I just finished up an interview with a lovely Entrepreneur Magazine and I couldn't help but think back to how all of the questions seemed to stem from this place of foreboding when launching a new career. Before the birth of my book, Leo Gray and the Lunar Eclipse, I had been running a successful real estate and hospitality business in Hawaii. I knew straight off the bat that I couldn't juggle the two worlds with the proper attention they each required, so I gave up the one in exchange for the other. But it wasn't easy letting go of what most would deem a "dream career" to chase down what my childhood self would've preferred doing; especially when the later made no promises of financial security. But I went through with it, and, long story short, I've not looked back since.
So what made me jump ship? What triggered me to throw away a future of assured comfortability to embark on a path with absolutely no assurances whatsoever?
Well, for one, I'm crazy! For another, I believe that most of us have grown up with a false belief that money is the only means of true prosperity. And, yes, while the dollar does hold a grandiose key to opportunity, it's only a key; nothing more. At the end of the day, if your fridge is full but your heart's not fully content, there's little point in having a full fridge. Which brings me to what I debated with myself during my time of transition.
The Top 3 Questions to Ask Yourself When Considering Transitioning into a New Career:
— Am I really happy with where I am? I mean, take the money out of the mix. (Yes, even if it's BIG money!) Would you still be doing the job you're doing today for free? Does your work inspire you to set your alarm clock each morning or do you dread setting the darn thing because your to-do list is overflowing with unpleasant tasks? (While it's true that all lines of work have their moments, if its challenge doesn't inspire you, you're in the wrong place!) We all need to get a touch more honest with ourselves about who we are and what we want out of life if we're ever to live a life of fulfillment. So ask yourself this: "Do I really love what I'm doing?"
— Is my profession reflective of who I am as a unique and [insert your best attribute here] individual? For me, the answer was a definite "No!" I mean, I was happy to make others happy with a nice selection of Hawaiian beach condos and was thrilled to assist in any way that I could with tips and services to improve vacationer's dream holidays; but the job had no option for me to do anything beyond that. My artistic abilities had no place to shine. There was no room for creative challenge or opportunities to expand upon my intellect. There was nothing that deepened my sense of self-purpose or allowed me to be me! This got me thinking back to when I was a kid in school. How did I see myself then? How did others see me? If you had asked all of the kids in your class to assign a future profession to you, what would it have been? For me, I know no one would have pinned "landlord" to my name badge. They would have dubbed me "cartoonist" or "story writer" or "teacher" or something to that degree. So think about the qualities you possess that are not being allowed to flourish in your current position. If you find there's no place for those traits, you really do need to consider where your talents would best be put to use, or we're all missing out on the privilege of knowing YOU!
— What other jobs could I be doing right now that could use my talents and help me expand upon my life's fulfillment? Of course, we can always work for a job—we can be that much-needed gear for the larger machine. But what if your job was the gear that assisted you? (I know this may sound terribly fluffy, but we all have the ability to create whatever it is we want out of our lives: We simply need to decide to do it and draw-up a plan of action to get there!) There's no point in working in a beauty salon if your only motivation is a paycheck. Now, if you're in the business of hair because you love to twirl the latest styling rod, are obsessed with fanciful updos, and can't wait help your next client look like they just walked off the Red Carpet, then it would naturally be a pleasure for you to work in a salon and your work really wouldn't be work at all: It'd be play! And I think that's what we're all aiming for in our very serious and professional adult lives. Yes, we all have bills to pay, but that's no excuse to forget or belittle our talents in lieu of a dollar. Remember, whatever your ideal life looks like, it can only be created by making a conscious decision to take the necessary actions to get there. And trust me, you can get there. Everything on this planet is obtainable, if only you dare to reach!
So stop making excuses and start living the life you want by making the choices needed to get yourself there TODAY. It won't necessarily be easy. It's gonna take time. But investing in yourself—your true self—is the only way you'll ever realize what it is you actually want out of life.
Until then, keep on being a Super Stellar you!
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