Every now and again, I find myself having to take a deeper look at why I'm doing what I'm doing. Memories of my old life start to fade and I wonder whether it was really all that bad.
Sometimes, I have to tell you, I question the point of it all. I question the validity of what I’m doing. I question whether it really matters that people do work they love and that I encourage you to keep going after the life you dream of.
But if I close my eyes and let myself go back to that time in my life, these are the things I remember:
I remember how difficult it was to wake up and get out of bed in the morning.
I remember the twisted feeling in my chest arriving at the office.
I remember how annoyed I got at printing out thousands of pieces of paper for "important" meetings that would, a few hours later, end up in the bin.
I remember sitting through business meetings and just not being able to see the bigger picture of what it was all for.
I remember the exhaustion of the gossip between some people in the office.
I remember dreading handing any work over to my manager. There was always something wrong with what I'd done.
I remember the constant feeling of being "found out" for being terrible at my job. I had that feeling in every office job I ever had despite, honestly, being ridiculously good at my job.
I remember feeling so unbelievably awkward at the company parties and offsites in fancy locations that just weren’t…me.
I remember not being able to relax whilst on holiday because of the anxiety of what I'd be faced with when I returned.
I remember the feeling of relief on a Friday evening but then followed with immediate feeling of it being nearly Monday and having to do it all over again.
I remember how much I HATED (and oh my goodness, I really, truly hated this) having to organise meetings involving at least 20 people, going to the ends of the earth to align calendars only for the meeting to be cancelled last minute and having to start all over again. (All people in administrative roles the world over will feel my pain on that one.)
I remember coming home and desperately searching Google for answers to my life. The only thing I found was mounting frustration.
I remember the feeling of "I'm more than this. I'm meant for more than this."
Of course, there are good memories too. But all those good memories are to do with the people, not the work I was doing.
So whenever I'm doubting what I'm doing. Doubting its use. Doubting its validity. I think back and remember those feelings. Because they were real. And they were painful.
And at the end of the day, I can't deny what's true today:
I wake up early without an alarm.
99% of the time I can’t wait to get out of bed and get at it.
I don’t dread looking at my emails.
I feel unbelievably free.
I work harder and longer than I ever have before and love it. I don't need a holiday because work fills me up instead of draining me of all I have.
I’ve developed so many new skills I can’t even count.
I feel ALIVE.
I feel as though I’m contributing something more worthwhile to the people and world around me whilst I’m here.
My life is full of meetings and encounters with fascinating people and wondrous experiences.
And then I finally get to this:
I do this because I can’t not.
I do this because this whole thing about freedom and living your life in a way that feels good to you is IN me.
I do this because my short life feels really very long when I'm doing work I hate.
I do this because I believe I'm a better person for everyone when I'm doing work I love. I believe we're all better for each other when we're doing work we love.
I do this because it feels good.
I do this because I feel it's my responsibility to explore my potential.
I do this because if I ever have children I want them to see they get to choose how to live their life and that they don't have to conform any idea of what other people think is right or good or better.
I do this because writing these words makes the tears bubble up inside me and I feel the WHY behind it all in a way I might never be able to express with words.
I do this because I have (we ALL have) this incredible opportunity that's called life. An opportunity to feel and love and laugh and experience to unbelievable degrees of amazingness and I want to feel and experience as much as I can.
I do this because it gives me a sense of being something bigger.
I do this because it's fun and I want my life to be fun.
What about you?
- Why are you doing this?
- Why do you care about what you care about?
- What does it mean to you?
If you ever find yourself questioning the point of the path, as I sometimes do, come back to your why. Dig deep into that. Right in there, inside that why, you'll rediscover all your power and strength.
Love and courage,