My friend, Susie, sat in the chair across from me sipping an iced tea and looking quite relaxed. So relaxed and content in fact, that I just had to comment on it. “You look incredibly relaxed and content right now,” I said, and then sat back and waited for her response. “I’m on vacation! I’m packed and my flight leaves this afternoon. I’m escaping my crazy work life for a whole week!”
She went on to complain about how much she hates doing what she’s doing. Her boss is nice and the office atmosphere is good, but she feels unsatisfied and like she’s stuck. She just isn’t doing what she always thought she’d do.
If you know me, you know my “coach/thinking parter” mode kicked in. I asked what she would be doing if she could do anything she wanted. She knew, without any additional prompting - Susie wanted to teach children. That is what she had gone to college for - teaching. She just never got into the school system where she wanted to live and took a job to “get her by”. Three years later, she’s still just getting by.
The Life You’ve Chosen….
Vacations shouldn’t be an escape from the life you’ve chosen. A vacation should add experiences to life rather than simply allowing you a temporary escape from the life you’ve chosen. Yep. I said that now 3 times …. “the life you’ve chosen.”
I get that sometimes you have to do a job to “get by”. Finding or creating the best job for you takes time. It won’t be easy. Everything worthwhile is uphill, as John Maxwell repeats regularly.
The question is, how do “we” make the shift?
The answer is simple - not easy. First, you must desire a different life enough to choose to do something about it. Secondly, you must be intentional about what you do in your “off” - off work, down, vacation, etc - time. Your activities should center around the change you want to make. They should be equipping you for where you are headed or are actual steps to where you are headed. Consistency will go a long way in getting you to where you want to be.
Susie is a great example. First, she needs to apply for the teaching jobs in the school district. She might have to get on a Substitute teacher list and be willing to give up her current job to ‘sub’. Maybe she could be a para in the school district. She also needs to make her desires known to the people that make the decisions. Would it cut her pay? Maybe. How can she plan now for what could happen? There are many possibilities and answers beyond these options.
What do you do about now?
So Susie is working a job she doesn’t like. Remember, what you focus on expands. If she focuses on how much she wants to change her job, she will become dejected and continue using her vacations as an escape - even if she’s working in the background to make a change, and it will take much longer. So choose to be happy each day. Focus on your desire and activities to make the change.
The next question is, how long will it take?
That is dependent on your desire, intentionality, and activities. It is also dependent on who you are surrounding yourself with. Your counsel may love you unconditionally and not want to see you suffer or get “hurt”. They may advise you to stay the course until retirement or volunteer. Again - there are multiple options to getting you from where you are to where you want to be.
You don’t have to do it all by yourself. Surround yourself with the people who believe in your dream/goal. You will need to borrow their belief to keep your head down on the tougher days. Invest some time - maybe even a little money - into yourself. Not in that escape vacation but into the experiences that will refresh your mind, body, spirit and relationships.
If all of this seems a bit overwhelming or you aren’t sure what your first step should be, schedule a complimentary Discovery Session with a Leadership Harbor coach. We are for you and your success in everything we do.