If you followed the path well-traveled through high school and university, dutifully studying for and receiving your degree, pushing through the job hunt then finally acquiring a stable (if not exciting) career position guaranteed to set you up through retirement- you’re not alone. It’s a path perfectly acceptable and encouraged by society- but allow me to encourage you here to think differently, if only for a moment.
Imagine that money were no object, and you had your days to spend at your leisure. How would you spend your time? What would you pursue? Would you spend your days fixing old cars, stringing guitars, or riding horses? Would you learn about child psychology, lock yourself in a library with piles of classic literature or spend hours in an observatory looking at the stars? Learn Italian, take a Thai cooking class, or spend time in nature? Imagine that your passions were all that mattered, that your life was so precious that every minute you had on this planet was spent doing something you loved, something to make yourself better and leave something better on this earth. Just imagine it.
Imagine that instead of stress and apathy, you felt energy and an intrinsic motivation to improve and succeed at your work, whatever that may be. Imagine that collaboration and creativity flowed like a river, as people engaged in projects of their own choosing and passion. Imagine that a simple leap of faith could completely divert your life from a joyless cubicle existence to waking everyday with a purpose and mission.
This isn’t theoretical. This can, and should be your life- and it begins with one of the greatest challenges you’ll face: quitting something secure in pursuit of something sacred.
And while you’ll find plenty of resources available out there for the specific logistics of how to transition your life, bulleted points outlining the benefits and drawbacks of seeking your own fortune- I’d argue that it’s much, much simpler than all that. Close the books, close your eyes, and look within yourself.
Follow your bliss. If your current job brings you joy, then follow it. If it doesn’t, then decide what lights your fire and go chase it down- yes, it involves a risk- but the risk of not chasing that passion is far, far greater… the risk of living your entire life without realizing your true potential, of living an existence defined by a society outside of yourself- without ever even questioning why it’s so important to follow in this way.
Imagine that when you do finally question the status quo, you realize that you have within you already everything you need to change your life, and that there’s not a reason in the world not to. Because I promise you: quitting your job is scary. It’s freeing, thrilling, and terrifying all at the same time. But I can also promise you that you’ll never know what your life can be if you don’t leap off the edge with passion and faith driving you. “Do what you love, and the money will follow” goes the adage- and I’d completely agree- but realize that while money comes and goes, your life is precious and here and now, and you are the only one who can choose true fulfillment over the daily grind.