If you feel shackled into your current work situation, if you go to work solely for the regular pay check, my story will provide valuable insight into how to release those shackles.
Three months ago, I quit what I long considered my "dream job." I was a finance professional working in a dynamic role that included international travel, great work/life balance and a warm, friendly company culture. I had global experience, I was a diligent employee and I earned enough money to live comfortably.
You know how the story usually goes. However my story is different.
Let's rewind 12 months.
Whilst in this "dream job," I unknowingly began to embark on a journey of introspection. This journey enabled me to rediscover things about myself that had been lost since I was young. I started to rediscover that determined and adventurous little boy who could do anything and climb any mountain. I also started delving into the deep chasms where my demons hid, the areas I had been too afraid to explore in the past. Once I started to explore these dark and treacherous areas, I began to hear this faint little whisper every so often. Let's call her Rhonda. Rhonda is the voice of my burning desires deep inside, gently whispering to me that I was capable of so much more. A whispering I had ignored for so long, constantly pushing her back into those deep dark chasms. She kept persisting, patiently waiting for the day I would finally sit up and take notice of her. Do you hear that little voice inside whispering to you?
Upon rediscovering the capabilities of that little boy within, I realized I was no longer content with merely surviving. This was the safe, easy option. I have never been one to take the easy option. Yes, I could have lived a comfortable life, but not a fulfilling life. It would have lacked purpose. I had been surviving for 29 years, and this did not make me truly happy. I lived my life in cruise control, never experiencing much pain, but foregoing the feelings of blissful joy and happiness.
I want to thrive in this life. I want to experience it to the fullest -- travel the world, meet new and interesting people and immerse myself and learn from different cultures. I truly believe we are created to thrive, but I was not allowing myself to do so when shackled into the corporate world. I was always stressed and constantly feeling guilty after work hours for not replying to work emails on my smartphone. This stress stifled my creativity and my imagination, both which I require to live a more fulfilling life. I also found it extremely difficult to listen to my heart when I always needed my brain to be highly active and alert for work. When I listened only to my head and not my heart, finding my life purpose seemed a very distant prospect.
Before I could quit my job, I had to come to terms with not receiving a regular pay check. This was the biggest shackle of all. I told myself I required the regular pay check to maintain my lifestyle. The lifestyle which, in the past, had not made me truly happy. I realized the material things in my life, whilst providing short term pleasure, were not leading to my longer term happiness. The simple things such as deep conversations, spending time in nature and connecting with family and friends provided me far greater happiness and long lasting memories.
I'd come to realize these opportunities don't come along very often. As Einstein once said, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." If I kept ignoring Rhonda's whispers, they would have become fainter and fainter until I was no longer able to hear her. Eventually, she would have given up, and I would have been shackled into the corporate world forever. I could not betray myself like that, and I did not want that hollow, empty feeling inside. So I quit my job working for "the man" and released the shackles once and for all! It was the most exhilarating and freeing experience of my life.
Since releasing the shackles, I discovered my life purpose is to assist other people to realize their greatness that lies within, to rediscover the essence of who they really are. Through life coaching, I help plot a road map of how people can achieve their greatness. I'm positive I could not have followed this path working in the corporate world.
When I told people I was quitting my job, most thought I was crazy. However, it didn't matter what they thought. All that mattered was Rhonda's whispers confirming my decision. I knew I would be able to work things out. At the time of writing this, I'm still in the process of working things out. It is a struggle at times. I feel like a soldier in a dense, overgrown jungle taking two steps forward, hitting a brick wall of thick vegetation, then taking one step back and trying another route. I soldier on, appreciating that this process itself is indeed progress. I know this struggle is part of my journey. It makes me stronger and better prepared for whatever I face in the future. It's not always easy, but I do my very best to stay positive. I am convinced we are created to thrive and Rhonda tells me so.
There is no question I have chosen the hard road. I come to terms with this more and more each day. That is how I make progress -- by challenging myself to be a better person than I was previously and pushing the boundaries to see what I am truly capable of. Being the master of my own destiny makes me so much happier than I ever was when I was shackled into the corporate world.
Are you sick and tired of being shackled into the corporate world? Do you have that voice of burning desire and belief deep down inside of you? I recommend you start listening to it. If you don't, it will get fainter and fainter, until you no longer hear it. Don't allow your rational mind to talk you out of it, because one day you will regret it. Ultimately, you are the person you have to face in the mirror each day. So release those shackles and dare to follow your voice within.