Sometimes happiness and well being is simply doing what you love. Yet just because it’s simple doesn’t always make it easy. In today’s world, as much as we hear and even think we understand that we should do what feels good for us and love what we do, why are so many of us not in alignment with that simple idea? With family to care for, bills to pay, “priorities”, and life situations, that simple idea is only that, an idea. For some it’s not just about not having the time or ability to put it into action, it comes down to actually not knowing what we really love to do.
I recently spoke with two very close friends that worked in the same company at one point. Both are no longer with that company, but for two totally different reasons. Our conversations churned up a lot of thought in my mind. My thoughts in turn propelled me to write this post today.
I believe that happiness sits within us. Each individual has the power to come to an internal understanding to shine out into the external world. However, to become to know ourselves inside, an awareness must be developed. This awareness should exist as we go about our day with friends, family, work, and play. The way we become aware of what and how things affect us, both physically and mentally, plays a large role in the actions we take.
My friend Ed is in his 30’s. I have a lot of respect for Ed, and he is a big inspiration to me. Why? Because he took a chance to do what he loved, and is currently very successful at it. He left a high paying corporate job to open Haus of Wraps, a vinyl wrap and auto customization shop in San Diego. Ed is a car enthusiast. Cars have always been his passion and he totally geeks out on them, in many forms. I must say the guy is amazing though. He knows how to create auto beauties. Ed is that guy that all our friends go to for adding details to their car, getting advice, etc.
He received his degree and set off on the 9-5 role (really like 7-6 role). In the beginning he loved it. He was young, making great money, and able to travel on his weekends and vacation time. After a few years though, he soon began to dislike his daily routine and job. It was point blank unfulfilling. His love for cars had to go on the back burner with work, and everyday became monotonous. It really began to weigh on him. He made a major life decision and quite his job. He took what everyone always told him, and opened shop in San Diego. As with any business start up, it takes time, energy and work. Being that he truly loved what he opened shop to do, he dedicated all his time and energy into Haus of Wraps. Not only has it paid off, but he is truly happy everyday. Long hours don’t matter, because he loves what he does. It shines in the quality of his work, and he is very successful because of that.
Ed took a risk because of how unhappy he was. The money didn’t matter. Of course he understood he needed to make it somehow, but if he could make ends meet and actually be excited to wake up everyday, then life was good. It took him becoming aware of the flip side of a “good life”, to make the move to change something. That takes a lot of strength in yourself and a desire to live according to your path. I cheers Ed everyday.
Now Tim also worked with Ed. Tim had been with the company for 30+ years, and didn’t leave to open a business, but took an early retirement. He and his wife were more than burnt out from years of working long hours with this company, but planned to stick with it to the end. Until Tim got bit by a rattlesnake in New Mexico (true story). That moment changed how he saw things. Life could easily be taken and if that happened, was he doing the things that mattered most. Obviously not, because early retirement to do more than be stressed out and overworked took precedence over sticking it out.
The interesting part is now that he and his wife have the time to do whatever they want, and wherever they want, they have no clue. They became so disconnected with what they were once really inspired by and passionate about, that they truly do not know what they want to do with their time. It’s making many decisions hard for them. I know they will figure it out – they just need time to reconnect with their inner selves and passions. Yet this next phase of life that most people excitedly wait for and look forward to, retirement, is supposedly when you get to do what you want, yet they have no idea what that is!?! A bit ironic isn’t it.
The point of this post is to do what you love. It doesn’t have to mean quote your job and start a business, like Ed. It means become aware of what is not contributing to your overall well being. Make small changes and choices to keep a happiness inside of you. It is so easy to work long, treacherous hours and then know you deserve a break, to do nothing to propel you in the direction of your passions. So many people take to filling the time with meaningless actions, just to get ways from the typical, monotonous week. Dig deep within, begin to explore what you love, and do a little more of it.