It’s funny. I feel that during some points in our life we wait until our life can “finally begin.” But what does that mean? For some people it’s when they finally meet the man or woman of their dreams. For others it’s if they finally reach a certain position at work. Or when they are finally able to retire and have the time and money to do what they really want to do.
I used to think that way. I used to try to figure out how long I’d have to work until I could finally retire. Until I could quit the job that was not fulfilling me. Until I would finally have the time to do all the things I wanted to do. And it always seemed so far away.
But then one day it hit me. I had painted myself into a corner. Why did I have to keep working in the same career and wait until I saved enough money to retire to do all the things I wanted to do? Why not take the time to do them now? Yes, some things I wouldn’t be able to afford to do, but there were so many things on my list that didn’t cost a lot of money. And I could always go back to work. So I finally let go and quit my job. A number of people have come up to me since and congratulated me for taking the “big risk” to leave my career. Yes, there was some risk involved. But wouldn’t it be a bigger risk to feel stuck and unhappy for the next 20 or 30 years?
It’s human nature to want to stay in the comfort zone and it often feels safer to just stay put rather than taking a risk and making a change. So we often stay in a situation until it becomes so bad that we can no longer stand it or until something blows up. I did not want to wait until a crisis to take action.
And the truth is, it has not been a simple or smooth path since then. There have been some incredible highs and feelings of joy and freedom, as well as some real lows, filled with doubt and anxiety. But one thing I have learned through all of this is that we can influence our experience of life through the beliefs and thoughts that we choose, through the people and environments that we elect to surround ourselves with, and through the strength of our persistence and commitment that we decide to make.
In the end, I believe it is maybe less about the situations that we find ourselves in, and much more about us, and how we see the situation, interpret it, what we think about it and what we do with it. And if that is true, we can truly live the life we want starting right now, this very moment. There is nothing we have to wait for – we don’t need the knight in shining armor to arrive and we don’t need to be in our dream job. We can "begin our life", or the next chapter in our life, and be happy right here, right now. ♥