What is it that you really care about?
Getting everything done?
It’s an interesting question, isn’t it? On the surface, we all seem to care about the things that people think we should care about.
While it’s completely natural to care deeply about your family, your spouse, your partner, your kids, and your health, it’s equally acceptable to say that you care deeply about your job or your recent promotion (even if it’s way more work for a little extra money).
But are these the things you really care about? This question is a little trickier to answer. By caring about what others expect us to care about, we most often end up neglecting our deepest purpose in life.
Not long ago, I was notified that I would be laid off from my job selling software to large corporate clients. It wasn’t a bad job but I knew that I wasn’t using my greatest gifts.
If someone were to ask me if I cared about my job, I would respond with “of course!”
But deep down I knew that I had more to give. I knew that my mind and body was made to create and build and teach and explore and love. And instead I was sitting on airplanes, sitting in meetings and sitting in front of my computer answering emails all day.
Deep down I was so busy caring for my job that I didn’t even realize I could be caring about more important things. I do not believe that we are meant to spend the majority of our time caring deeply about soul-destroying occupations where we must sit in a fluorescently-lighted box taking orders to do things so boring that we want to cry.
It’s a fact that we have been socialized to relinquish our joy for 8 or 10 hours per day in exchange for a sum of money just big enough that it keeps us chained to a miserable existence.
So many of us feel trapped, desperate, afraid, and separated from everything that gives us true happiness. So why do we care about such things?
Stop doing what you don’t really care about.
Getting laid off from my job was a wake up call. I see it as my chance to move forward and do something great, something that I really care about.
It’s also a chance for me to stop chasing things that I don’t really care about. It’s a chance for me to take my energy away from what I don’t want so that I can put it towards something I do want.
Why do I care so much about what other people think?
It’s been hard the last few weeks. I’ve had to make a huge mental shift away from pleasing other people to truly pleasing myself. Not everyone understands (or even supports) my path to doing my own thing.
Some people think I’m nuts for pursuing my own business rather than jumping back on the conventional path. They don’t say it outright but I can tell it’s what they’re thinking.
I hear things like “good for you for really going for it” and “I know you can do it.” But underneath the comments I can feel the disingenuous nature of these well meaning remarks.
Why do I care what others think? I think its human nature to want to be liked and included. But since when did it become such a risk to start your own business and follow your own path?
I’ve been tempted to continue down the same path.
I’ve had some great job opportunities come my way since being notified of my pending layoff, but it doesn’t feel right to pursue them knowing that I will most likely be frustrated and unhappy six months down the road.
I’m tired of pretending to be interested in jobs that don’t provide me with any significant level of fulfillment. I’m tired of waking up anxious about all the work that I need to do, work that isn’t even interesting to me.
Who came up with the idea that we need to invest our days working to make some big corporation more profitable? I would rather simplify my life, be in control of my income, have more time to enjoy life, and do creative work that inspires me.
The truth is that it probably would be easier to take another high paying corporate sales job. Starting my own business is challenging and it takes time to figure things out.
But honestly, my biggest fear right now is wasting the opportunity to reach out and take my shot at creating something meaningful. After all, I can always go back and get another job.
Getting honest with yourself.
Maybe it’s time that you get honest with yourself. You may – oh dear – disappoint a few people when you:
Follow your heart for the first time,
cut back your hours at work,
say ‘no’ more often,
sell your stuff,
let people be unimpressed,
decide to travel…
Transfer your skills and desires into your own meaningful project, make time for your Soul to breathe and let your purpose distract you long enough to wake-up.
Pursue your desired reality.
When you decide to go after something meaningful, you need to give less to your current reality and more to your desired reality. I struggled with this a lot when trying to figure out when/if I should leave my job to follow my desires.
Fortunately, that decision was made for me. This allowed me to set my sights 100% on my vision instead of staying in my kinda-crappy situation out of fear, habit, and obligation.
Maybe it’s time that you pursue your highest calling while you’re still employed.
Maybe it’s time that you developed a second income doing something you really care about.
Maybe it’s time that you stop ignoring that little something inside that wants to be born of your creativity and desire.
Maybe it’s time you stop waiting for everything to be perfect.
Maybe it’s time that you stop putting in crazy hours at your current thing, while your big idea waits for you to find the time.
What will your life be like a year later, or three years later, or ten years later if you just keep pleasing others instead of following your true nature?
Most people will walk this earth for decades, feeling guilty for not pursuing the adventures inside of them. Be the person who is brave enough to trust in yourself, your ideas, and in your ability to know, deep down, what’s best for YOU.
P.S. Do me a huge favor and share one small step you are going to take towards creating the life you really want.
You are so inspiring! I am going to SLOW DOWN and allow myself some time to just “be”, which will help me reevaluate what I really care about.
Thanks for sharing, Heidi!
Slowing down to reevaluate is always a good thing. Except in Ironman races! 🙂
Thank you for BE-ing YOU!
I’m signing up for ELEVATE in order to bring more of the things that I REALLY care about into my life, and hopefully learn how to leave all the rest! Great post!
Jennifer – Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
You are in for a real treat with ELEVATE! You will get all of the ongoing support, encouragement, guidance, and direction you need to focus on the things you really care about and have a bigger impact on the world.
Congratulations and Namaste
Thank you for sharing that wonderful insight. I just recently my gave up my full time big company job after realizing it was draining my energy and creativity leaving me empty for my family and passions. I have no idea what is next. For now I will follow what I love and ensure that my decisions support what intentions are: to enjoy my life and not live for the weekends! Thanks for your inspiration!
Congratulations on having the courage to take a bold leap into the unknown. That’s a difficult step to voluntarily take. But it’s a brave step and one that will lead you towards happiness and new opportunities. There’s no job as important as your family and your peace of mind.
I believe that NOTHING is more important than creating a life that you enjoy. And once you make a conscious decision to put your joy first, the Universe will bend to you and give you the opportunity to shine in your own unique way.