So you have a great job. You have a house, married, kids, and a cute little puppy. You graduated from college, landed a job in a career you like, and now you are making pretty good money. Life is good!
But…when you think about showing up to the same company, performing the same tasks, and repeating the same 5 day work week for the next 40 years…you get a little overwhelmed.
What choice do you have? This is what you are supposed to do, right? Work, save, retire. It’s the American Dream!
Or…is it? Whether it’s the American Dream or not, doesn’t matter. Is it your dream? Is it how you want to spend your life and your days. Like it or not, how we spend our days and what we spend our days doing — including work — is a big part of our life. So why would we spend it doing something that doesn’t excite us?
What does your perfect day look like? Do you even know? What if you could live your perfect day and still get a little work done? What would that look like? What would you do? Would it change the way you look at everything and how you make decisions?
Working hard for 40 years so we can live nicely in retirement for a few years is not as exciting as it sounds. Work is a part of life, so why not work towards the perfect day, even if it requires a little work.
Work is a part of life for most of us. So we might as well find something that we can do that we enjoy. That we can incorporate into the “perfect day”.
Life is Short
It’s an aphorism that we all use, whether we live like it or not. We know, or at least should know — even if only deep down — that life is short and that it can be taken from us at any moment. While this may seem morbid to some, this is just a fact of life. We all have an expiration date.
So, why do we spend so many of our days doing something that we don’t desire to do?
I’m not suggesting that we live our lives only partaking in things we want to do. We will have things almost every day that we don’t want to do but have to do. However, what we do and where we show up for close to 40 hours a week is a really big deal. It’s more than just a small portion of our lives.
If the benefit of showing up to that place outweigh everything else, in your mind, great! That’s each person’s call in life. But, recognize that you do have a choice. You do get to decide, “Is this how I want to spend my days?”.
Why Can’t You Do It?
When people talk about dreams, ambitions, and jobs, I often hear things like, “that would be so cool”, “I wish I could do that”, or “maybe someday”. I have said those same things. I still find myself saying things like that some days. It’s easy to fall under these habits.
But what’s stopping us? What’s keeping us from pursuing what we want to pursue in life? Fear? Doubt? What’s holding us back from truly pursuing what we “want” to do in life?
Most of us are just doubting that it’s possible for our own lives. We see other people do it and think they are special. They are gifted. We don’t have those same gifts or opportunities, right?
There is a great quote from a commencement speech that Steve Jobs spoke at. This is just a small portion of it, he says, “Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use”.
What’s Holding You Back?
You don’t have to start the next revolutionary tech company to live it what Steve Jobs is talking about. But it is a lesson on how we can live, the mindset we can adopt, and the way we can navigate through our days, goals, and ambitions.
What is holding most of us back is quite simply one thing: Doubt in ourselves. Doubt in the idea something special could happen in our own lives. Doubt in our intelligence.
There is a great quote in the book, The Magic of Thinking Big, that talks about this, “The thinking that guides your intelligence is much more important than how much intelligence you have.”
So let’s assume, for a minute, great things can happen in our own lives. We are smart enough. We are talented enough. We have what it takes to live our days doing what we truly want to do.
Now, what’s really holding us back?
Asking ourselves how we want to live our days is just a mindset. It’s putting more power into how we make our decisions to live our life. What if — before you made career, money, and big life decisions — you asked this simple question, “Is this getting me closer or further away to my perfect day?”.
Maybe you want more freedom. More time to spend with your family, golfing, or maybe you still want to be a billionaire who works 80 hours a week. Whatever it is you want to spend your days doing is up to you.
Let’s just make sure we are making decisions that get us closer to that, not further away. Let’s be mindful that we have right now and that there is no better time to work towards these “perfect days” than right now. Don’t let your failure to believe play a factor, because it’s not real.