Someday, it will be too late for you to live the life you imagined for yourself.
I know how you feel. You’ve worked hard and spent tireless hours pursuing this very career. Maybe you followed “the rules” that you had been told would lead you to success. You thought going to college was the right thing to do. When you graduated, you began mindlessly applying for the “right” jobs with the “right” kind of pay.
Perhaps your boss is a control freak, your coworkers drive you nuts, you don’t feel ethical about your job, or you don’t feel passionate about the product your company sells. Maybe you are an introvert spending all of your energy, every day, to work in a role that is best suited for an extrovert. You didn’t know that when you made the decision to spend $40,000 on your education because, let’s face it, you were 18. Because of your horrible job, your relationships suffer, you can’t make ends meet, you aren’t physically healthy, and most importantly, you are not thriving.
Maybe you are paid well, or maybe not quite enough, either way, you are trapped by societal demands. You feel like you have no options, and you are working your life away just to make someone else rich.
You may not like what I have to tell you, but it’s going to be the truth: You don’t have to do anything that you don’t want to.
This may be difficult to swallow because we are bound by what our culture believes to be the “right” way to live your life. We have been groomed and conditioned our entire lives to believe that one way of living is better than another, even if our spirits would thrive in another way of life.
Maybe you have done everything right, based on what your family and friends thought was best for you, and yet, you feel miserable. So, stop doing what you are doing, and start living your life.
Australian nurse, Bronnie Ware, cared for hospice patients, and as you can imagine, she learned a lot from her patients. She began to blog about the thoughts they shared with her upon their death bed. Eventually, due to the overwhelming interest in her blog, she compiled her experiences with the dying in her book, “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.”
Imagine if you knew that today was your last day alive.
How would you feel looking back on your life?
What do you wish you would have done?
Would you write the book you never had time for or spend more time with your family?
These are sentiments that surfaced often in Ware’s book, and the top two regrets certainly rang true for me. If today was my dying day:
1) I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2) I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
Bronnie writes that number one,
“…was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.”
When it comes down to it, it’s not worth it.
If you hate your job, quit and find a different one, and do it today — or at least make your plan to quit. Give yourself an end date, get your finances in the best shape you possibly can, and allow yourself to see that light at the end of the tunnel.
You will find another way. You’ve worked hard to get where you are today, and your experiences do not stay with your current job, they go with you. If your mental health is in jeopardy, screw the 2-week notice. It may take some work, and perhaps a lot of financial stress, but what is the worse of two evils? That is up to you to decide, but my advice to you is: don’t think in limited terms when it comes to your career if you do make the decision to leave your current job. Endless possibilities are waiting for you…better ones.
You don’t know what will happen tomorrow and you are not guaranteed a retirement. If you are living for life after retirement, stop. Your life is now, live it now.
Ready to jump ship but want to find a way to pay the bills between jobs? Grab my non-slimey guide to learn about gigs that can help you get from soul-sucking job to passion-filled purpose.