As kids, we thrive by doing all of the stuff we enjoy. We deal with the stuff we’re forced to do, like go to school all day, but as soon as we were free and our time was ours again, the first thing we did was dive right back into doing the stuff we wanted to be doing.
For me, that meant I was writing, drawing, making stuff, performing, creating, teaching, playing. That was always the stuff I spent my time on.
But then something really weird starts to happen.
We grow up, become adults, and suddenly convince ourselves that the things we want to be doing no longer matter. We tell ourselves that we have to be “responsible” and prioritize the important stuff, before we can have the luxury of doing the stuff we really want to do.
This is a backwards way of thinking that actually stops you from doing the things you want to. It’s the thing that causes you to give your life for stuff you don’t even care about.
Meanwhile the stuff you really want to be doing–your writing, your creating, your unleashing–gets put on the back-burner for “one day.”
Except “one day” never comes. And years and sometimes decades later, you find yourself as an adult, looking around at your life, and wondering where things got so far off track.
Or maybe it was just me?
In 2008, I was experiencing what has often been dubbed the “Quarter-Life Crisis.” I was turning 25 that year and I was shocked at how far off I was from doing the stuff I really wanted to be doing.
I had a college degree, a great boyfriend, a great apartment that was walking distance to everything, a seemingly great job that paid well and it was actually in the field I earned my degree in. A dream for any young adult, for sure. I should have been happy.
But I wasn’t. FAR from it.
Because I always knew I was born for more. Born to do more and be more and all I knew at almost 25-years-old was the life I had at the time wasn’t it.
And if it was, well… kill me, please.
The boyfriend (now husband) and apartment were awesome. But that was about it. Everything else felt like a shit-show. Especially when it came to doing the stuff I really wanted to do.
I dreaded the idea of working at the same job or same company my entire life. That’s what my parents both did and that’s what I saw growing up. But I didn’t want that.
I couldn’t imagine choosing one job and one company and then just staying there forever. That wasn’t me.
So there I was, in 2008, having a Quarter-Life Crisis because I had what most would deem a “dream job,” and maybe even a dream life, and I. Was. Miserable.
I didn’t care about the work I was doing. I didn’t care about forwarding the company’s mission. I didn’t want to put in extra effort or energy at my job like other people did.
I wanted to go to work, get paid, and then go home to do the stuff I really wanted to be doing. (Of course back then I was the Queen Procrastinator who rarely got anything done that I wanted to… but let’s not go there right now.)
All that ever really mattered to me was my writing and creative projects, even when I wasn’t doing them. And that was a big motivator for me finally quitting my job in 2012 to take my writing business full-time. (That and not wanting to leave my Poodle-baby alone all day anymore!)
I wanted to spend all of my time doing the stuff I wanted to do.
When I first quit my job, things were awesome. I was the happiest I had ever been up ’til that point. I no longer had to go to an office every day. I could get up whenever I wanted and spend my day doing whatever I wanted.
Funnily enough, not a whole lot changed from when I was working a day job.
Sure, I was working for myself; I was choosing my projects; I was in total control of my time and location. But I had somehow created a 24/7 job working for myself.
Every waking hour, for the most part, was going to my work and my business. I was skipping social events to work. I was on my computer until minutes before I went to bed every night.
And I still wasn’t getting to do most of the stuff I wanted to be.
Well, this year, I got fed up. I got sick of not doing the stuff I wanted to be doing. I was over feeling like an employee in my own company.
I wanted more.
So in January, I committed that this was the year I would finally do more of what I wanted to do. I didn’t know how I would do that and run my business and keep it growing, but I just assumed, like everything else over the last 10 years, I’d figure it out.
It started with giving myself permission to go after my Hollywood Screenwriter dream. Then I wrote my very first screenplay. Then I revised it and began submitting to contests. Then I started getting back into filming and making videos.
And that led me to the realization that I had to stop separating my business from the stuff I wanted to be doing.
Because if there’s stuff I want to be doing, wouldn’t it make sense for me to do that stuff as part of my business? I had never thought of it like that before.
But now that I’ve made the connection, I’m on-fire with ideas and possibilities.
I’m now finding ways to incorporate the stuff I want to be spending my time on–doing more writing, more storytelling, making more videos and films, acting and performing, etc–into my day-to-day business activities. Because why not?
Why do we have to make things so hard for ourselves? Why do we keep trying to separate the things we want to be doing from the rest of our lives? Why?
Why can’t we just bridge that gap by giving ourselves permission to not only do the things we want to be doing, but to prioritize those things AND use them to enhance our daily lives and businesses?
Why can’t we accept that it’s NOT a luxury to do the stuff we dream of doing, it’s a RESPONSIBILITY?
But so often we don’t see it like that. We buy into the BS that there needs to be a specific outcome or goal we’re aiming for, otherwise there’s no point in doing the stuff we want to do. It’s OK to do stuff just for fun at a certain age, but after a certain age, fun is a luxury, not a priority.
As adults, it has been drilled into us that we can only do things if they have a specific purpose, but not just for the sake of doing them. Because it’s fun. Because it feels good. Because it excites and inspires us. Because it’s what our soul wants.
But, oh no. Those aren’t “real” outcomes.
Being happy? Having fun? Feeling good? Getting excited and inspired by our lives? Doing something simply because our soul wants to?
That’s not allowed. We’re proper adults now. We have bigger, more important priorities than that.
And so you go on, living a life that doesn’t make you feel good, doesn’t make you happy, doesn’t allow you to wake up feeling excited and inspired.
All the while telling yourself that “one day” you will finally do the things you want to do. That “one day” you will finally care more about what you want to do than the stuff you’ve been told you have to do.
But it’s never gonna happen.
Not because it can’t actually happen, but because when you continue to “one day” your life and the things you really want to be doing, you’re basically programming your mind to push them off and to delay your happiness and satisfaction for later.
How’s that been working for you so far?
Not quite what you thought it would be. And yet you keep going with it instead of course-correcting.
You’re allowed to course-correct, did you know that?
You can decide right now, today, that you’re no longer available to live a life where you don’t spend time doing the stuff you want to do. And then you can start living into a different life.
A life where you have full permission to do what you want to do AND a life where you make it a daily priority to do so.
The choice is yours. It always has been. It always will be.
So, what do you choose?
Dream life or bust,
P.S. If you’re ready to prioritize yourself and your creative work and the things you actually desire to be spending your time on, then get your butt over to my Multi-Passionate Mastermind group, which is a safe, inspiring, motivating, empowering space for you to step into being ALL of you and more. Doors are only open to new members for a few more days… www.dreamlifeorbust.com/mastermind