A little while ago I wrote an article about why it is alright if your dream changes, an article that did necessarily branch out of my observation of others, but also out of my own experience: My dream changed. I no longer wished to be another hamster on a wheel working to build up a company that is not mine and quite frankly, never would be.
I know this is a widespread topic and you have probably heard it all before, but sometimes we all need a little reminder. A reminder to show us we are worth more than just being “a part of the system” – we deserve to thrive, and by doing it in our own, individual way.
It can be quite disheartening when you look over the years you thought you spent working towards “your” dream when it was never yours, to begin with. Perhaps you went to college – contributing an inconceivable amount of hours and money to this dream; perhaps you worked your bum off to get where you are in your company now – sacrificing family, friends and a chance to have an adventurous life. If that is the case, let me start off by telling you now: It was not in vain.
You grew as a person. You learned what you like, how you like it and when you like it. You gained a life experience that would leave others speechless and inspire them if they find themselves floating along in the same boat. That was a journey you had to go on, but it does not have to end there.
Have you considered that it might be time to jump off the corporate building into your own pool of innovative ideas? Here is why:
Heal your body and mind
Work-related stress is not something to toy around with: feeling overworked, unappreciated and fruitlessly stagnant in one place can contribute to coronary heart disease (CHD), anxiety, high blood pressure, substance abuse, depression and many other stress-related illnesses.
You need to consider why you could be under work-related stress and if it is worth it. If the work you are doing is something you are passionate about, the stress will pass with the outcome and achievement that is eventually reached.
However, if you find yourself unsatisfied and in a burnout scenario, you have to realize that you are making yourself sick by putting more money in someone else’s pocket and making that person’s dream come true. A person who might not give a moment’s doubt to sack you for missing work because of these work-related illnesses – despite how unethical it may seem.
My mother, once a highly successful short-term insurance broker found herself living and breathing other people’s problems – whether it be business related or personal. She went to bed at 01 a.m. and woke up at 4 a.m. This, in turn, led to her suffering from diabetes and being forced to drink pills that would lighten her depression and bring back her appetite – the pills got stronger, but the situation did not relent and lay down its arms.
She eventually decided to follow an old friend’s advice and sell everything she owns, pack up and go stay in Cape Town, in a house so close to the ocean you can practically hear the waves breaking next to you.
What happened next will never cease to amaze me, her diabetes disappeared – as well as her depression. She is healthy, happy and living out her days going to the beach, reading and painting. She is also in the process of reviving her long lost dream of being a writer.
By taking control of your wants and needs and putting it in alignment with what sets your heart on fire, you are ensuring that you not only live a happier life, but also a healthier one.