Mondays Don't Have To Suck...
They don't. Neither do Tuesdays or Wednesdays or Thursdays. Ever get that sinking feeling on Sunday night? Because you know that Monday is right around the corner -waiting for you- filled with deadlines and meetings and anxiety... and TRAFFIC. Ever wonder why they call Wednesday "hump day?" Or think about why the saying 'TGIF' came to be so popular they turned it into a restaurant? Ever wonder why the heart attack rate is significantly higher on Monday mornings? (It's true - look it up).
Now some of you are saying, "I love my job". And i'm not doubting that. But tell me this; If someone were to put 200 million dollars into your bank account tonight, you'd still go into work on Monday morning...? The reason this is so profound is because even though we tend to tell ourselves that money isn't important, if we had enough of it, it would completely alter the way many of us live our lives. If you had your time back, what would you do with it?
As I write this, today is the 1st day of the New Year. 2017 is off and running, and most of us are already playing catch up. But we can make the choice how we live this year, and all our years moving forward. Now, more than ever before in history, we have the capability to choose the way we live our lives. Most of us live our life around our work, instead of our work being done around our life. Better yet even, the two could be in conjunction. James Michener famously says... "The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play... leaving others to decide, is he working or playing?"
When i was a kid, my family used to vacation in Maine for the month of August. We have family there, and my parents would rent a small cabin on a lake. I remember my father could only be there with us for a week because he had to go back home for work. I remember thinking that it made no sense to me, as a kid, why my dad couldn't be there with us the whole time. It sucked. When did it become normal for work to be more important than family? Oh it's not, you say? Then why do most working parents leave so early in the morning, see their kids for a few minutes or not at all, fight traffic, spend all day at a job with people they may or may not like, fight traffic the other way, and get home just in time to put their kids to bed? And then they do it again the next day. And the next. And the next. Then on the weekend, we "fit everything in". Cleaning, yard work, laundry, groceries, bla bla bla...
It's called "The Rat Race", and I believe it's no longer necessary. In fact, I know it's not. But in order for us to do anything to change it, we have to first realize that there are other ways. And we have to have the desire to live our lives differently.
Some of you are content where you are in life. Maybe you're just happy. If that's the case, then you probably should stop reading this now, and keep doing whatever it is that you're doing. It's not my intention to be controversial, or judge anyone's way of living. I just know there are millions and millions of people going through life, and dying, never feeling fulfilled. One of the biggest regrets of people who are on their "death beds" is that they did not live life on their own terms. We deserve fulfillment in life. All of us! Otherwise, what's the point? We have the ability, we have the means, and YES I believe we have the responsibility to live the best life possible.
So how do we get unstuck? We are still in the beginning stages of The Information Age (Or Connected Age). The ability to make money in unconventional, non-traditional ways, exists everywhere right this second! But what are you willing to do? In order to have my time free to be with my family, and live on my own terms, I would do just about anything (as long as it's legal).
The traditional, industrial age mindset tells us that we have to go to school, get good grades, go on to college, and get a degree so we can get a safe, secure JOB. I don't have anything against being educated. But I believe in being educated for the purpose of gaining knowledge... not for the purpose of making money.
Do me a favor for a minute. Just humor me...
Take a deep breath.
Close your eyes.
Now imagine what you want your life to look like 5, 10 and 50 years from now. And when you do this, don't think small. THINK BIG!
Now be real with yourself.
Is the path you are currently on going to get you everything you imagine? If not, then I strongly recommend finding someone who is where you want to be in life, pursue them with everything you've got, and convince them to teach you what they know. Then do everything they have done, plus more. And if you're lucky to find someone like that, hold on for dear life and never let go.
The media will tell you it's not possible. Many of your colleagues, friends and family (people who truly care about you) will tell you to take the safe road. And they mean well. It's just that they are playing by the rules that society told us to play by. They don't want you to fail or get hurt. And I now know that "failing" is the only way to succeed. People who are living their lives to their fullest potential, who are fulfilled in life, career, and relationships are playing by their own set of rules. They jump from failure to failure, begging for more, because they know they are choosing not to settle.
I wish I had learned this lesson at an earlier age, because I just realized that I don't know it all. And that is the thing that has set me free.