As I complete another revolution around the sun I have probably grown the most in my life in the last year.
Over the last year, I essentially went through a midlife crisis and had to re-evaluate each and every aspect of my life. I just wanted to wake up and feel fulfilled. I felt stuck, stressed, and out of place even though I had everything in my grasp. I simply didn’t feel any fire or passion burning in my soul.
For my birthday this year I spent it at a meditation retreat instead of partying like I usually do.
Before going to this meditation retreat I set some intentions that I wanted to work through and I was able to work through each of them after spending two full days reflecting on my life and how I plan to take on the next couple years of my life.
There were a couple realizations that I was able to come to and I wanted to share them. I hope my insights will bring you clarity and inspire some passion in your life.
1. The world is FULL of Distractions
I sat for the first time in my life having to face my inner demons without an escape and without any distractions.
I want you to think about the next time you are stressed out about anything. Your natural instinct is to reach for your phone, or put on the tv, or go to your computer. Some other major distractions are social media, work, the gym, and food. Each one of these outlets are an escape from our problems and the things that are truly bothering us at our core. We are looking for anything to distract us from the real problems we are facing.
Instead of working through our issues we instead try to get a hit of dopamine from a “like” on Instagram, or play a video game to keep our mind off of the demons in our hearts. Our brains are addicted to getting hits of dopamine. Even stressful tasks are a form of dopamine and distraction. Work is a stress point that satisfies your brain’s desires for dopamine and anxiety. We can easily get stuck in a vicious cycle of working to live and living to work.
Our natural reaction is to run and avoid what our hearts are telling us because many times your heart will tell you that you are unhappy. We will do everything in our power to avoid those thoughts and conversations because they make you feel physically ill.
I highly recommend that you try and spend at least your first hour everyday AWAY from technology, your phone, computer, or tv. All of these devices make you a reactive animal!
Everyone can agree that going to the gym, eating healthy and drinking water are extremely important!
Very few people out there believe that it is just as important to spend time on your emotional health!
You have to designate time to be emotionally healthy and that includes just spending time with your thoughts, whether it is meditation, journaling or reading something you find interesting. It is imperative to your health!
2. You must CHOOSE a career that fills your soul and ignites you with Passion!
The biggest mistake I made over the last year was that I started looking at my clients as paychecks instead of keeping my focus on them as individuals and the relationships I was developing. Over the last year or two my work started to become extremely overwhelming and I hated going to work every day. I Literally hated it. I was “working to live” and “living to work.” I was the definition of the “Average Joe” just going from paycheck to paycheck to make ends meet. I was putting in 12-16 hour days just chasing paper to impress “who?”
Everyday I woke up more stressed out than the day before. I literally hated work and there was no escape. I didn’t know what to do and felt like I was drowning in a sea of despair. People always ask how work is… and everyone’s answer is “Really Busy” and they respond by saying “Oh that’s a good thing.” Well I think that’s bullshit. Being busy doesn’t mean that you are happy and it doesn’t mean that you are successful. I was making multiple times as much money as I had in my entire career and I was MISERABLE.
There is a saying which is “more money, more problems,” and it is so true! The more you make, the more responsibilities you have in life! They should have told you when you were a kid that being an adult just means MORE BILLS!!!! As you make more money, there are more and more bills to keep up with!
I wish that when people asked how it works, that their response was “It’s going amazing because I was able to help this person, or I was able to reach my goals, or I did this amazing thing for my client!” Instead, we are always complaining about how busy we are, and how work is stressing us out. This is the wrong way to live life and if you find yourself saying these things, then you probably need a lifestyle adjustment or some time with yourself away from the hustle and bustle of work to examine what actually makes you happy.
The saddest part about all of my “problems”, is that I have a job where I get to help my friends, family and acquaintances HEAL every single day! People literally trust me with their livelihoods and believe in me to help them heal mentally, physically and emotionally. I used to love my job, but I got sucked into a cycle of just needing to get next month’s paycheck and drowning in a cycle of doing things which didn’t make me happy.
The biggest epiphany I have had about my career is that you have to change your PERSPECTIVE on what you do. It’s all about your mindset! If any of you watch Gary Vee, then you know how much he preaches this concept in his everyday life. You have to either find a way to look at what you do with love or you have to change careers.
Another term to describe this is “Trusting the Process” because everyone is always looking at the dollar bill and the end result. If you don’t love the way you got to that end result then you are SCREWED. You are going to be miserable forever because you are just trying to always “one up” your last success and hating the process along the way!
At this point, I have UNEQUIVOCALLY decided to change my perspective! Instead of looking at the endless work I have before me, I am going back to focusing my mindset on how I get to help people everyday and truly bring joy to those I come in contact with.
I was looking at each email, phone call and appointment as a drain on my life and it made me miserable. This is the wrong way to look at those things because each email, call and appointment was moving the needle forward to someone’s recovery which is an amazing blessing!
I now have shifted that mindset and I realized I am here to assist and heal all I come in contact with. We have a duty to our fellow humans to help where we can, and through service to others our hearts and souls will be filled. I want to use my knowledge and skills to help people solve their problems. No matter how big or small. If I can’t help directly, then I would love to be able to assist them by putting them in contact with others who can assist.
When I was just focusing on filling my bank account I was miserable and living for myself. Now that my mind set is on those I am helping I feel fulfilled and full of joy that I haven’t felt for years!
Your mindset is key and it is so important you do work that fills your heart and soul! If you are doing a job you hate, then you might need a change and you might want to do something where you make less money, but you are ACTUALLY happy.
3. BE INTENTIONAL!
Everyone and everything is made up of energy. When you have this realization then you will understand that every time you come in contact with someone, speak to another person, or just spend time near someone then you are exchanging energy.
With this realization I have decided to be extremely intentional for the rest of my life with all those I speak to and come in contact with.
When you speak to others they should receive your full undivided attention. This means giving them your full presence. So put away your phone. LOOK PEOPLE IN THE EYE and show them you care and there for them. I have always been very good about this, but I plan to take it to the next level.
I encourage you to do the same and realize that every connection you make should last forever and you have to tend a relationship like a plant in a garden. It requires love, kindness, and work just like anything good in life. That means periodic calls, in person meetings, and contact through any form.
We are only on this planet for a SHORT amount of time and everyday should be intentional. You should have a plan and know who and what you are going to do with each passing moment. Having a purpose and putting your energy towards a purpose is the GREATEST gift in life.
We are given a certain amount of energy every day and we can choose to waste it on nothingness or you can try to make a difference in the world.
I have made my choice, and I plan to leave a lasting impact on all those I come in contact with.
Being intentional should translate to ALL aspects of your life.
If you go networking, you should know exactly who you are going to speak to and what you are going to discuss.
If you are going to have a meeting, then you should have an agenda and be prepared with talking points.
If you are spending time with anyone, then there should be a purpose and not just to sit and waste time on meaningless interaction.