe the visions we have of what we could be.
But we can all be them. The belief needs to be there. When we get away from the bullshit of life (the people who tell us no, the ones who tell us we’re expendable or stupid, the ones who break our hearts, the jobs that kill our souls, the towns that are so backwards we feel like aliens) and start honing in on what could allow us to move forward, we start to see the possibilities, and we start to gain confidence that JUST MAYBE we could do this thing – whatever it may be.
That fear needs to be conquered. It means we need to change ourselves.
It means we can’t identify as victims anymore.
This is the key – to choose another label. To choose one of the following: Survivor. Hero. Heroine. Boss. Warrior. Champion. Goddess. Star. Luminary. Explorer. Adventurer. Protector. Winner. Defender. Advocate. Queen. The Greatest. Fighter. Saviour.
Ditch the idea of being a victim. We are all victims of something – how we choose to overcome our setbacks is what makes the difference.
When we choose other labels, we must change ourselves – our behaviours, our beliefs, our lifestyles, in order to match our chosen identity. Then everything else will change. Friends and family may not like it, there may be backlash, struggles with money may occur – none of it MATTERS. What matters is that we become who we are meant to be – because when we are who we are supposed to be, WE LIFT EVERYONE ELSE UP WITH US.
We become inspirations, we become MENTORS. We become beacons of HOPE. We show everyone else that yes, we are humans beings, like you, who did nothing more than take a RISK, and that risk is the only thing standing between EVERY single person and what they have always wanted.
Risk doesn’t have to be so big that you potentially crash and ruin everything and everyone around you, but it has to be big enough that you change internally and your life shifts dramatically for the better.
“Take the leap” is not a cliche – it’s a bona fide CALL for everyone to step off that cliff – the landing may be hard, but we will survive – and if not? What’s the alternative? A half-life? Give me PASSION and authenticity ANY day over basic existence. We will survive, our children will survive, and they will learn from us that risk and passion is worth any adversity that might challenge us along the way.
We are imbued with life for only one reason – TO LIVE.
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