Why You’re Not Where You Want to Be in Life (And How to Get There)
Sometimes, in moments of weakness and frustration, I ask the universe, ‘Why do you work against me so much?’ and the universe replies, ‘It’s not me, it’s you’.
Those of us who grew up in the 21st century were told that we ‘can be anything that we want to be’. What we weren’t told however was exactly how gruelling it would be to get there. Is it possible for Joe Schmoe to become the CEO of a multi-million pound company in 2019? Yes! Absolutely! Is it something that Joe is likely to actually enjoy working to achieve. Well, no… Probably not actually.
Are you willing to work for it more than you wish for it? I wasn’t. I thought I was… but then I realised that I spend more time each day dreaming about, wishing about and lamenting the idea of my dream life than I do actually working towards it.
Don’t get me wrong – I work. I work my 9-5 job, putting in my 40+ hours per week. Then, on weeknights, I spend a few hours here and there on my cobby – that’s ‘career-that-you’re-hoping-to-make-out-of-your-hobby’. At the weekends I tell myself that I’m going to wake up at 7am and pump a full 8 hours into turning my passion into my pay cheque. My alarm goes off for the fifth time at 11.30am and I drag myself out of bed and onto the sofa where I slump, sleepily seething, full of self-loathing and deflation. I let the TV play me whatever’s on the channel it was left on last night. I scroll. I get up to make a bacon sandwich. Around 2pm I finally manage to commit a couple of hours to cobby working, feeling both like I’m making a huge personal sacrifice by working on the weekend (well done me) but also like it’s rather a drop in the ocean. What difference is it really going to make anyway? Is this two hours really going to set my little business alight? I doubt it… But Chanel bags don’t buy themselves, not on my salary, so on I plod with fingers crossed. The fact is though, it’s just not enough is it?
Gone are the days where ‘the dream’ was a family, a terraced two-up, two down and dinner on the table every night. With the advent of the internet and all of the other technological advances this era brought us, came knowledge of the secret life of millionaires. Suddenly we discovered the delights of sushi, Starbucks and season #172 of the Kardashians. Instagram has shown us the beauty of the beaches of Bali and the sun-kissed sights of Santorini. YouTube has told us the 1,001 reasons why a Chanel Classic Flap Bag is far superior to your H&M one. Suddenly the ‘two up, two down’ dream doesn’t seem quite sufficient. Not when you only live once (if that’s what you believe).
And why shouldn’t we dream big when we have all this at our fingertips? No longer do you have to have a university degree and a trust fund to start up a company. With social media, crowdfunding and every online course you could imagine available, you can go from tutee to tycoon in no time. If you’re willing to word hard enough.
Ahh that elusive ‘if’, the ‘if’ that no-one quite stressed enough. Millennials love to repin quotes about the ‘hustle’ (I’m totally guilty of this – see my ‘Words of Wisdom’ Pinterest board – how ironic). The harsh truth though is that if you have enough time to brag about your hustle, you’re simply not hustling hard enough. If you were, you’d have realised that the time you spend tweeting motivational quotes would have been better spent networking or prospecting or expanding your knowledge base. Lord Sugar would laugh at us. We just don’t get it.
I’m not saying this to make anyone feel bad. It’s just a sharp realisation that I’ve come to lately. I’m a big believer in the Law of Attraction so I often visualise what I want to get out of life. The problem is, I’ve had the audacity to dream about walk-in-wardrobes and Hermes bags without putting in the level of work that would realistically bring me those things.
Perhaps, now that I’ve managed my expectations of what is required of me in life, I’ll recalibrate my brain. I’ll realise that what I thought was my 100% effort was actually only 30% and I’ll be able to tap into that higher level of hustle that’ll get me to where I think I want to be. Or, maybe, I’ll decide that I just can’t be arsed to grind and give that much of myself up and I’ll settle for that nice two up, two down after all. It’d be easier to keep tidy anyway. Either way, at least I can be happy knowing that, whatever path I take, it’s a choice I made. If I don’t ‘make it’ it won’t be because the universe was ‘against me’ or other people are ‘luckier’ than me – I’m not denying that other people have different journeys but that’s their business and you never know what they’re going through behind closed doors. If I don’t make it, it’ll be because I’ve chosen not to and that’ll be fine by me too. In the meantime though, I have to go. I have some work to do.
Did you like this post ‘It’s Not Me, It’s You’? Here’s a similar one that you’ll also find useful!