ARE YOU CHOOSING YOUR LIFE, OR WILL LIFE CHOOSE IT FOR YOU?
Depending on who you check with, they estimate that the average human being makes between six hundred to thirty-five hundred decisions each day. From what we wear, to what and where we eat, to who we call or do not call back, to what we watch or listen to, and on and on and on.
We decide what kind of car to purchase, what college to attend, what neighborhood to live in or whether to buy the blue shirt or blouse or the gray one. We determine whom to marry, what kind of entertainment to enjoy and what to have for lunch. We decide in our life every day.
Annie Dillard said it this way, “How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.”
When I reflected on this question before I penned this, it reminded me of the age-old question: is the zebra black with white stripes, or white with black stripes? There is only one answer it is both black and white.
People will spend their entire lives doing something because of a random suggestion by a friend, relative, or an influencer in their lives, or it was just possibly convenient. Perhaps they knew someone who would recommend them for the position. Next thing they know they wake up and it’s forty years later, and they have done nothing they had hopes and dreams of doing as a youth. Whatever notions of ambition they had as a kid were mere random scratches on the blackboard of life.
- The average person will spend one third of their life at work. Ninety thousand hours at work over a lifetime according to a report by Gettysburg College.
- As reported in a Business Insider article, according to the Deloitte’s Shift Index survey, 80% of workers are dissatisfied with their jobs.
- According to the American Journal of Family Therapy, those married to workaholics said in a study that they feel more estranged from their partners, and that they feel less control of their relationship.
- One third of managers in the UK are losing their sense of humor because of work according to the Quality of Working Life report from Chartered Management Institute and Workplace Health Connect.
- Nearly sixty percent of working people are becoming insomniacs because of their jobs according to the Quality of Working Life report from Chartered Management Institute and Workplace Health Connect.
- The average person spends over one hundred hours commuting to work in the US according to the US Census Bureau.
- One quarter of Americans say work is their number one source of stress according to The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
- It is estimated that stress is the fifth-biggest cause of death as reported by The Baltimore Sun.
- In Japan, hundreds of Japanese workers die every year from “karoshi,” or death by overwork. That might involve suicide or dropping dead at their desks as reported by the Associated Press.
- Nearly half of America has gained weight at their current job; 26% have gained over 10 pounds, 11% have gained over 20 according to Career Builders.
- That might not be changing for the better soon, as 40% of millennials say they “feel guilty” for using all their vacation days as reported by Randstad.
- And even when employees go on vacation, 42% of them say they feel the pressure to check in with their offices while gone, also reported by Randstad.
I have a saying that I tell people all the time, typically when they tell me about how unsatisfied they are with their work situation:
Do, what you have to do, to do what you want to do.
Most of you are not doing what you intended to be doing in your youth. Life happened, and WHAM, you are working a job you don’t like, that stresses you out (I’ve seen your emails at 9:00 PM because you were still working), for a company that will fire you in a minute (one oh crap will ruin one hundred Atta boy or girl’s), working with people you may or may not like but have no say so in the matter, possibly doing something you care less about, all so you can just scrape by for forty years, retire, and die. Never living up to the potential you were born for, life destined you to live.
A recent study by The Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows that 41% of Recent Grads Work in Jobs Not Requiring a Degree.
One of my favorite authors, Jim Rohn, has written, “if you don’t design your own life plan to be a success, chances are you will fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what someone else has planned for your success? Not much.”
So how do we design our lives to reflect who we are with what we are (GREAT)? I’m glad you finally asked.
Get a DREAM.
Most of you have a dream, or at least you think you do. But it’s really a wish. My definition of a Dream is something you live, breathe, eat, sleep, that is so big it is scary. A Dream will make you lose sleep to finish up a project you are working on at night so you can say goodbye to your day job. It is something that will keep you home at night to make it happen instead of hanging out with your friends who are not going anywhere either. It will force itself upon you and make you shut off the television, force you to do things that scare the heck out of you that you do, anyway.
So how do you discover your Dream? You must know what it is.
I have an acronym for Dream:
D- Discover it
R- Realize it
E- Envision it
M- Motivate others with it
Your Dream is something you cannot stop thinking about, it’s always on your mind, front and back. Life, and fear, stop you from believing that it is possible, along with life’s Nay Sayers. Those helpful influencers in your life who are trying to protect you. Truth is they just want company.
Get the right people on the bus, and the wrong ones off it.
Humans will follow the path of least resistance. Change is scary. It is hard. But it is essential to living an authentic life, following your Dream, and being true to your purpose.
“anybody can have butterflies in their stomach. The trick is to get them to fly in formation”.
To discover your Dream, you must select a Dream that will align with your Purpose without bending to make it fit. Your Purpose is why you are here. Your Dream is what you will do with the life it has blessed you with. For help discovering your Purpose download my Seven Days to Discovering Your Purpose here:https://www.josephbinning.com/product-category/lessons/
You already know what your Dream is, you just need to ask yourself why you have it and what am I going to do with it?
Many are called, yet few will answer. Realize that there is more to life than working someplace for someone who does not care for, or about you. Making a product that you can care less about, with people you may or may not like, for people you do not even know.
Job stands for “Just Over Broke” which is all it will keep you. You can do better. Realize you were born for something greater than what you have accepted as normal and believe it.
It sounds simple but seeing in your mind how you want your life to be, and the surrounding life around you, is an enormously powerful tool. Too many times we can lose sight of our vision by taking our focus off our Dream and focus on the “noise” around us. That is why in the working force only 3% do not rely on someone else for a paycheck. 97% of the working force have a wish. Only 3% have a Dream.
Always focus on the Dream and not the person. It’s not about you, it’s about the Dream. Having a Dream is not a spectator sport, it requires participation. You can tell the size of a persons Dream, by how little it takes to take it away. Live the Dream. Understand the Dream and its larger purpose. Let the world see your Dream threw you.
Julius Caesar once said, “If you want to take the island, burn the boats”. Do whatever it takes to make your Dream possible and do not give up. Not only will you be giving up on your Dream, but you will also give up on yourself.
Motivate others with it
Make the Dream “feel” special to others. They will not remember what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel. What makes your dream different and why would people want to be a part of yours?
Is it a rite of passage, or a tribal identity?
Energize your commitment to the Dream by staying true to the purpose of the Dream.
Remember, the center of gravity is found by moving forward, not standing still.
Last, live the Dream.
Understand it, believe in it, articulate it, and sell the Dream.
The larger purpose of the dream and the specific tasks of the Dream need to fulfill the larger purpose of the Dream.
Ensure the purpose of the Dream align with your behavior, values, decisions, and language.
I have always known my life’s Purpose was to tell people all people, that You Matter. In my upcoming book You Matter, even if you do not think so I do just that. Why? Because it is my Dream to live in a world where we no longer look at skin color, station in life, or popularity. Where every voice is heard, especially those who think theirs do not because they have been told so by so many for so long. Where we all can stop and quiet the noise, be still, and see the genuine beauty around us. Where every child can know that they can be anything they will work at in life and that they are not victims, but warriors. Warriors for good.
Won’t you join me? The world needs you and your Dream. Now take a chance and jump in the water. We are all waiting for you.