Don’t live someone else’s life.
You often hear about people being unhappy with their 9–5 job and wanting to break away from it, but they never do anything about it. However, how did they even end up doing such a tedious and boring job that they don’t even enjoy? It’s usually because they are living somebody else’s life.
Although I am only 24 years old, this is something that has happened to me already and I consider myself as fortunate to have noticed this at such a young age. One of the most common reasons for this happening is because we are pushed down a certain route by our parents which to them, is considered the ‘correct’ route. We often find ourselves working a job or living a lifestyle because either our parents thought it was best for us or we feel like society tells us it’s the right thing to do. Most of us aren’t even aware that this is happening, as this kind of lifestyle is considered normal and what everyone does, so we just accept it and don’t think twice.
I can confidentially tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s entirely up to you and whether you let it happen.
So, we often grow up having career ambitions or things we want to do with our lives which we could label as the definition of success. However, we often consider this level of success as unrealistic and end up accidentally falling into a 9–5 job because we need money to live. Over a period of time, we remodel what success looks like and now consider success as a promotion in our shitty workplace, completely forgetting about what we really want to do and where our passions lie.
Why are we forgetting about what we really want to do? Is it because it’s unrealistic or simply not achievable in our heads? Maybe because we are scared? Scared of what other people may think? These are all just excuses that we tell ourselves to justify it in our own brains.
As I mentioned earlier, this is something that has already happened to me and I’ve only just realised it over these last few months. Since leaving college 5 years ago, I’ve worked a 9–5 all this time and my biggest problem has been that by 9–5 standards, I have a really good 9–5.
My work has a genuine impact on people’s lives and therefore it’s rewarding. I also get a generous pay, I work fair hours and am never expected to do any over time, I often work from home, I work flexible hours, I get a good looking pension, more holidays than most, I even recently got a promotion, the list goes on. So why am I not happy? Put simply, it’s not what I want.
People often tell me (usually parents and other family members) how good I have it and I completely understand why they would say this. Maybe for themselves and many others, this could be the dream job and a position that is much better than their own situation. However, the bottom line is, this isn’t what I want to do for the next 40–50 years of my life, so why should I just accept it? Because I have a great job with a reliable monthly income? No way. First things first, we must ensure that we are happy.
Since the age of 11 I’ve been hustling. Whether it be a paper round, selling chocolate at school, cutting lawns, I’ve always earned money to buy things that I wanted. I remember grinding for consecutive weekends to save up £30 and buy the new England football shirt. I was so fucking proud of myself.
As I’ve got older, I’ve learned more about investing and passive income which has replaced buying materialistic things that I want, but these roots are a foundation of my natural preference for entrepreneurship and hustling. Although I continued to create side hustles, by building websites and learning to trade, it’s still only a side hustle and now I’ve realised that it’s time to take it to the next level.
What am I doing about it?
Well the very first thing is being aware of it happening. Once you accept and understand that you are living somebody else’s life and not your own, then you can finally take action. However, taking action is easier said than done. Unless you truly understand what is happening and really want to get out of this trap, only then you will be persistent and patient enough to keep working on your escape.
One thing that helps me ensure that I stay focused and on track is listening to motivational and educational podcasts during my commutes to and from work. These podcasts often remind me of my current situation and provide endless knowledge and advice on how I can keep working towards what I really want. Two great examples that I personally benefit from are The Mindset Mentor and The Gary Vee Audio Experience. It’s important not to over-consume information and content as it can often lead to you never actually taking action for yourself, as you’re always too busy consuming the information.
Another problem that I had was not knowing what my passion was or what I wanted to do. I felt like this was halting my progress and dragging me back down until I listened to Gary Vee talk about patience and how you must try new things whilst you are young to figure it out. If you’re struggling to find what you want to do, you should begin by writing down what you enjoy in life and what you are good at. Highlighting your hobbies and defining your strengths can push you in the right direction, but it won’t instantly solve the problem at hand. You must also push yourself outside of your comfort zone and try new things. It’s not easy, but you’ll be surprised what opportunities these new experiences may bring or lead too.
In the last 12–18 months, I started to educate myself about how to trade without knowing a single thing about it. Although I have openly admitted that it isn’t something I would want to do full time for the rest of my life, I have accepted that I enjoy swing trading on high timeframes and it’s a skill that will be useful for the rest of my life. However, the point is that I tried something completely new and took something away from it. It may not be my passion, but I’ll continue to trade whilst searching for the next thing. This requires patience as the next thing may not be the solution neither, but it makes it much easier to remain patient if you remember why you are doing this.
I more recently realised that building start-ups is something that suits my personality and has a direct correlation with my hustling mindset whilst growing up. I’m currently learning all about the start-up culture and what it takes to best position yourself to be successful. As I preached earlier, taking action is often best practice as we learn the most from our own experiences and I am currently in the early phases of my first ‘serious’ start-up. It may not work out, but I’m willing to try something new and am not afraid to fail fast and fail cheap, but that’s a whole different article.
What’s the end goal?
My end goal is to have freedom. I want to be able to work when I want, where I want, and to ultimately work on something that excites and motivates me. Not because I have to as I might get sacked or won’t get paid, but because I want too. Just because this is my end goal, doesn’t mean it has to be yours. That’s for you to figure out. Write your goals on paper and start taking action.
I want to make clear that this does not mean I’m going to immediately quit my job and pursue this full time as that would be completely irresponsible and idiotic. Unfortunately, I still need money to eat and live and ultimately, not every start up succeeds. Accepting this is being responsible and realistic. However, my plan is to continue working on my start-up as a side hustle until things get serious and it begins to generate revenue. Then, I can consider quitting my job and truly stop living someone else’s life. It isn’t going to happen overnight, and it isn’t going to be easy, but I will keep working on it and be persistent.
Maybe my own parents will say I’m stupid when I do make the bold move and quit my secure and safe 9–5 job, but I’ll be the one doing something that makes me jump out of bed every morning full of energy and excitement.
Throughout this article, I have made references to this situation being related to jobs and careers. This is just what I can relate to the most through my own experiences. I’m sure this can correlate too many other decisions in life. Maybe somebody told you that travelling the world is a stupid and overly expensive idea? But if that’s what you want to do, figure out your responsible and realistic plan, and fucking do it.
You only get one shot at this thing called life. Make sure you live a life that you are passionate about, that excites you, and that ultimately brings you happiness.
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This article has been written for educational and entertainment purposes only.