Call me New Fashion but I’m done with the “W2-sit-in-your-cubicle-and-pluck-away-at-your-keyboard" jobs. It's hard for me to comprehend how some people choose to carry out work they find meaningless for 40 (plus) hours a week their whole lives.
I recently finished my one year graduate's program at UCSD and quit my job to not only travel across Europe by myself, but also devote this time off towards figuring out what I truly want. I continued my full time job while going to school and promised myself I would be gone once I finished my graduate program.
Some of the responses I received around the workplace after people heard about me leaving were “I wish I could do that but I’m not rich or lucky enough like you” or “I wish I could do that but I have to pay my mortgage” or “I wish I could do that but I don't have that option.” I’m here to debunk all those responses:
“I wish I could do that but I’m not rich or lucky enough like you”:
I usually get this response a lot and it’s probably my biggest pet peeve. I will say however - I am lucky enough to have an angel of a mother, who spoiled me with her unconditional love while working her ass off to give my sister and I the best world she could under the circumstances of my father’s passing.
I’ll also say that I am fortunate enough to have had a father who left us a house to live in after he died. But possessions do not define who I am. I would choose to go broke, trade in my house, and give up my so called “riches” any day of the damn week if it meant having my father back in my life. But those were not the cards I was dealt with.
It wasn’t until recently that I realized I don’t care about making money my number one priority. Yes, it would be nice to have but I’m not here to waste my life making a paycheck.
To everyone out there living to survive or doing something that makes them unhappy, try to re-evaluate and make necessary changes. The least you can do is follow your passion on the side until you get to a point of mastery where you can replace your W2 job with your passion.
Yes, it’s possible. You just have to make a decision – that’s the most difficult part. Finding what you love and making a decision to work at it every day, pushing yourself through obstacles and improving on your craft like you’re possessed. Anticipate haters and be strong enough to accept rejection. As long as you have a vision and it makes sense to you, then you’re biggest challenge is yourself.
I can't sit here and tell you I have all this success in my life because I haven't accomplished anything remotely close to what I label success. But what I strongly believe, with all my heart, is that everyone should pursue their true purpose which is why it's crushing to see people with so much potential settle for mediocrity.
I haven't found my calling but seeing people who are doing great things in life motivates me to never stop searching until I find it because once I get there, I can dedicate my life to it.
“I wish I could do that but I have to pay my mortgage”:
No, you need to sacrifice. I don’t have the obligation of paying a mortgage but I would never buy a house until I was at that point in my life where I could. However, if you sit there and tell me you’ve been enslaved to your 9 – 5 job because of your mortgage…all I hear is an excuse.
As I stated, the least you can do is use your time outside of work to follow your heart and build a future based on your passion until you reach a point where your passion takes over. Another option is applying to jobs more aligned with your ambitions. The goal is to always build towards a future you dream of.
I don’t know if it’s possible to get out of a mortgage but if it were my choice I would drop the mortgage and follow my dreams. Less is more. You’re probably thinking “where would I live though?” – all I can say is some of the most affluent and successful people in the world made their achievements following what they believe in even when they were dead broke and poverty stricken.
For example, “The Weeknd” who is probably the most successful music artist out right now, played all over Toronto while he was homeless and living on the streets of downtown Toronto. I’m not saying the goal here is to become a bum, but in order to pursue your passions sometimes you have to make sacrifices for a certain period of time in order to have a brighter future.
Look to people of proven success. Everyone in life has been somewhere more difficult than you and still succeeded. The internet is filled with information and stories that will inspire you and show you possibilities you probably never dreamed of.
“I wish I could do that but I don't have that option”:
Let me give you a general mood of my workplace right now – there’s always work to do, barely enough people to do it, and great expectations by management.
I just overheard our head director walking by each team member’s desk asking “are you all caught up with your queue?” and each member expressing how “they’re working on it” when in reality the answer is most likely “no, I’m not…I’m actually really behind and if you expect me and the rest of this team to finish all this work under your terms then you're delusional because we are not robots.”
But I digress… In reality, the team members I’ve been privileged to build relationships with are hard working people who really pump out more numbers than I've ever done. But then again I gave up on performing highly a long time ago.
I just got to a point where I have no motivation to perform for someone who tries to instill fear, expect more, and tell me I can do better while barely showing appreciation or compensation for hard work I have already put in.
My mentor once told me I need to shift my mindset - less about what I get out of things and more about how I can help people or a greater cause. Although I agree with this sentiment, at what point do you draw the line when someone is taking advantage of you or when you no longer believe in the cause?
To my companies defense, we are short handed and lost a handful of people this past year but that piece of evidence may or may not have just backed my whole argument.
If I were to judge the coworkers I’ve grown to know based on their character and commitment they bring to work, they’re all worth at least 6 figures from a financial standpoint – they’re good people who do the best they can and I would trust them as my employees if I ever owned my own business. I just wish they would take a leap of faith on themselves because they deserve more.
I’m not saying the past 3 years were a waste because I would be lying. I earned a steady income, learned a lot, built relationships I value, put myself through school, and grew into a person who see’s much more to life because of my time here.
I am appreciative of the opportunity I have had, but my message is mainly for those who see it one way, realize how short life is – why spend the rest of it behind a cubicle doing work that means nothing to you? Some people are perfectly content with what they’re doing maybe even passionate about it and that is totally fine but I just really hope it’s what they want and don’t realize too late in life that there’s a whole world with room for everyone to do what they love.
Many things inspire me but I recently heard Jim Carey's Commencement Speech which really resonated with me. His wise words gave me a push to take a risk on myself and become more involved in experimenting with my own life. I leave you with his story:
"My father could have been a great comedian, but he didn't believe that was possible for him. So, he made a conservative choice and instead he got a job as an accountant. When I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. Our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which is that you can fail at what you don't want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love. - Jim Carey"
- Anthony Awadalla
*RECENTLY PUBLISHED ON ELITE DAILY*