There comes a point in most people’s lives (sometimes several times) where we start to deeply question what it is we do, and why. Why do I keep myself chained to this 9 to 5 grind, despite its limitations and its frustrations and its impact on my happiness? And for what? Financial security, yes, but certainly not financial freedom by any stretch.
When one of my inspiring ‘unofficial mentors’ Chris Guillebeau, talks about creating something extraordinary out of your life and becoming unchained from the system, I feel a definite sense of true identification. Chris has gotten to the point in his life where he likes to help others to empower themselves and to unlock the true purpose in themselves. To equip them with the tools and skills required to break free from the conventional, humdrum of everyday life and start living a more remarkable one.
As Chris explains don’t have to live your life the way other people expect you to. You can do good things for yourself and for others. You can imagine a life where all your time is spent on the things you wanted to do. It doesn’t take a lot of money, and the skills you already have are all you need. Google him. Now. Especially if you are majorly disillusioned with an aspect of your life that takes up such a large and important chunk.
One of the really truly inspirational lessons I have been learning from Chris is the art of making a decison. Chris supposes that for much of the time, we don’t actually want to make decisions, but would rather defer or postpone them, allowing another person or some external event to determine our future.
For those times when you really do want to make a decision, but you aren’t sure of the right one, Chris offers this rather inspiring approach, which I though was kinda ‘lightbulb moment’ in a way!
Say your decision is binary (there are only two options). Think long and hard about each choice, then get out a coin and prepare to flip it. Assign each outcome to one side of the coin, take a deep breath, and throw it in the air.
Here’s the important ‘lightbulby’ bit: you don’t actually need the results to make the decision.
Here’s why. When the coin lands, cover it up. Do not look at it. Think about each choice again.
Now- which side did you want the coin to land on?
BAM! There’s your answer. No need to look at the actual coin toss results, since they may just confuse you. The point of the exercise was to learn what you actually wanted. You just found out.
Chris’ overall lesson: stop deferring the responsibility for making decisions to someone else. Proceed with your own decisions!
Lately I’ve been questioning my job as I’ve been feeling stuck in a major rut, like I’m treading major water and moving further away from where I want to be.
I’ve been deciding whether to saty, and chase a promotion which doesn’t really seem like its going to happen soon (which is the only thing that would keep me satisfied enough to stay here). Or just leave.
When I think more in depth about what Chris has to say, everything seems to take on a new sense of meaning. Things aren’t quite as difficult to break out of and there are always ways around things. I don’t feel so desolate.
I’ll get around this roadblock; I just know it. I have a great foundation of an enquiring mind and a stubborn resolve to always succeed and not let things get the better of me. I may sometimes wallow in the darkness for a little while, but I’m ultimately the kinda gal who likes to kick at the black until it bleeds light. I’m tenacious and I don’t take things lying down. I don’t like to play the victim; I prefer playing the role of an active, enthused ninja warrior when it comes to my destiny. I work damn hard to get what I want….whilst shaking off the rest of the crapola thats ticks unecessarily. I’ve come a long way in my life and have lived through a lot of shitty experiences, trying situations and really bad things, that have only seen me come out on the other side stronger and wiser. Its taken some time, but I’m in a place where I have a pretty clear vision of what I want from my life and I’m not going to let anything stop me.
In many ways, I am well on my way to having things running in a fulfilling, enriching and rewarding way; home, relationships, love, spirituality, emotional health, true career purpose. I have an absolutely wonderful, awesome and supportive partner who encourages me to shine and do what I truly want to do. I have a gorgeous, talented, ragtag bunch of friends, that although I don’t see nearly enough, I adore their company when I do.
My health, while having its ups and downs (and more downs in the last 24 months) is something that I’m coming to kind of understand with a quiet and steely determination. Although I don’t always know what’s going on and don’t always accept the fact that I don’t feel completely human a lot of the time, having these little setbacks has opened my mind to taking a lot better care of myself and treating my body with absolute respect. Whilst a work in progress, my health is definitely something I feel like I can try to have SOME control over if I equip myself with enough knowledge, determination, understanding, and support.
When it comes to that last pillar: workin’ life, well, it’s letting down the whole god damn team in a BIG way. I am still so far off the mark.
It can be a constant source of anguish, turmoil and unhappiness if I let it be.
But deep down I know I ultimately will resolve this issue, and soon. Just gotta flip that coin, or just. do. something.
As my majorly awesome mentor would say, remaining in paralysis is often worse than making any actionable choice.