Just a few nights ago I was sitting at dinner, just watching all the people around me, when I saw this quote on the wall.
“The biggest mistake people make in life is not trying to make a living doing what they most enjoy.” – Malcolm Forbes (Click to tweet this)
After I read the quote I couldn’t help but look at the people again, and wonder, “Do these people really love what they do? Does anyone?”
There are tons of reasons and excuses that people have for not spending their life doing what they love. Today, I just want to focus on the 5 different mindsets that prevents us from making a change.
We focus on obstacles.
We act with our fears and think with our dreams. (Click to tweet this)
Why? Because it’s easier to confront dreams from your couch then fears on the front line of life.
We look at our financial situation, and think “I just don’t have enough money to make a change,” while at the same time buying more stuff than we’re actually able to use.
We look at careers, and proclaim “It’s just too late to do something I really love.”
Instead of focusing on obstacles, focus on specific goals:
- Define what it is you want to do and be specific. For example, instead of saying, “I want to be a Veterinarian,” say, “I want to be a Veterinarian in Central Florida that specializes in Equine Medicine.” These specifics help develop a mindset with possibility.
- Determine the cost and time to do this. Don’t get lazy, if you’re not willing to spend an hour researching this then you don’t truly want it.
- Set a goal to accomplish the change and be realistic.
We wait for the “right” time.
I’m sorry but there is no right time.
No matter what your situation there is probably not a perfect time. You might think you’re stuck because you have a dog, but a few years from now you might be getting married. And then there’s kids, and the mortgage, and more kids, and more dogs, and then cats (oh the horror!). Finally your parents are ill, or a loved one passes away, or the company you’ve spent 15 years at goes bankrupt.
There is always going to be an imperfection in your life that makes you feel like it’s not the right time.
After reading this if you still feel it’s just not the “right” time, then I would challenge you to read this book and still make that claim.
We don’t understand risk.
Every thing you do in life is a sacrifice.
Each decision, each breath you trade for something else. And ultimately that weights on us to the point that more light always shines on the inherit risk of change.
Moving to a new place, changing jobs, starting a business, getting married…there is risk in everything.
Here’s the kicker though, and what I alluded to before. All things have risk, from the simplest everyday activities to the most joyous things in your life right now have enormous risks:
Ultimately it comes down to this: your life will be full of risk whether you pursue great things or not.
We are impatient.
There’s not a day that goes buy that I don’t think about the fact that in 1996 Nicholas Sparks was given a $1M advance for The Notebook. Okay, fine, lots of days go by and I don’t think about that.
But honestly, sometimes after I’ve written for hours or days, I’ll think about how hard I’ve worked versus my current success (which is not $1M…yet!) and it will get frustrating.
This is why I always excelled as an engineer. You do X + Y and you get Z immediately. That’s not how a lot of life works though. A lot of the time you just have to show up, work hard, and let the chips fall.
We just don’t have the patience for it.
We don’t have enough time.
I know the feeling.
You walk through the door after 10 or 12 or 15 hour work days, and there’s only a few hours before you have to get to sleep so you can do it all over again tomorrow. The weekend comes, but you need Saturday to recover from Monday through Friday, and you really don’t want to do much on Sunday because you’re preparing for another Monday through Friday.
I’ve been there. In fact, some weeks I’m still there.
All that aside, the bottom line is we make time for the things we value.
We just have to be honest and admit that sometimes (actually often times) we value “relaxing” over a lot of our other dreams.
It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. – Seneca the Younger (Click to tweet this)
The truth is there have never been more possibilities for you to do what you love than right this very moment.
People will try to convince you otherwise, even you will come up with excuses (like above). This is natural.
In the end I honestly believe pursuing happiness (or whichever virtue you value: joy, success, God, etc.) will not only will you make you a better person, but in doing so will make the world a better place.