It is not an easy world in which we live.
I have so many clients coming to see me telling me of the long hours and stressful jobs that they have. And I sympathise because I was the same once upon a time.
Today I will tell you a bit about my story, not to gloat, not to tell you how great my life is, but in the hope that in the same way I managed to change my life around, maybe you can too. And so if this is something that you are experiencing in life, I hope that this blog will give you the confidence to do the same.
When we are born, we need our parents to take care of us and teach us how to survive. This is the same in every culture and every animal species.
So we copy them and do as we are told.
Then we go to school and we are told we have to obey the school rules, work hard and get to the top of the class.
If we do we are praised and told how good we are. It makes us feel good.
If we don’t we are chastised and made to feel bad.
And this goes on throughout our lives, constantly being told what to do and pressurized into doing things that we probably don’t even like.
But ‘hey ho’, we tell ourselves. This is life and we have to do what we are told which also means sacrificing our happiness if we are told to do so.
But one day we will be adults and be free, we think to ourselves.
But we are wrong!
We get a job. We sign a contract which says that we will do a certain job and we will receive a salary in return for doing so. And as we need money to live, we sign that contract and then we are back to the same scenario, someone telling us once again what to do!
And this is fine if you absolutely love your job and you have a good employer who respects your time and doesn’t burden you with excessive work, but many employers know that you are desperate for the money and will squeeze every penny out of you that they can.
So many people are made to work long hours under stressful conditions, where budgets and targets are put into place that you need to reach.And if you don’t reach them, you are chastised once again, just like you were at school and praised if you reach them.
And because we still have this ingrained mentality of doing what we are told by those above us, we continue to do it.
A part of us still hasn’t realized that we are adults now and we are free to think and do whatever we please. And so we continue to let other people dictate our lives.
And so many people wake up on Monday mornings thinking the weekend was simply not long enough. They dread the week ahead of them and only look forward to the next weekend or their next vacation. This means that they are wishing away most of the precious time they have on this planet. Is this really a healthy way to think?
If this resonates with some of you, I know what it feels like. I have been there myself.
But I have always had a problem with people telling me what to do. It annoys me and it is the reason I never did very well at school. Tell me to do something nowadays I won’t. Ask me kindly, however, and I will go above and beyond the call of duty to help you.
So when I found myself working 10 hour days in a stressful city job and having little control over my life, I decided to get out, drop my career and take back some sort of control.
I became an English teacher. Why? Because I knew that I would just get a schedule, walk into a classroom and wouldn’t really have to take orders from anyone. Also, I wouldn’t have to work more than 25 hours a week, (or so I thought until I realised I had to do lesson plans before each class!!)
When I started to teach English, I enjoyed it because I had a lot more freedom. I was also living in Thailand where they were screaming out for English teachers and desperate to keep good ones, so I never had to worry about job security. I could leave my job anytime and comfortably walk into a new job the following week if I wanted. So I knew if ever my employers gave me a hard time and piled on the hours I could just walk out of there and get a better job with ease.
I enjoyed the work, but I didn’t love it and because of the term times and the salary, it meant it was difficult to return back to the UK to see my family every year. I needed to earn more and be able to take more time off if I wanted to have more freedom and spend more time back home..
So I started to formulate a plan on how I could do this.
I sat down one day and imagined my dream job.
Travelling the world, working 4-5 hours a day, doing a job I loved, staying in the best hotels in the world and being able to choose when and where I worked. I would be able to take breaks whenever I wished and spend quality time with my family whenever I wanted to.
Before, I was always terrified of being self-employed. I needed the security of a monthly salary and didn’t think I could ever work for myself.
But one day I had an idea to set up a spa and hotel training company and the more I thought about it the more excited I became. I threw caution to the wind and did it.
For the first time ever, I became my own boss. I doubled my income immediately and found myself working 2 full days a week instead of 5.
The sense of freedom I had from that, being my own boss, making my own teaching schedule and telling managers at hotels what hours I would be working rather than them telling me, was ‘heaven’.
It was that taste of freedom which made me realise I could never work for anyone else again.
It was a huge boost to my confidence and happiness and it made me realise I could do anything I wanted to if I tried.
It was this confidence in myself that allowed me to put my master plan into operation and start to carve out my dream life. And that’s what I did.
These days, I do the job that was once an impossible dream 12 years ago. I am my boss, I decide where and when I work, when I take time out to go home and spend it with my family, which hotel I will stay at and for how long. I am happy with the money that I earn and I get to travel and stay in some of the best hotels in the world for free. In fact, I don’t stay for free…they pay me!! 🙂
I love my life, most of all the fact that I am the one who calls the shots. I work alongside hotel and spa managers, not under them or above them. Yes, there are certain common sense rules that apply and I am happy to follow them, but that’s about it as far as being told what to do.
What I am trying to say is this. You don’t have to do what other people tell you to do. You can make your own rules up in life and live by them rather than doing what other people tell you. You don’t have to be a slave to the corporate wheel that would replace you in a week if you dropped down dead tomorrow.
You don’t have to be particularly bright or brave to go off on your own and start up your own business, but you do have to be persistent, have a dream and never give up. And most of all, understand that living your life by your own rules and on your own terms is a choice. You can do it if you chose to.
So if you are tired of people telling you what to do, take off the shackles of your childhood and take control of the reigns. Your life can be full of so much freedom and happiness when you do. Change your focus and you can change your whole life.
…food for thought 😊