According to Forbes, a survey was done in April and May 2012, involving responses from 411 workers in the U.S. and Canada, and only 19% said they were satisfied with their jobs.
16% said they were “somewhat satisfied.”
The rest, nearly two-thirds of respondents, said they were not happy at work.
What a horrible way to spend half of your waking hours, doing something you don’t enjoy.
How in the hell could a man enjoy being awakened at 6:30 a.m. by an alarm clock, leap out of bed, dress, force-feed, shit, piss, brush teeth and hair, and fight traffic to get to a place where essentially you made lots of money for somebody else and were asked to be grateful for the opportunity to do so?
Fortunately it doesn’t have to be this way.
There are people all over the world, who couldn’t stand their job, dropped it for doing something they enjoy, and are now far happier.
If you aren’t happy with your current job or career, keep reading, cuz’ you too, can make a living doing something you not only like doing, but are extremely passionate about as well.
The first step, is to actually embrace your dissatisfaction.
… So you don’t like your job… Good, that dissatisfaction can be your catapult to doing something you love…
With the exception of my first year or two being a bouncer, tossing rowdy rednecks and frat boys outta bars, I disliked every regular job I ever had.
But even bouncing bars, got old… not only did the pay equal that of a high school kid working the drive through line at any of America’s favorite fast food poison restaurants, but before long, I had my fill of dealing with not only drunken assholes… but drunken nice people we’re starting to get to me too.
… To this day, I still don’t like to go to bars, I find myself immediately scanning the scene for someone to toss out. We used to call em’ ducks on the pond.
Other than my rookie years as a bouncer, every other job I held felt like nothing but a drain on my soul, my life and my time….
… Which is why I sold pot for a number of years in my late teens and early 20’s… at least I was passionate about my weed.
I was good at selling it too, a little too good, which is why I caught the eye of the local Narcotics Task Force, who was happy to put an end to my little operation when I was 24. ( Maybe I wasn’t so good at it after all )
For the following 5 years or so, I worked a number of regular jobs, I just made sure to smoke enough herb so that spending my days at some shitty job wouldn’t bother me that much… all I had to do was remain high all the time.
When I got sober, at age 30, I took a job working at a print shop. The only reason I applied was cuz’ we got half days on Fridays, meaning I’d only have to do some shit I don’t wanna do 36 hours a week instead of 40.
But now with clean blood and a clear head, spending my days doing something I didn’t enjoy was more than I could bear.
While putting in my 36 hours a week, I would look at my fellow drones miserably working away like good little robots in that hot, stinky warehouse and just knew that I hated the job even more than the rest of em. And thank God I did.
My dissatisfaction is what led me to search for my passion, and find something I actually wanted to do for a living, instead of something I did just to get paid on Friday.
Over the course of the next few years, I went on to find things I did enjoy… owning a personal training business, an information marketing business, and now writing.
My disdain for the idea of trading away my life to make someone else a bunch of money, along with my deep need to create, to bring my imagination to life and make things appear outta thin air, topped off with the fact that I inherently have issues with authority, means I’m one of those people who does best working for myself.
HOWEVER, being an entrepreneur ain’t for everybody… it can be all consuming at times, and takes a lot of initiative… fortunately, it’s not a prerequisite for doing what you love.
But doing some shit that bores you, that doesn’t get your juices flowing and makes your whole being come to life every time you get to it, is not only doing yourself a disservice, but is doing the entire world a disservice as well.
When you do what you love, you’re able to inspire others to do what they love, and the work you create is so absolutely fucking amazing, that the value you add to the world is far beyond any kind of value you could ever add doing something you don’t enjoy.
The idea that we need to go out and avail ourselves to the market just so we can get paid, has been grilled into us since we we’re tiny little dudes and dudettes.
Our parents did it, our neighbors did it, our teachers did it, pretty much every adult we knew did it.
They did shit they didn’t enjoy, leading by example as well as telling us, that if we got good grades in school, learned a marketable skill, and worked long enough and hard enough, we could be secure in life.
And then, when we turn 65, we could retire, and spend our time doing whatever we wanted, because by then we would have saved enough, and our retirement would kick in, so we’d be set.
While I’m sure they were all very well meaning, they only passed on the condition that had been passed on to them. And arguably, back in the day, it was harder to follow your dreams and do something you love, but today, with the options we have, there’s no need to be confined by that old paradigm.
