Doing Nothing is Not an Option When It Comes to Meaningful Living
Well, that wasn’t really my car. I never owned a BMW, but I would be able to afford one if I stayed with my IT (Information Technology) consulting role for another year.
For weeks, I’ve been struggling with launching my full-time counselling private practice. But saying good-bye to my 30-year IT business career is like selling my comfortable four-bedroom family home and renting a small place to live. Why rock the boat and tread in the unfamiliar territory? If I stay the course as IT consultant for another few years, I will reach the shore and land there safely with enough cash to enable me to live a comfortable retirement of leisure.
But — a big BUT — I am no longer excited about being a consultant in the corporate world. There is a meaning gap.
Maybe taking a four-month “retirement” break will allow me to enjoy my project management consulting role again. Maybe I need a six-month break or a year….
Trading Success for Meaning
No. Not IT project management. I see myself doing something else that provides deeper meaning within my soul, and that something else aligns better with my passion and life purpose. I feel that I am called to pursue what is most meaningful to me. But why would anyone give up a high-demand career to start a risky private practice that may not draw many clients?
Counting the Cost
Does it make sense to choose a job that pays less than a quarter of what you can make if you stay with your current role? Society teaches us to think that a high-paying job equals career success that translates into happiness. It certainly doesn’t make business sense to make that switch.
In fact, I’ve taken a huge risk and spent countless hours to shape what I believe I was called to do while working on my primary day job. The fuel is hidden deep within me and it only gets stronger. I am driven to pursue my dream. The dream is not about making more money. Rather, it is about staying true to myself, doing what I love and impacting lives. Putting it off for another year is not right. There may not be another year. Or, another year will roll by and I will be plodding on the same treadmill, but a year older.
Meaningful pursuit requires deliberate actions. I’ve created something — a book. I’ve stopped looking for another project management contract. I’ve sent out speaking proposals. I’ve embraced the fact that I am no longer passionate about working in a corporate environment and have done myself a favor in closing that chapter gracefully. I’ve launched my dream business. I am waiting for potential clients that appreciate what I can offer.
It will take time, but it’s all worth it. I am following the recipe of personal breakthrough: Do something; make a difference; start today.
Taking Risk – Keeping Faith
Personal breakthrough to pursue what’s meaningful to you is about taking risks, keeping your eyes on your target and not quitting just because things get tough. It’s about having faith and regularly reflecting on why you are doing this. Breaking through barriers to reach your dream brings meaning to why you are put on this earth.
But be prepared to fight the temptation to quit because you will feel the brunt of the nay-sayers within you.
Denouncing Your Inner Critic
I imagine myself sitting in the quiet counselling office, counting the rental bills, over-due marketing invoices and eating my unappealing peanut-butter sandwich. My next appointment is not for another three hours. A little voice starts whispering in my head, “Why are you doing this?”
I am doing this because it’s the right thing to do. I have been put on this earth to lead a meaningful life that is driven by purpose and passion. It is not pleasure-seeking or profit-driven which many people view as happiness and success. The outcome of my pursuit is bigger than I am. It transcends my being and reaches out to other people.
But how would anyone trade in a brand new BMW 750i luxury car for a small KIA Forte sedan?
Engage or Disengage
A 2011 Gallup survey found that only one-third of American workers were “engaged” in their jobs. Seventy-one percent of American workers were among the “disengaged” group. That means they are not involved in or enthusiastic about their work.
Are you satisfied with your current job, relationship or particular situation? Are you living a meaningful life? If you are considering a personal breakthrough and living a life with purpose and passion, doing nothing is not an option.
What are your obstacles to a personal breakthrough in meaningful living?
I invite you to check out my videos on living your dream:
Reimagine Your Retirement book trailer:
Living Your Childhood Dream in 3 Steps: