So there I was… on my first break staring at a coffee cup… fully prepared to make a mad dash for the mall exit. I couldn’t help but look at my watch as the time quickly passed to where I would have to go back, stand at the counter, and endure people asking me what type of protein shake they should buy.
The only thing that was keeping me going as I answered? The thought of finishing my required education in 7 years; getting 5 years of the required experience, and then – dues required fully paid – opening my very own physical therapy clinic. THEN I’d be happy. Then I would feel fulfilled.
Or would I?
After being completely honest with myself, seriously considering that question and what was required of me… no, probably not. My twenties would be over and I’d be a ‘settled’ adult who spent the last 12+ years of his life working toward a goal he wasn’t sure anyone wanted but his parents.
Don’t get me wrong, physical therapists and anyone else who spend that much time working toward a specific goal earn a special kudos from me. But at the end of the day, that wouldn’t bring the fulfillment I was craving. And I sure as heck didn’t want to wait the required 12+ years to be someone else’s definition of “happy.”
With all this in mind, let me ask you:
Are you on the right track? Are your goals matched with what you really want to do?
In case they aren’t, I’m going to walk you through the process I went through once I decided to throw in the towel on a j-o-b. And I’m going to show you how to take the steps required to live life on your terms. Even if you’re happy with the work you’re doing right now, read this puppy, think about where you’re heading, and ask yourself:
Is there aneven be a better road for me ahead… filled with all the things I’m currently missing while I chase my long-term, traditional career goals?
Let’s get started…
1) Do You Wake Up Excited to Start the Day?
It seems simple enough of a question, right? But let’s get a little deeper than that. The next time you wake up, take note of one thing without having to consciously think about it.
Does the thought of tackling the day ahead of you make you a little queasy?
Now it’s ok to have that feeling if you’ve got a full day of back breaking yard work ahead or are meeting your significant others’ parents for the first time. That’s understandable.
But not with the work you do. If you find yourself with that queasy feeling of dread, picture me shaking my head and saying, “Houston, we have a problem”.
2) Are You Bored?
We’ve already talked about how you feel right after you wake up. Now let’s go to your actual workplace (or business) and ask some more questions.
Are you catching yourself daydreaming of being somewhere else than there? Is your work getting sloppy because you honestly just don’t care anymore? Or are you just really freaking bored?
Houston, we definitely have a problem. Keep reading.
3) What Do You Want from Life?
I’m not trying to be an vague a-hole here. Seriously, what do you want?
- To have financial security and the ability to travel the world for a year at a time?
- To open a carpet cleaning business and give jobs to all your loved ones?
- Make a ridiculous amounts of money and buy a private island?
- Make a ridiculous amounts of money and give it away to a cause you believe in?
If you know what you want, what are you waiting for? This is your life, do what you think is right. Think about 5, 10, 15 years down the road. What would you miss out on if you did not take action on what you truly want from life?
Inaction has a high price. Make sure you’re willing to play the game before you roll the dice.
4) Do You Like to Read?
Ok, that question itself won’t help you live on your terms and be an incredibly fulfilled person. However, reading is like taking a peek into brilliant minds we’ll likely never get a chance to meet and ask our dying questions.
The good news is, they wrote their thoughts and insight down! Take advantage of this and start reading these five books that have made a serious impact on my life. Think of them as a continuation of this article to pursuing your goals.
Each book is unique and insightful. Each book will help you find your definition of success or take steps to pursuing it. Each book will ask you even more critical questions than I did in this little article.
Google each title and start reading the one that jumps out at you most.
Read these books:
- Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success by Shane Snow
- The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated) by Tim Ferris
- Walk Through Fire: Rise Up, Face the Infyrno, and Build Your Dream Business by Eric T. Wagner
- The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less by Richard Koch
- Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune By Doing Business My Way by Richard Branson
Nothing in life worth having will come easy. If you decide to throw in the towel on a j-o-b and pursue your dreams, there will be a ton of road blocks ahead. You’ll have to work hard and be very smart about your daily routines.
If you want to travel the world, you can do it. If you want to start that business you’ve been thinking about, there is a way. If you want to bring clean water to countries that are less fortunate, I promise, there is a way.
Maybe you shouldn’t throw in the towel. Or maybe you have no choice. At the end of the day, all those questions I just drilled you on boil down to just one. What makes you truly happy?
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way 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. So if you haven’t found it yet, keep looking.”
– Steve Jobs
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Under30CEO.com!
About the Author: Ryan James is a passionate entrepreneur and founder of Startup Savant, the online magazine that helps entrepreneurs like you beat the odds of an 80% failure rate within the first 18 months. Pick up his free course The 7 Deadly Starting-up Sins And How You Can Avoid Them and see if you need to repent!