For too many years, we put the answer to “What do you want to do when you grow up?”, along with our passions and dreams, on hold, while dutifully working away doing some shit we don’t enjoy doing, just so someday, we can take it easy and enjoy the early bird special at Sizzler, knowing that we finally made it, while wasting our talent, our heart and tens of thousands of hours of our lives
But like I said, it doesn’t have to be this way.
Fortunately, we live in the most amazing time our world has ever seen, where we have infinite options to do whatever we want for a living, whenever we want to do it, and however we want to do it… all on our own terms.
We are only limited by our imagination and our fear.
Never before have we had instant access to millions of people at our finger tips, to not only reach and share our work with, but to learn from as well.
All the information is there. All the connections we need, right there. Examples of millions of possibilities of how we can spend our lives, right there.
We have access to the world wide market place, where we can buy from, or sell to, people from every corner of the world, all with the click of a few buttons.
You can learn to do anything you want.
There are books and courses, as well as free YouTube videos, blogs, and podcasts on just about anything you wanna do.
If you’re an artist or a musician, you can attract fans from San Francisco to Africa.
If you have something important to say, get out there and say it.
If what you’re saying adds value to people’s lives, especially if you’re not just saying the same thing as everyone else, you can build yourself a pretty decent following, and a certain percent of those people will happy to give you money. A great book on this is The Impact Equation
If you’re a fitness nut and wanna help people get into shape, maybe you’d enjoy starting a personal training business, or a bootcamp.
If you wanna open your own restaurant, a shop or a service, a quick search on Google will reveal pages and pages of results, to show you exactly how to do it.
If you wanna travel the world by yourself, or with your family, while making a decent living doing any number of things, there are plenty of others doing it and teaching it, like Tim Ferris and his book The 4-Hour Workweek
The world is more open, more connected and more available to you than ever.
It’s your fucking oyster.
It’s our minds that try to screw us out of doing what we really wanna do… telling us we can’t, we shouldn’t and we’re better off just playing it safe. It goes back to all that damn conditioning we were talking about.
We fear that we won’t succeed, that we’ll lose our security, fall flat on our faces and make a fool of ourselves…
… But guess what? …
… Falling on your face is a good thing. Almost every successful person has done it far more times than they’ve succeeded.
“I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.”
The only way we really learn anything is by making mistakes. Sure books and courses can point the way, but once you get on your feet and start moving, you’re gonna fall once in awhile, accepting this and trudging forward is the key.
“In every industry, there is an edge. In your business or personal life, it doesn’t matter– somewhere, there is a cliff. Most people don’t want to get to close to it, because they’re afraid they’ll fall off.
Thing is, the edge is where all the cool stuff happens. I know you don’t want to make a decision that is irrevocable and wrong– a decision from which you might never recover– that’s natural. But guess what?
You are actually in the middle of an open field, inside your house, clutching your purse, crying like a little girl while looking at an edge you see on television.
In other words? You are nowhere near the goddamn edge.
It’s time you stopped being a fucking pussy.”
As humans we have a deep inner desire to express ourselves, to expand and create.
Spending your days in a cubicle doing something you don’t enjoy is like putting your soul in a choke-hold.
If you enjoy what you’re doing in the cubicle, that’s a different story, but if you’re not doing that thing you burn to do deep inside, then you’re burning yourself out of your right to enjoy a career, business or calling doing what you love.
The man who serves cheeseburgers for a living, and loves serving cheeseburgers, is far richer than the greedy banker, if Mr. Greedy Banker’s sole purpose of working is a means to an end (money).
We’re much better off doing something we’re intrinsically motivated to do and are passionate about …. plus, we get to have a much more positive impact on the world.
In the short term, the extrinsic stuff might pay more financially, but it can also rob you of happiness and rob the world of the gifts that come from you doing what you love.
“Find what you love and let it kill you.”
What if you don’t know what you wanna do, you just know it ain’t what you’re doing right now?
Rich Fernandez, former director of executive education at Google, recently wrote an article where he lays out eight simple questions to help put us in touch with our inner-selves, in a way that can open our minds to help us find the kind of work we enjoy.
“Most of us think too much about what we should do and not enough about what we should be,” said the fourteenth-century mystic Meister Eckhart. “If we would pay more attention to what we should be, our work would shine forth brightly.”
What if instead of simply creating “To Do” lists for ourselves, we also create “To Be” lists of what we aspire to be in our working lives and beyond?
I invite you to experiment with a “To Be” list. Here are some prompts to get you started:
- How would I like each day to unfold?
