happiness

When You Do What You Love....

BTS Emily Violin Image.jpg

My wife and I were having a chat the other day and she was telling me about a conversation she had with our optometrist. They were talking about kids and how kids today have it rougher than we did when we were their age etc ( I disagree with that but that is a whole other discussion/blog post for another time) The conversation was centered around school and trying to figure out what the kids want to do with their lives. You know the proverbial question: What do you want to do when you grow up?

My youngest, who is 17, says she knows what she wants to do with her life and that’s great.  I’m very happy about that and happy for her.  Then there is my wife, yes, she is working full time but she still says to me all the time “I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up” and she is 47 years old. My oldest is interested in the arts and English but is still unsure of what she wants to do.  She is 19 and I tell her there is no huge rush, you will figure it out. Don’t jump into school and do something that doesn’t interest you just for the sake of going to school or because all your friends are going to school.

“They” say kids who are going into the workforce today will change their careers anywhere from 10-15 times in their working lives. That to me is insane! Could you imagine our parents doing even half of that?  Back then, they got a job and they stayed there for life.  Even if they hated the job, they stayed because they had to.  They had families to support. Now I know that the times are very different now, people are having families later in life, if at all. There is much more focus put on ones career as opposed to having a family. It is also said that we spend almost 1/3 of our lives at work or working. When you think about that, it’s absolutely staggering and mind boggling.  That is a hell of a lot of time and time is the ONE thing in life we DON’T have control over and can NEVER get back once it’s gone….but I digress.

The conversation then moved towards happiness in life and happiness in our jobs/careers. With keeping all of the aforementioned above in mind, it triggered the real conversation and the true point to all of this:  shouldn’t we ALL be doing something as a career choice/job that makes us happy? Isn’t that the point to life, to be happy? Why would you want to spend that much time at a job you fucking hate doing and going into if you have to spend that amount of years/time of your life doing? It just makes sense to me to be doing something you love to do for a living. Now I know it’s not that simple to just find something you love to do and do that to make money and have a great life. Hell it took me over 25 years to finally figure “it” out and actually do something about it. I know we all get into different situations where we are “stuck” doing something we hate for a living and it’s NOT easy to make the changes necessary to start living the life we had envisioned for ourselves but as “they” say, “if you want something bad enough, you will find a way to make it happen” and I whole heartedly do believe it.

When you think about it, it’s such a simple concept, do what makes YOU happy PERIOD! As we all know it’s not that easy to put it into action but believe me and I am speaking from experience, it CAN BE DONE! Are there sacrifices that have to be made? Are there concessions that have to be made? Hell yes there are, of course there are but again as “they” say nothing worth having comes without a fight.

I guess really the whole point of this blog post/conversation is, in today’s day and age, why aren’t more people doing what makes them happy? Life is fleeting, life is short, we ONLY get one go around in this world and with the amount of time we spend at work or working in our lives, why not spend it doing something that you absolutely love to do and be happy doing it!  Instead of doing something that you hate doing, at a place you hate, getting up EVERY morning and going to do that? How can we as parents instill this value into our children if we aren’t leading by example and doing the same thing?  So get out and DO what you love!

Jump Part II - The Aftermath

Well, I have finally done what I have been talking and thinking about for well over a year now. I jumped from the comfort of my full time corporate job to go full time with my photography business. It was incredibly exciting, invigorating and insanely nerve wracking ALL at the same time.

I mean I thought it was going to be a bit easier than it had been in terms of actually jumping but holy shit was I wrong. I didn’t think for a second that it was going to be easy but I feel like I have been on the highest, longest, steepest most twisty loop de loop roller coaster in the world and let me tell you, I HATE roller coasters with a passion.  That should give you some insight as to how I was feeling leading up to my final day at Ernst & Young. I know these feelings are normal and there were many who came before me who have been through it and there will be many after me who go through the same thing.

I knew I was going to be giving up the proverbial security blanket. Losing the comfort of my corporate job and a regular pay check were playing with both my head and guts almost every morning but I knew I couldn’t give into those fears and voices.

I have looked really hard at why the fears and voices kept creeping in from time to time.  I know they will creep again and again over the course of running my business.   Fear of the unknown at the root of all this internal turmoil.  As my last day approached, which changed 3 times before it actually happened, each and every time that day drew closer my fears grew and the voices in the back of my mind got louder and louder. I knew that I couldn’t let them drown out the excitement and the other voice that kept telling me I have to do this! I have to move on from my current situation!  It’s the only way for me to step outside my comfort zone and challenge myself.

I have to admit, if it weren’t for the support of my incredible wife, none of this would have even been possible. She is 100% in support of me pursuing this crazy dream of mine so I owe a lot to her and I am eternally grateful. She talked me off the ledge countless times when that fear took over.   She pushed me out of my comfort zone so I knew it was what needed to be done!

I have been self-employed for just over a week now and let me tell you, it feels incredible.  That last day was rough; handing in my laptop, my company credit card and my security badge for the place I spent ¼ of my life. It was a bittersweet feeling I tell you, I had forged many relationships there so it wasn’t easy but it felt like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders when I woke up that next morning.  Rolling out of bed, realizing I didn’t have to go back downtown again and that I was going to be the master of MY own destiny now.  I am totally in control!! Coming to that realization was an incredible feeling.

I am really looking forward to writing this next chapter in the book of MY LIFE, it is going to be exciting and challenging but something tells me it’s going to be better than the last.

You Have But One Life - Make the Most Of It

This morning being Friday, I got into work and as per usual, I went down to the kitchen and filled up my water bottles and toasted my bagel. Every day or pretty much every day, it’s the same routine: get my water, get my food and back up to my desk to start preparing for the day to come. This particular morning was a little bit different, my routine had not changed but someone said something to me that really made me pause and think.
Now this person usually says the same thing to me each day in passing. On Monday’s she will say: “ahhhhh Monday, it’s Monday again” and then similar things each day as they pass and draw us closer to the weekend. Then, on Friday she says: “Yeah Friday! It’s the weekend!”
Now I am sure we are all guilty of saying similar things at one time or another in our lives, I know I have. For some reason, on this day it really struck a chord with me and I have no idea why, but it did. The more I thought about it, the more I realized this is a terrible mindset to have in life.
You always hear people complaining about Monday mornings and then rejoicing when it’s Friday. The weekend is finally here! People for the most part are living for the weekend. Isn’t that kind of sad?
Think about this for a minute. We only have so many Monday’s on this earth. Why would you be unhappy and miserable about ANOTHER Monday coming around? Shouldn’t you be happy you woke up on the green side of the grass and are able to put your feet down on the floor another morning? You are basically saying you are just existing in life and all you have to look forward to is Friday and the weekend because you don’t have to go to work!
There is something wrong with this thought process/state of mind, wouldn’t you agree? Something has to change! If that is all you are looking forward to, get out and do something different! Leave your job if you are unhappy with it. Find something else that makes you happy, something that satisfies you.
I know that is much easier said than done but consider this: you have but ONE life, why the hell wouldn’t you want to actually LIVE it and make the most of it?