I got my degree in engineering because my brother was going to school for that and I couldn’t think of any other career paths that I wanted to do. After graduating college and securing a job at Westinghouse I was excited and ready to start my career. I soon realized that I had made the wrong choice and that it wasn’t what I thought it would be. The people I worked with seemed lifeless and passionless about their jobs and the feeling was contagious. There always seemed to be an air of tension among people and the way they acted seemed fake and somewhat nervous.
This corporate world was not for me and it was resonating throughout my life in various negative ways; my health was failing, I felt empty inside, I drank more…
1. Do What You Love
My first goal was to simplify my life so I didn’t need all of this income to exist. I sold my expensive sports car, moved into a smaller place, stopped going out so much, and focused on getting rid of anything that wasn’t mandatory. I started my own painting company on the side and was able to leave the corporate world for good within a year. After a few years even this kind of freedom wasn’t enough, something was missing. All throughout my life friends would tell me I was funny and I should be a comedian. I finally took this to heart and tried a comedy course at a local comedy club. Well, that was over a decade ago and I am more passionate than ever about this career in the performing arts. It has opened my eyes to a new way of looking at life and reignited my spirit.
You must find that calling that you were meant to do and go for it regardless of the pay. If you get good at anything there will always be a sector of people who are willing to pay it. This way you won’t be counting down the years left in your career, but counting up the years that you’ve been doing it and hoping for more. There is no retirement for me, I’ll do this till the day I die. There is more to life than just getting by.
2. Have What You Need
Things don’t make us happy, they may be exciting at first but once the thrill wears off you are just left with bills in the mail causing even more stress than before. If you minimize and simplify your life one step at a time you will create more freedom and free time to do the things that you enjoy. Money does not equal happiness, it is more just a tool to help you get the things you need. Don’t just buy things that you want, it is a never ending cycle. There is always another gadget to buy, another subscription to join, only causing you to fall further in debt and making it so you have to work more.
When I was a little kid I had food to eat, a place to sleep, and transportation to get around and I didn’t need to work 40 or more hours a week to have this. My goal is to have that freedom back that I had when I was a little kid and it is possible to do. It doesn’t take much to make you happy if you are doing what you love, that itself is fulfilling enough. Think of the things you need to feel better; exercise, sunshine, silence, passion, love. Most of these things are either free or very inexpensive to have, make it a point to get more of what you need and you won’t want anything more.
3. Help Other People
They say if you want to be happy focus all of your attention on making other people happy, and if you want to be miserable focus only on making yourself happy. We like to think we are independent but, in fact, we are interdependent beings. If I put you on a desert island with nothing but your computer and Facebook “friends” you would end up being extremely lonely and very unhappy over time, we need each other. Compassion, or concern for others, helps to humanize us and connect us making us feel like we are part of something bigger and, in return, making us feel better about ourselves and happier in the process. Just start in small ways to care about others, it doesn’t happen overnight. You can train your mind to become anything you want, it just happens slowly over time. Set your intention to be a more compassionate and caring person and as time goes by you will become just that and end up a much happier person than when you began.