– What would I like to be focusing my energy and attention on, if I had any choice available to me?
– What makes me experience joy?
– What energizes me?
– What makes me feel balance? Integration?
– What state of mind would I like to be in while I work?
– What other aspects of my life do I wish to be paying more attention to?
– By the end of my life, what kind of person do I wish to be?
The answers that emerge from questions like these can influence and direct your work, ultimately allowing you to thrive in that work because you are following your own life’s energy, instead of opposing it, fighting it or suppressing it. By placing attention on what it means to be fully aligned, fully yourself, and fully present in your work, you are able to give your best to your work, to yourself, and to the world.”
If you don’t absolutely LOVE the work you’re doing, ask yourself those eight questions … ask em’ everyday if you need to…. the more you ask, the more you’ll find.
The answers might not come right away, but if you’re sincere enough about finding your truth, the answers will come.
Other things that can help to quiet the mind so new possibilities can flow in include mediation, taking long showers and going for walks…
… Anything to shut down the incessant thinking and give us a breather from default mode of “getting stuff done”, so we’re able to open up enough to actually listen to our intuition and the sign posts life is giving us.
The best answers come from beyond the mind, in fact, more often than not, it’s our mind that gets in the way and blocks us from hearing our call…. if we let it.
“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”
There are plenty of great teachers out there showing everyday people how find and live their passions.
Like Scott Dinsmore… if you’re not sure what kind of work would make you happiest, check out his TED presentation ‘How To Find Work You Love”, it’s worth spending the next 18 minutes of your life watching…
Check out Scott’s course Live Off Your Passion
You also might wanna visit Jonathan Mead’s blog Paid To Exist
… and the book that helped me a lot many years ago What Color Is Your Parachute?
Something that helped me when I first started searching, was I asked for guidance from whatever’s running the show here. ( Personally, I have no idea what’s running the show, I just know it ain’t me)
This was back In 02′, when I was working at that print shop I couldn’t stand.
I just got on my knees and prayed with everything in me, asking what I should do for a living.
I think it went something like,”What would I enjoy and be good at, where I can help a ton of people, make a good living and have a helluva lotta fun?
And the trippiest thing started to happen…
I was pretty ripped at the time… chiseled six pack, bulging biceps, veins everywhere, the whole deal… and was absolutely obsessed with fitness.
Over the course of the next week, I don’t think a day went by without some random person asking me what I did to get into such great shape, and then either asking if I was a personal trainer, or telling me I should be one.
It seemed to happen practically everywhere I went.
I quit that job at the print shop and become a trainer.
I don’t know if the signs will or won’t be that obvious for you, but for me, the path was clear.
I was good at training, enjoyed it, and become very successful at it.
After training people for a few years, I decided I wanted to become an information marketer, selling my own ebooks and member sites and stuff to personal trainers, showing them how to grow their business.
I have a whole other blog for that kinda stuff called Kick Back Life.
The gig mostly involves writing… writing sales pages, emails, blog posts and stuff like that…
Today, a lot of the content on that blog is written by others, but I still write all the marketing for it.
… Writing is something I’ve always loved.
After a few years of losing sight of what’s important life, becoming obsessed with making money, and going through some heavy stuff, I crashed, burned and crawled through a river of my own shit and came out ( mostly ) clean out the other side, just like Andy Dufrense.
After getting back on my feet, I knew I had to start writing about the stuff that was important to me, like some of the lessons I’ve been learning along my journey and things that have helped me out, and that might help others out as well.
So today, I spend my time writing these silly little blog posts. The fitness marketing business is what pays the bills, and this blog is what fulfills me.
Even though I pretty much failed outta English class, I’ve wanted to be a writer as far back as I can remember.
In school, I would go bat-shit A.D.H.D. crazy whenever the teacher would go on about nouns, verbs and adverbs and whatnot, I couldn’t pay attention to a damn thing she was saying, she might as well been speaking Chinese.
However, I was a shining star when it came to creative writing.
I’d write stories at home just cuz’ I loved doing it so much.
When I was in the 3rd or 4th grade I wrote a story about a gang of motorcycle thugs who lived in a shack, and one of them died in a crash… I think I got the idea from a 50′s song about a Dead Man’s Curve or something.
However another story I wrote around that same time, put an end to my young writing career, this one was a little more edgy.
At the time I loved that movie Halloween, along with Friday the 13th, Prom Night and all the other teen slasher films that were making their rounds at the time.
