I don’t know about you, but I am finding that (with the exception of the extra wrinkles which I am not keen on), life is getting better the older I get. And there are a number of reasons for that – the main one being – I am doing what I love.
In my twenties and early thirties, it was all about building my career, and that was my programming. You go to school, you work hard. You get good (decent) results. After that you go to University, get a degree. And after that you get a job. And then you work hard, harder and harder. You put the long hours in and if you are lucky you enjoy (some of) what you do.
For many people they don’t hate their job but they wouldn’t continue to do it if they won the lottery. A few would. They are very lucky. And many actually realise – whether on day 1, day 1001, or day 10,000 – that they actually don’t love what they do, and they don’t even like it. But they are stuck. Because they have spent 5/10/15/20 years doing this thing, that they don’t even like anymore (if they ever did).
And this is part of the problem with the increase in depression and anxiety in the young people of today. Have you noticed that? There is a HUGE increase in young people feeling a sense of isolation and hopelessness, before they have even STARTED their lives. And much of that is to do with the ever-connected world we live in, and much of it is to do with the poor job that the education system does in preparing young people for life.
In case you think I am having a pop at teachers – that is NOT the case. They do a hard job in an ever more constrained system which is all about results and not about happiness.
And surely the ULTIMATE aim of life, of parents, of schools – is to ensure our young people live HAPPY lives. The point of life is NOT to be a struggle, not to be ‘grit your teeth and get through it till you can retire’.
Yes – we all need money and we need to pay bills, but everything should not be about acquiring more STUFF. It shouldn’t be about getting a job. It should be about learning how you want to live your life, what is important to you, what you love to do – what makes you happy.
Well, I didn’t know this was going to turn into a rant – but it is something I feel very passionate about. There is nothing worse then being in a job you hate. You spend more time at work then you do at any other activity (apart from sleeping and that’s only because you have to sleep 7 days a week where most people work on 5 days).
And if you are unhappy – then you are storing up trouble – mental – physical – spiritual.
But you know, it is never too late to remove yourself from a bad situation – even a golden handcuff situation. I have re-invented myself a few times after the age of 35. I kind of slept walked my way through the first 15 years of my adult life. I followed the patterns that had been programmed and the stories that I believed were true.
Those stories included – you are clever, you can move up the ranks at work, you have management potential, you can be a Director. They did not include you can run your own business, you can write books, you can speak in front of hundreds of people, you can coach and mentor other people. In fact, when I thought about these things (the things I secretly wanted), I heard that voice – perhaps you have one?
It is the voice that says “Who do you think you are? That’s not for people like you. You need to have a lot more skills before you could do that. Who would listen to YOU?”
Luckily, I had someone who believed in me. His name was Michael. Michael was the youngest of 10 children born and brought up in Calcutta (now Kolkata) India. He was an incredible person. He lit up a room, not because he was particularly verbal or the life of the party, but because he had presence. He was capable of doing things ‘ordinary’ people would never dream of doing (stories for another day). He did not limit his thinking with stories that did not serve him.
And he believed in me.
He gave me the confidence to try things that might have seemed crazy – like swopping a highly paid senior management role I was pretty good at (but didn’t love), for a 12k a year basic salary recruitment consultant role with no guarantees of earnings (which I did love). Or leaving a director position with future share options, to start my own business with an 18 month old daughter, a husband who didn’t work, and 2 months money in the bank.
I needed and appreciated that support. Because most people aren’t Michael. Most people cannot just DO stuff that is risky/scary/way out of their comfort zone, without someone else to encourage and support them.
And not everyone HAS a Michael.
Which is why I started my Mastermind group to support women in, or starting, a business. And now I spend my time (mostly) doing what I love.
I know I just took a round the world ticket to get to the point – but here it is.
Today I am at the Public Speakers University – coaching people who want to learn, or improve their, public speaking skills. This is something I love. It is something that I “shouldn’t” be doing – if I was following the path of – doing stuff for money.
I don’t get paid anywhere near enough for doing this so that is clearly NOT the reason I am doing it. It is very simple. I do it because I love it. It makes my heart sing. For 2 important reasons.
Firstly, my purpose in life is to bring Clarity. (if you want to know how I discovered my purpose – email me because I know this is something many people struggle with). I love finding out stuff and then sharing that knowledge.
Secondly, it was Jim Rohn who said you are the sum of the 6 people you spend the most time with. And your circle of influence is SOOOOO important. If you spend time with crabs you will stay in the bucket. (Put a load of crabs in a bucket and watch what happens when one tries to climb out). If you spend time with people who are happy staying in the small comfort zone, and are scared of change, then they will probably try to stop you leaving the comfort zone. They will discourage you from rocking the boat – either from love or from jealousy.
When you choose to spend time with people who support you, encourage you, cheer your successes and challenge you to climb to greater heights then you grow. And that is the second reason I choose to spend time here. Because my fellow coaches lift me up. Just by being with them, talking, hearing their successes, picking their brains, sharing challenges my world shifts up a gear, and I know more is possible than I thought was possible before.
And I also come here to spend time with one of MY mentors, someone who inspires me to bigger things, and helps me to get into a higher gear. I know my social media business would not have grown as quickly as it has without him, his knowledge and his inspiration.
The importance of mentors, coaches and support or mastermind groups of like minded people should not be underestimated. If you want to get there faster, bigger, with less catastrophe’s make sure you at least have a coach and some sort of support group. If you need any support in any area, email me on firstname.lastname@example.org