You’ve Quit Your Job. Now What?
Don’t panic. You didn’t fuck everything up and throw your life away. You haven’t just made the biggest mistake of your life. There’s no use falling into a pit of despair because guess what? It’s done. No turning back.
Your life can now fork into one of two roads: 1) go down a productivity death spiral in a puddle of your own guilt and slovenliness, feelings of self-pity and self-doubt causing you to consume unhealthy doses of Netflix originals OR 2) go up a rich, vibrant path filled with radically different experiences and receive personal growth as a byproduct of a newfound, widened worldview.
To go down the first path, I would stop reading this now because you’re wasting precious time you could otherwise be spending catching up on Season x of House of Cards.
To go up the second path — because it’s an inclined one — keep reading.
- Have a vision (the mountain) — Imagine your dream to be the summit of a mountain. It’s a really steep and challenging mountain. That’s why it’s a dream. But if you are to succeed, you need to realize that the mountain exists, find out where it’s located, get an idea of its terrain, and gather what tools you’ll need to get you up (and back down) that mountain.
- Create the path (find the trail) — Most dreams are unique because people are unique. But most life paths are not unique because most people lack the creativity to envision a lifestyle different from paths the majority of others embark on. Most people lack courage, lack the resources to seek their unique path. Most people give their authority away to those they perceive as authority figures. But you’re not most people because you’re reading this post. You’ve gone and done it. And now you’re wading in the nebula of uncertainty trying to create sense out of the chaos that is your unleashed life. The truth is, if you are to be true to pursuing your unique dream, you will need to take the initiative to forge your own path. Because if it’s unique, chances are, not many else have done it before you so there’s no guidebook. The good news is, you’ll quickly become a leader. And the more small successes you pile into your pedigree, the more you’ll be able to trust in yourself as your own authority, the more you’ll be comfortable in relying on your own judgment. The important thing in this step is to forge the path and just do it. You have the summit in sight and now you gotta just take the steps toward it. No use in spending precious mental and emotional energy debating with yourself whether you should start or not because there’s a bush in your way. Or maybe you don’t even know if you want to go up this particular mountain because the other one looks just as juicy. But, no, wait, maybe this one because it’s a bigger payoff at the summit. No, wait but it’s a lot harder. Stop. Here’s a tip for you — stop wasting your time over-analyzing and just do it. Do it or you’ll never start.
- Persist — Aesop’s fable tells of the turtle that wins the race, not the hare. Why? Because the turtle has persistence. It moves at its own pace, firmly placing one foot ahead of the other, never losing sight of its goal. The hare has speed. Yet in its overconfidence, it easily gets distracted and loses sight of both the turtle and the goal. ’Cause you know, maybe it saw a squirrel. Who cares if you retire by 35 or if you retire by 95? If you, like the turtle, spend the time enjoying the journey, breathing the fresh air, appreciating the nice trees while strolling ever forward toward your finish line, then who cares if a hare zips by you, taunts you, and makes the whole thing out to be a competitive race rather than a path to be fully enjoyed? Ignore those hares. Be the turtle.
- Be patient and trust in your plan — Successful people play for the late-game gains, not the instant gratification. Successful people have plans, goalposts, and measuring sticks. The sweat you put in now may not pay off in the time you hope it will, or the summit may be further from reach than expected, but as long as you have a map and follow rule #3, you will reach that summit.
- Everything else is a distraction — If the opportunity that presents itself does not lend to your forward movement toward the summit of your goals, it’s a distraction and it’s the squirrel to your hare. It’s your choice how strict you are with enforcing this rule, but some hardcore dreamers go so far as to forgo their social or romantic lives in pursuit of the summit, unless of course your summit involves bringing along a select ‘other people’.
No one can tell you how to live your life. True authority resides inward. You can tap into that authority by following and trusting in your intuition. This is what’s going to show you what that mountain is, where the map is, what tools you’ll need, and so on — if you’re listening carefully. The only way to succeed on your journey is to actually begin doing it, being totally fine not knowing the end result. Because no matter how many failures you have, there’s only one action that guarantees true failure — inaction. If you fail to change, you flat out fail. Succeed in taking charge of your life and changing yourself and your circumstances, and you win. You win in the eyes of the only person who matters — your own.
Boom. Good luck.