The opening sentence was of the story was…
“It was a short summer, the summer I killed my family”
The story then went into how when I got caught for the murders and went to court, the judge tried to convict me, but I somehow made the lights go out in the court room, and by the time the time the lights went back on, everyone in the courtroom was dead, including the judge, and I had escaped.
Like I said, it was edgy stuff for a 4th grader.
One day, while the unfinished first draft sat on my book shelf, my mom was cleaning my room and and found it.
Let’s just say she took my only copy of that little masterpiece, threw the kibosh down on me watching any more horror movies and tossed my 10 year old little butt into therapy…
…. Every Thursday after school I had to go sit with some old dude and talk about my “feelings” … I couldn’t wait to get outta there so I could get home, chow down on some of mom’s famous cheeseburger casserole and watch Different Strokes.
As a little kid my first efforts to be a writer were halted with motherly love, and concern for the safety of the family.
I wanted to write the kind of stuff I wanted to write dammit, and if I wasn’t allowed to write it, I wouldn’t write at all. Didn’t she know I was an artist?
I thank my Creator every day that I found my way back to writing.
My question to you is…
If you’re not doing what you love… why the hell not?
There’s gotta be something that excites you…
… Something that burns deep inside… something that you just gotta do.
Ignore the naysayers, bullshit, rationalizations and stories in your head
… “I could never do what I love and make good money doing it” …
… “This job is as good as it’s gonna get for me” …
… “I don’t have the time”…
… “I have no skills” …
… “I have 6 kids, I should have started something years ago, it’s too late now” …
Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit
And Total Fucking Bullshit
Oh, and I mention…. Bullshit?
If you have a full-time job that you need to keep in order support your family, and have no idea how you’re gonna find the time to do you own thing, start by doing it an hour or two a day before or after work.
Do it out of love at first, even for free, keep your focus on adding value to the world before worrying about the money… if you love what you do and add enough value to the lives of others, the money will follow.
The key is to start.
Many great books have been written at 5am in the morning or 10pm at night, by people who worked full-time jobs during the day.
My mentoring client Mark Greenwood built a successful fitness bootcamp, growing it to over 60 clients, doing it an hour or two here and there before and after work, all working a fulltime office job and still spending lots of time with his family.
You owe it to the one who stands in the mirror, peeking out from behind the wall of your fears, insecurities and self-doubt, to get out there and fucking do it.
Tear the wall down and build a fire so bright it lights up the whole sky.
And if you’re scared, good.
Your greatest fears are the passageway to your deepest desires.
There’s is an awesome life, far beyond the inner most depths of your imagination, waiting for you right on the other side of that shit you’re afraid of, but there is no way around your fears, only through.
The scariest stuff in life, that’s the important stuff… cuz without it, the other stuff doesn’t matter.
Once we walk through the fears, facing them head on… the things that once scared us become less and less scary and no longer control us.
Countless famous musicians, public speakers and comedians still suffer from some level of stage fright, but they get up there and do what needs to be done so they can live their dream
They could be shaking like a leaf on the inside, but they don’t let it hold em’ back, otherwise they’d never be living their dream …
…. They’d probably be working some normal job-type-job that they would hate…
…. Maybe even in that fucking print shop I worked at, with half days on Fridays, dreaming about being a musician or a comedian or a “fill in the blank”… instead of actually doin’ the awesome thing they love doing, and sharing it with the world.
The treasure is right there on the other side of the dragon… but if we wanna live our passion, we gotta approach that fucker head on, feel it’s fiery breath and do what needs to be done.
If there’s something you would rather be doing other than what you’re doing right now, get outta dodge, don’t look back and give it your fucking all.
I’ll let you write the rest of the story from here.
If you think others could benefit from what you just read, I’d be stone cold honored if you would push some of those social media sharing buttons up top and share it with your friends…
… like the Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and Google Plus buttons
And if you’re interested in making a profit doing your own thing, check these programs out, you’ll find them extremely useful…
Live Off Your Passion – An exact repeatable process and proven framework for finding your passions, choosing the most lucrative option and building a career around doing work that genuinely excites you
Build Your Own Empire in 1 Year – How to build a meaningful lifestyle business in one year by doing YOUR thing every day.
Thanks a ton!
“Forever trusting who we are, and nothing else matters.”
P.S. If you’d like to get more blog posts like this one, subscribe here and I send em’ to ya as I write em…
And if you enjoyed this post, here’s a few others you might wanna check out along these same lines…