Don’t Quit Your Job

Don’t do it.

Instead, ask yourself if you really know what your dream is.

If you do, and if you can see it play out in your mind’s eye like a movie, then go. Chase it, be overcome by it, and pave your journey in accordance with it. I wish you God speed.

But if you don’t, then keep reading.

There is a fine line, often blurred in the sand, between being inspired by someone else’s dream and following one of your own to manifest. There is an even finer line in building the blocks to your dream, and it’s all a delicate process that asks for time, patience, and trust.

I’ll give you some context. When I started writing and teaching yoga, I believed that my corporate office job didn’t fall in line with this new lifestyle, because how would I ever have enough courage and freedom to travel the world, teach, and write underneath bodhi trees and temple ruins? So, I quit. In one fell swoop, I burned a bridge to an income and severed ties with managers and colleagues who were none the worse for decent company. With a perception that I was now free as a bird to fly the world over, I took a step outside and was instantaneously hit with the reality: I have no idea what I want to do, and I certainly have no means of getting there. Much sooner than later, I was broke, stuck, and depressed.

My story is common. It’s even more common for us millennials who seek that thrill and adventure, and honestly? Who doesn’t? All of us, at one point or another, have read articles that inspired us to quit everything and pack up a suitcase and hope our passports were current. I love that inspiration! I love the goosebumps I get when I read stories of people who’ve done that, who’ve stepped out into that unknown and explored it with all of their shaky might. But those moments equaled their dreams, not my own.

I realized, and I’m inviting you to realize, as well, that what inspires us doesn’t have to be a part of our big plan. Someone’s take-off writing career doesn’t have to force us to uproot our own life so that we’ll maybe start to live “the dream” in a faraway country, because it’s adventurous. Leaving the life that you’ve created now is only beautiful when you leave to go towards something, not when you leave to escape from something.

The hardest part is building the dream, but it’s also incredibly simple when we stop making it so rigid. Dreams are fluid; they are limitless. So, in order to have one, we have to abandon control and manipulation over it. What lights you up? What gives you goosebumps when you do it? What would you continue to do if you never got paid a single dime for it? And then go do that, both with passion and reality. Allow your dream to uplift your spirit and soul, but also let it tether you to the ground so that you never lose your footing. Because in order to truly stand in what makes you ridiculously happy, you have to honor that balance only works in the middle on equal scales.

And please don’t quit. Your dreams can never be tarnished by what you do for survival. Having a job and earning money, especially when done in areas that are far from what you’d like to do, are still vital for you. Your job doesn’t define you, but it does allow you to keep your dream reachable. And honestly? Let’s be real. Money is money. You need it, you’re worthy of making it, and it’s OK to want it. Dreams are beautiful, but they also cost. Don’t let the logical side of manifesting what you want keep you from forgetting the basics.

A job is, after all, just a job. Go to work. Put in your hours, even if it sometimes feels like a slow death. But then go home and be with your dream. Give it attention and time and effort. Do it because you absolutely couldn’t wait for the workday to be over to do it. I’m a strong believer that, eventually, through this dedication, your dream grows and strengthens and your vision for it similarly aligns. And eventually, space begins to open up in your life where you can finally take that step that inspired you so long ago in others, but this time, it’s your step. And it will feel right, never scary. And it won’t feel like a risk. On the contrary, it will feel more right than anything ever has.