The best thing that ever happened to me was getting fired from my last job. I was burnt out. I was in full-speed mode from the time I graduated college in 2011 until 2017. Suddenly, it occurred to me that my work dissatisfaction was affecting my personal life. The time that I spent laser focused on climbing the corporate ladder was time that I lost living. In the midst of all the Excel Spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations I lost myself. I forgot what I enjoyed doing, and how to have fun. My sights were set on a personal goal to make a six figure salary before I turned 30, and I remained blind to everything else.
Dead on Arrival
So, I quit my sexy job at The Walt Disney Company with nothing lined up. However, I was in the process of interviewing with Google and Lyft. I thought that I would land a spot in the coveted tech industry, but after many interview rounds I was left without an offer. I took the first offer that I got with Farmer’s Insurance. I was given a fancy job title and a six figure salary with a bonus. It sounded promising, however, deep inside I was scared. I really didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, and I knew I was not ready for the corporate grind yet.
The perfect storm of corporate bureaucracy, untimely co-worker departures, and my stubbornness was created. The cool job title was a facade for the same grunt work which was the reason I left my last job. I had enough, so I decided to have a difficult conversation with my manager about how I felt about my job. I discussed how the budgeting work which was pushed upon me was the type of work that I explicitly denounced during my interview process. My request was for this work to be taken off my plate in exchange for a greater focus on projects that I had taken on. One week later, I was let go.
Best Life Freedom
There are not many times in your life when you can stay up as late as you want and wake up whenever. In short, freedom is amazing. It allows you to relax, and conform to your own routine. You can live your best life without corporate shackles. Being free allowed me to be outside and connect with nature. In addition, I got a chance to find myself. I now had the time to think. During this time I was able to find what was truly important to me.
I realized that chasing money was not the solution to my problem. I came to the understanding that happiness comes first. Living an unhappy life is not a life worth living. There are happy people with no money living in a cardboard box. Moreover, making six figures against your will is not the solution. A balance needs to exist between your source of income and your source of life satisfaction.
During my temporary retirement I was able to clear my mind and find a focus. With a renewed approach to life I decided that balance would be the foundation of my future. The race of life is not a sprint to see who can finish first even though we are trained through our education to win and be first. On the contrary, the game of life is more like a marathon. Life is an endurance race.
A life consists of balance between money and happiness over the long term. Short term decisions can have a negative result on the overall experience of life. By focusing on the long term game you can reduce stress, enjoy your work, and enjoy your life. I began living again. With my energy refocused and a new goal in mind I felt refreshed. I started a blog, began planning for an entrepreneurial pursuit, and I searched for jobs that better suited my personality.
It’s time that we stop working and start living. As said by Dave Matthews Band, “Life is short but sweet for certain. We climb on two by two. To be sure these days continue.” Don’t spend your life following someone else’s dream and definition of success. Determine what is important to you and follow your own path even if it is the road less traveled.