The last article I wrote Carpe Diem: Seize the Day, discussed how life is too short to waste doing drudgery-type work that drains your energy and makes you feel miserable – that is not a recipe for happiness. Life is too precious for that, and instead we want to be involved in things that turn us on.
Yet this is a scary concept for many people, because it may mean taking stock of your life and giving serious consideration as to whether the work you do is something that feeds you. Many people are unhappy at their job, yet they have a certain comfort level and feeling of security with it.
But if you’re not happy working for someone else, you can have all the comfort and security in the world and you will never feel appeased. You will always have an uneasy feeling gnawing at you.
And the reality is, if you’re working at a job, working for someone else, you may never feel like you’re doing what you love, because it just may not be the fullest and truest expression of who you are.
Seizing the Day is what it takes to let go of the comfort zone and to venture into the unknown.
But it’s not really an unknown, because it’s fully known: it’s who you really are. It’s living your dream and your passion, and being true to yourself.
And to get past the fear, it just takes a certain mindset.
Here are 7 things you can do right now to get past the fear and attain the mindset of being willing to do what you love:
1. Reclaim your mind.
This might seem a little strange, right? Who would think that they don’t own their own mind? The truth is that most of us live with partially free minds. We act on our intentions as long as our comfort zone is not violated. We rebel when the risk is minimal.
In order to reclaim ownership of your mind (and stop renting it out) you have to demand of yourself nothing short of a completely free, unadulterated mind. Underline this in your mind: “I won’t let anyone else have control or dictate the contents of my mind. Only I have that power.”
2. Put yourself on auto-response.
The ability of the leader to take action, despite not having a clear course, is a highly coveted skill in the entrepreneurial world. A leader takes action while others wait around for the situation to become more favorable. He has the “auto-response” of “I’ll figure it out.” When faced with a tough decision, or unclear path, he takes action instead of waiting for orders.
The more you’re able to take action despite having all the facts, the faster you’ll get results. You’ll adjust your course when you make mistakes and ultimately get there much faster than the person waiting around for the perfect plan to materialize.
All of our decisions are interconnected. A choice in our health could create an improvement in our productivity. A shift in our spiritual practice can cultivate a calm state, where your focus increases. A move toward working for yourself will dramatically impact your freedom of time and movement, and greatly improve your happiness. All of our decisions are interconnected and a smart renegade knows this. She or he tries to make high leverage holistic decisions that will have a ripple effect across all aspects of their life.
Think holistically. See how the changes in all areas of your life impact each other, not just in business, but in the areas of health, fitness, finances, mental/emotional and spirituality.
4. Question authority.
Too much skepticism will make you unbalanced, and will honestly probably turn you into a conpiracy-theory nutcase. A healthy amount of skepticism, on the other hand, is essential to working intelligently.
One of the oldest living renegades, Siddhartha Gautama (also known as the Buddha) once said, “Do not believe anything that you’ve been told, unless it agrees with your own common sense.” The same advice applies 2,000 years later. Listen to yourself first, before you listen to the experts. Test before you assume.
5. Focus on interdependency.
We all have certain communities of people or tribes that we naturally connect with and are attracted to. Seek out these people, help them, start conversations with them. These are the people that are most likely to identify with you, therefore the most likely to also support and promote your work.
Find a way to connect with influential leaders or members of your tribe today. Whether it be through sending them a message on twitter, contacting them through their blog or emailing them directly. And if you can, try to get one of these people to mentor you. It can’t hurt to ask and you’ll be surprised at how genuinely helpful some of these people can be.
6. Defrost your passion.
If you’ve been stuck in a cubicle-farm for some time, or have been in a less than ideal work situation, you’ve probably given up hope on some level. Being surrounded with people you’d rather not work with, grey walls, no windows and bad coffee tends to dampen your spirits. This dispirited condition may have progressed so far that you have trouble remembering what it’s like to be excited about your life.
That’s got to change. It’s time to reconnect with what you’re truly passionate about and wake up to the possibility that you can start making your own rules. Life doesn’t have to be a struggle of paying your dues with the occasional bit of fun. Realize that you don’t have to live in the way you think is required.
There’s obviously a certain societal value to being practical. But what’s easily overlooked is the value of being highly impractical. You have to be willing to take risks, and keep your head in the clouds to be a successful trailblazer. You have to strike a balance between having roots (practicality) and wings (innovating).
Realize that all major revolutions in the world were first seen as crazy, ridiculous and absurd. If you want to innovate, you’ll have to accept that the majority of the population will view you as a lunatic. You secretly know, though, that your level of lunacy is quite possibly your most valuable skill.
So there you have it – 7 things you can do to help you get past the fear and do what you love. Once you do so, you’ll be happier, healthier and feeling more fulfilled.