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Saturday, June 9, 2012

You have already seen too much

Since my teenaged years as a student and semi-athlete at Bay View High school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I frequently dealt with long, painful headaches.  The headaches were so painful that I would sometimes miss school, because I could not deal with them.  Besides getting these obnoxious headaches, I would lose energy and feel fatigued daily.  That was surprising because I played basketball almost every single day and my energy on the basketball court was my uniqueness.  Nonetheless, I went to the doctor multiple times from high school throughout college to detect any medical ailment that was causing my fatigue and headaches.

As I got into graduate school, first at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, TN, my headaches continued.  One of my professors for an educational administration course would irritate me with her lessons and lectures.  We did a lot of group work in that class, and my peers annoyed me to the point that my head hurt.  I escaped that class with an A despite missing several class meetings.

It seemed that my headaches were slowly dissipating until I became a full-time special education teacher at a local Memphis City Schools high school.  My first year was enjoyable, but there was so much paperwork to do that I physically suffered.  I took this for about two years as I quit my boring teaching career to pursue my own business.  Miraculously my headaches disappeared as I developed time to exercise, eat well, pray, think, and spend quality time with my family.

Dan Miller, popular author and speaker of 48 Days to Work you Love fame, stated the obvious in his recent podcast... that once you become self-employed or an entrepreneur, it becomes very difficult to return to the workforce as an employee.

"You've already seen too much." whispered Dan in his ominous tone.

As an academic scholar and debate coach, I usually find a way to reject or refute bold statements such as this.  But, Dan Miller is 100 percent correct.  Once you attract your first customer, your perspective on life and work changes.  The first $100 I earned through my online writing service literally opened my eyes as I was being paid to do something I would do for free.  To be able to do something you love doing and to get paid by your talent and service is truly remarkable.  In my perspective, that is the true American Dream.

As I recognize our history in this nation, I look at all the people who have achieved success on their own accord, doing what they wanted to do through creating the type of business and work they desired.  The late great Steve Jobs was once voted as the worst CEO of the decade during his first stint with Apple.  After doing some soul-searching and succeeding in an interim opportunity, Jobs regained his former position but with a newly reinvented purpose and passion.  He began to treat people well, and quickly shed his poor leadership reputation as he was then voted a decade later as one of the best CEOs of the decade.

From Jay-Z to Oprah to million of small business owners, there is nothing that is holding you back from success except you.  You do not have to start a business to be successful.  You can be an employee and reach success and true holistic happiness.  However, that employer has to provide you a perfect match of your abilities, values, and dreams.  How many employers are dedicated to actually helping their employees in their pursuit of happiness?  How many Fortune 500 companies hire based on personality traits, optimism, goals, values, dreams, and skill set?

A college degree is not about finding a job.  A college education is about finding yourself.  By knowing who you are, you can find or create work you love now.  I recognize that my own headaches and migraines were caused by my own extraordinary energy and effort necessary to fulfill the needs of my job.  If I throughly enjoyed teaching, my health would have been great.  I would have had life-work balance.  See success if not about money.  Money is a part of success, but you have to be happy in order to truly succeed.  Your health, your spirituality, your interpersonal relationships, your family, your intelligence, and your emotions have to be focused upon to reach true holistic happiness.

Honestly, I do not know what you are going through.  Perhaps, you may not have a health problem, but if someone were to ask you if you were truly happy in every area of your life, how would you respond?  If you hesitated to answer that in your mind, you know that you deserve better.

Stop procrastinating, what are your dreams?  What is stopping you from pursuing your dreams?  Are you working a full-time, boring, repetitive job that drains all of your physical, mental, and creative energy?  If so, you know what needs to be done so you can be your authentic self and find peace and success.  Align your goals, dreams, skills, and values with work you would love doing.

Companies are old, stagnant, and stubborn.  That is why you should utilize the creative job search process to create or find work that is authentic to you.  Only by doing work that is authentic to you, will you be able to achieve holistic success and happiness.  Imagine that you are earning six figures in a corporate job that requires you to work long, stressful hours in order to receive that type of pay.  Is it worth it?

Mark 8:36

What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?

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