Advertising
Advertising

Change The Way You See Work and Change Your Life

Change The Way You See Work and Change Your Life

Change the way you see work

    Did you ever think there was a better, different way to live? Did you ever think, “Maybe I don’t have to go to a job and work 40+ hours a week, feel exhausted, wish for more time for myself or my family, and wonder when the fun stuff begins?” If so, get ready: your life’s about to change.

    When I was a little girl, I woke up every morning with the sun. I opened my eyes, heard birds chirping outside my window, and smiled, thinking about the adventures of the coming day. Fast forward to my last corporate job, when I woke up with the alarm clock, slammed my hand down on the snooze button and laid in bed, a feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach, thinking about the eight hours I was about to spend working under fluorescent lights, in a small cubicle, so my boss could take credit for my work and someone else could profit.

    Advertising

    Why do we do this to ourselves? When I look back on the time I spent in Corporate America, I realize that I didn’t know any better. Despite the entrepreneurial spirit I’ve felt through my entire life, there was a period of time when it simply didn’t occur to me that my life belonged to me and I didn’t have to live according to the narrow path that had been defined for me.

    It took carpal tunnel syndrome and an inflexible corporate environment for me to realize that I desperately needed a change. And that’s what it took to remind me of the philosophy my dad taught me as a little girl, something I’d long forgotten: that work is what makes the rest of your life possible.

    From this perspective, “work” takes on substantially less meaning, while “life” takes center stage. I like this because it reminds me where my priorities lie. I’d much rather my tombstone read, “She truly lived,” than “She worked a lot.”

    Advertising

    It’s easy to say “work makes the rest of my life possible,” but how does it look in real life, and how do you put this into play in your own life?

    How it looks in real life:

    I wake up each morning, knowing that the day belongs to me. I have a schedule, but I’m not beholden to a boss or supervisor who will dock my pay or fire me if I decide the schedule doesn’t suit my mood that day. One of my priorities is my health and physical well-being, so most mornings I start my day off with a workout at the gym. Since my day is my own, I can work out without rushing, and that allows me to get to know the other members of my gym, which means it’s a social event as well.

    Then, depending on the day and what I’ve committed to, I may work with clients, do some writing for my blog, e-zine, the book I’m working on, or the other sites I write for, or read one of the several books I’m into at any given moment. Aside from scheduled meetings with clients and deadlines, I do what suits my mood the best – if I’m struggling for inspiration for my articles, I spend more time reading. If I’m in the mood to bake bread with my husband, I do. And I’ve structured my businesses so that if I want to get on a plane and fly to South America, England, or New Orleans for a weekend or a month, I can do it without a second thought and my income doesn’t change a bit.

    Advertising

    The point is, no day is completely consumed by work, it’s all flexible, and everything I do for “work” is something that I enjoy doing. If I don’t enjoy it, I either don’t do it or I find someone who does and I outsource that work to them.

    When I speak to groups, I’m often asked, “How many hours a week do you work?” Sure, just like Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek (a great book to read if you want to get another, similar perspective on this philosophy), some weeks I only work four hours. But if I’m working on a book or one of my one-on-one clients is launching his/her business, I work at least forty. Those are the extremes: most weeks I stay somewhere in the twenty to twenty five hour range. But I can tell you this: I wake up with the sun and the birds chirping, just like I did when I was a little girl. I always wake up smiling, and I love what I do.

    But I’m not that different from you. I’m not overly lucky and nothing that special has happened that made this possible for me. Virtually anyone can do this.

    Advertising

    So how can you incorporate this into your own life?

    The mindset comes first. You have to take responsibility for your life and know that it is yours to live in whatever way that you want. Think this is easy? It’s not. This can be one of the scariest things you’ll ever do. But as Seth Godin recently wrote, “the riskiest thing you can do is play it safe.” So take a risk and believe that your life belongs to you.

    Second, figure out your priorities and your goals. What’s most important to you? Are there things you want to do, places you want to see? Maybe you just want more quality time with your family, or want more time to relax- that’s okay. The point is to figure out what’s most important to you.

    Third, design a business to suit your lifestyle goals. This is the most challenging aspect of applying this philosophy, because it requires some extra knowledge- what opportunities are out there, how to repurpose what you already know and/or do, how to brand yourself and market your business. There is no one-size-fits-all solution- a business model that works for one person may not be suited to another. Your best bet, the easiest and fastest way to accomplish this, is to work with someone who has successfully made the transition themselves, who knows the opportunities out there, can help you figure out what suits you best, help you put it all together and show you the ropes.

    Finally, be prepared to work to get to the point of living the dream. I’m not going to lie to you. It rarely happens overnight. Some of my clients have transitioned into this lifestyle (what I call the “Business in Blue Jeans lifestyle”) within a month or two, while others have taken a bit longer. Some of it depends on the industry you’re in and some depends on what you’re willing to put into it and how focused you are. Because the fact is, even though you aren’t working as much or as hard as before, in this lifestyle, when you are working, you need to be really focused.

    Ultimately, the bottom line is that when you’re working for a life that you’ve designed, when you love what you’re doing and when you know that you aren’t just putting in the time, everything changes. Change the way you view work, and you’ll completely change your life.

    More by this author

    How to Hire A Web Design Firm Are You Having A Scarcity Conversation? 5 Topics To Address When Talking With Your Partner About Starting A Business How to Stay Motivated and On-Track When You’re Struggling How To Do What You Have To Do When You Don’t Feel Like Doing It

    Trending in Lifestyle

    1 The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want 2 Becoming Self-Taught (The How-To Guide) 3 5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life 4 How Many Hours of Sleep Do I Need? (What the Science Says) 5 How to Learn Yoga (The Beginner’s Guide)

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on January 21, 2020

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

    your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

      Why You Need a Vision

      Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

      Advertising

      How to Create Your Life Vision

      Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

      What Do You Want?

      The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

      It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

      Advertising

      Some tips to guide you:

      • Remember to ask why you want certain things
      • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
      • Give yourself permission to dream.
      • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
      • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

      Some questions to start your exploration:

      • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
      • What would you like to have more of in your life?
      • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
      • What are your secret passions and dreams?
      • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
      • What do you want your relationships to be like?
      • What qualities would you like to develop?
      • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
      • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
      • What would you most like to accomplish?
      • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

      It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

      Advertising

      What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

      Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

      A few prompts to get you started:

      • What will you have accomplished already?
      • How will you feel about yourself?
      • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
      • What does your ideal day look like?
      • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
      • What would you be doing?
      • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
      • How are you dressed?
      • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
      • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
      • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

      It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

      Advertising

      Plan Backwards

      It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

      • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
      • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
      • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
      • What important actions would you have had to take?
      • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
      • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
      • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
      • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
      • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

      Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

      It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

      Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

      Read Next