America is the land of opportunity. If you work hard enough, you can be anything you want to be. There’s a lot of truth to that. When we boil it down, our society has 3 general categories of successful careers. You have lawyers, doctors, and business executives. I happen to personally know one such person…it’s my dad.
Ya, he worked his way all the way up from lowest man on the totem pole, to a suit-wearing executive who was president/VP of multiple companies, travelled the world, went to fancy parties in tuxedos, and made six figures. He had it made. He had arrived to a spot only most dream about. Well, he doesn’t do that anymore. Now he owns his own window cleaning company and offers his services as a quad-lingual interpreter.
I was on the path to business executive. I’m very early in the journey but it was clear to many that I’d attain it. It didn’t take me long to realize that with advancement came a lot of responsibility and worst of all, STRESS! I work for the best and biggest company in my field, and even then there’s a lot of flaws. I began asking around to see what others thought who were climbing the ladder and all at different levels. The answers were all pretty much the same. “Yes, it’s a lot responsibility.“
“Yes, there’s more stress.” “If I can only reach a certain rung, then it’ll be smooth sailing.” “It’s just busy for this season, things will slow down in such and such time.”
Those answers might be ok if these people were just getting started with their careers, but the reality is they’ve been at it for 10, 15, 20yr and they’re all at different rungs and all saying the same thing. So what am I to think? That my circumstance is going to turn out differently? That everyone without exception is saying the same thing, but I’m going to be the exception!? I’m not naïve, my fate will be no different.
So, back to my dad. We talked about how careers are overrated and my idea of starting my own company. Here’s what my dad had to say. “You’re right.” Being a business executive, my dad had lots of business executive friends. He told me that most of them finally figured out the same thing I had, and now they all run their own businesses. Do they all have the same luxuries they use to? Not all of them, but they’re all a lot happier.
Careers give us a false sense of security. It’s no more secure than running your own business. If anything, you have more control over your security when you run the show. Life is a lot simpler. Careers are overrated. If you know someone that can prove me otherwise, let me know.
“God is my refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.“
Therefore I will not fear though my life crumbles before my eyes,
though I lose everything I once held dear.
whether it’s my family or friends,
or my job and all my possessions.
“There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.“
Friends may mock, they may try to shake my foundations;
“he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Come behold the works of the Lord,
how he has brought desolations on the earth;“
He fights for me, and gives me the strength of 10,000;
He will silence my enemies tongues and deaden their actions;
He will destroy what they hold onto for strength.
“‘Be still and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!‘
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress”
Touch is a powerful thing. As an Italian, touch is woven into my DNA. Not everyone is so inclined. Here’s a few examples of the power of a simple touch, and how it can change the very essence of who you are and how people perceive you.
Encourages — A simple hi-five or pat on the back. You know’ve gotten one and it felt good.
Comforts — An arm around your shoulder, or a hand on your arm. Without saying anything, it can say a lot.
Corrects — The firm grip of a father’s hand on your shoulder. It strikes fear in every young, and not so young, man’s heart.
Calms — The tender resting of a hand on your knee or the reassuring grip of your hand. It gives peace to those with a raging storm within.
Romances — Those early stages in a budding relationship where ever so slight and discreet touches are made. Whether touching a shoulder while laughing or brushing something off someone’s face. Seemingly minuscule, yet core to our species’ way of courtship.
Identifies — A bold handshake, a slap on the back. Often subliminal, but communicates a level of status via confidence.
Genuineness — The hug that makes you feel like you are known. It’s what we all crave and immediately attracts us to the one who has given it.
Recalls — That simple touch or kiss that floods our minds full of memories. It brings us back to a place that can feel so real and just like yesterday.
The power of a simple touch. How underestimated it often is. People cry for change in this world. Poverty, war, greed. Could not a touch be the catalyst for much of this needed change?
To add a spiritual note, Christianity should be presented with a touch. It allows others a glimpse into our souls to see the truth of what we speak. Christianity given at an arms length is not Christianity at all.
I watched a video tonight that cut deep. The question was asked, “How would you enjoy spending your life if money were no object?” Watch the video for yourself.
People have dreams but get jobs to make money to live those dreams. Young people get a good career and get wrapped up in it, then buy a house, have a family, and become so dependent and comfortable with where they’re at. They never break the cycle to do what they really wanted.
Why do people get full time jobs and take promotions? It’s for the money. Why not try living your dream even if you don’t think you’re ready? No one ever thinks they’re financially or emotionally ready for marriage or kids but these are accepted “risks”. Could living your dream be one of those “risks” that end up turning out alright? I read once that “Fears are often only paper thin. All you have to do is walk through it.”
Wouldn’t it be better to live life to the fullest for 5yr and have something to remember than live a mundane life for 50yr? And honestly, I’ve seen a few close families to me go through bankruptcy and somehow today they seem no worse off for it than me. Money holds far too strong of a grip on us.
Full time jobs provide insurance, and it’s thought to be foolish not to have insurance especially if we have kids. Well is it not just as wise to put away money each month for emergencies and scrap insurance? Besides, if something catastrophic happens, insurance gives up and you’ll end up with something you can’t pay anyway.
Insurance is so we can give our kids a better chance at a future. But what kind of future are they really going to have with us setting the example that they’ll follow of getting a job and working our lives away doing something we really don’t enjoy?
Take the plunge. Don’t settle for this society’s phesod of freedom. Freedom lies among a select few who are brave enough to go after it. I use to be one of them and I plan on joining the ranks again.
Sometimes though we wish life were simpler, it just isn’t. For those of us with complex and busy lifestyles in the prolonged process of simplifying our lives, there’s a few productivity tips to help.
- Take supplements. Most of us don’t get all the nutrients we need, and nutrients play a big role in our energy level and sleep quality. Here’s a few of the things I’ve been taking that I’ve noticed making a significant difference. Juice Plus+, Optimum Nutrition, Omega 3 Fish Oils.
- Wake up early. I like to get up between 5–5:30am (I feel great now that I’m on those supplements). There’s no scientific research, but I always seem to get more done when I wake up early. By 10am I can have most things done that would otherwise usually take all day.
- Use a to-do list. To-do lists aren’t just for people with bad memories. When you have something written down to accomplish for the day, there’s an instinctive nature to want to check off those items. I use Things, but there’s plenty of other free applications out there. Try to find one that has a computer and phone app that sync.
- Exercise. This will help get the blood flowing, release those endorphines, and make you more focused. 20min of elevated heart rate is all it takes. Swim, bike, run, yoga, hike, rock climb, lift weights, etc. You can’t say you don’t have options.
- Plan ahead. To-do lists are good for the daily details, but you also need to map out the big picture. Take one day a week to jot out your next week’s schedule. I put down work appointments, exercises and their times, recreational blocks of times, and personal study times (because I always want to be learning). Personally, certain categories I plan for the upcoming week and some I plan 2wk in advance due to my schedule filling if I don’t plan far enough out. Once you make your schedule, decide to stick to your guns (like exercise) if something else comes up (friend wanting to get coffee)…there will be other days.