Why It Is Time to Jump off That Corporate Building

Sep 8, 2016

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.

Buried potential

Finding yourself in a work that is dull and monotonous prevents you from stepping out into your greatest potential. We are all born with innovative and creative ideas inside us, and if we decide to stay in a work environment where those ideas might not be appreciated or where we do not even have the opportunity to present our ideas, it will lead to a life that is lived unhappy and unsuccessful.

There is something inside of you that someone else is waiting for – whether it be a product that changes their lives forever or a service that helps them realize that their needs deserve to be treated with extraordinary attentiveness and care. Do not let the opportunity to be a blessing to someone else be buried into the ground so that you can make ends meet.

Granted, we do need money to pay the bills, but I believe in the saying: Where there is a will there is a way. In the end, if you really want something bad enough, you will find a way to get it. We are the ones responsible for our own happiness, we are responsible for grabbing it with both hands and running towards a better future for ourselves and those around us with the faith and spontaneity of a child.

Read also – 8 Books I Am Happy I Read Before 25

Personality clashes

Let’s say for arguments sake that you do get to use your creativity, but you find that the way you use it or the company you use it for, goes against who you are as a person – it does not necessarily have to be an ethical dilemma, but it does go against your intrinsic nature.

If that is the case, it is time to reassess your priorities, your wants, and your needs, and start moving towards a career and environment that allows you to stay true to who you are as an individual. The only way you can be a part of the flow of happiness and success is if you get to be fully yourself if you do not have to jerkily stop and go like a teenager just learning how to drive.

You are allowed to be yourself in any aspect of life; if you consider the amount of time you spent at work opposed to the amount of time you spent away from it, you will be terrified to see how many minutes and hours you spent going against the essence of your personality – which again leads to work-related stress. Do not sacrifice yourself to become a part of the system that calls for monotony and submission.

Nothing is guaranteed

That stable income, that mirage of a retirement plan, all those benefits you and your employer like to boast about – it can disappear in a heartbeat. The economy is of such a nature that at any given moment a company might sink into the ground, taking you and all the hours you spent working and dreaming of your good retirement with it.

The possibility that you might be asked to leave with a “prodigious” retrenchment package will always hover over your head and you have to remember that, unfortunately, everyone is replaceable – you can be replaced by someone the company believes plays a bigger and better role than you do.

You may decide to go ahead with this corporate life, but you have to remember that life is not always fair and the game, as well as the rules alongside it, can change at any given moment – you have to be prepared.

If you fail, try again and fail better

Even though leaping into doing your own thing might seem easy – it really isn’t. This choice will also have battles to be won, sacrifices to be made and will come with its fair share of risks – once again, nothing is guaranteed. Another thing you have to prepare for is opposition.

Whenever a person has enough courage to let go of all that holds him or her back and leap into the wild unknown, others – who lack the backbone and courage to do it themselves – will come with their warnings and criticism. However, you have to be confident enough to ignore them, bold enough to go ahead and strong enough to complete your journey.

Instead of being undervalued, being creatively deprived and going against your inherent nature – you will be fulfilling yourself in all these things by doing what you are passionate about, and that is the key. If you do something with passion – and yes, compassion – you are sure to succeed in life. Most of all: You are sure to live a happy life.

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If you fail, try again and fail better. Thomason Edison had it right when he said that he had not failed, but only found ten thousand ways in which it did not work – he looked again and so should we.

We owe it to ourselves to see what we can accomplish, even if it means we have to go against what others say and trust the feeling we have in our gut – whether it be to stay in a situation or to go and explore new horizons. The world is waiting, they deserve to know what you’ve got to offer them. So, are you ready to change your corporate life?