Two years ago I left my corporate job in London to start my own business.
It had been a dream of mine for years and I had counted down the days until I could hand in my resignation – a symbol of all the hard work, saving and sacrifice that I had put into making that day a reality.
I was literally working seven days a week for two years just to be able to start enjoying my life.
Looking back, it seems crazy.
The problem was – and I had no idea at the time – I didn’t actually want any of what I had worked so hard for.
I had thought about the kind of life I wanted – one of freedom, autonomy and adventure – but I was a slave to my laptop, working around the clock day in, day out.
I cared about my health and wellbeing, yet I was stressed to the eyeballs and unable to switch off enough to enjoy the moment and be present. I was working my arse off to ‘achieve’ a life that I already had. I had just been working too damn hard to realise it.
And it was all passing me by.
I was already living the life I dreamed of but I was missing it because of the manic workload I had bestowed upon myself. No one else had done it – I had only myself to blame.
I didn’t need to start an elaborate business in order to work towards my perfect future – it was already here and now, and if I didn’t slow down I was going to miss it completely.
This is the moment that I realised I wasn’t living in alignment with my Why.
In fact, I was pretty much as far away as I could be, but I could bring it back with a few changes. Namely, that involved closing my business and letting myself unwind from the chronic stress I’d been under.
For you, it might be completely different. It might involve a career change, a relationship ending or setting off on that trip you’ve been putting off.
It might be as simple as picking up an old hobby again or as complicated as changing the way you think about a certain issue in your life. Or choosing to put yourself first again.
It’s really easy to come up with the dream of how you think you would like your life to look, but the hard part is when that dream comes true. Then you might see that maybe you didn’t want it after all – and, holy crap – what the hell am I supposed to do now?!
If you find yourself in this situation it can feel like the end of the world, but I can assure you it’s not.
It’s just the beginning. Now you’ve got that moment out of the way you can really get down to the nitty-gritty.
Honesty. The truth.
There comes a turning point (some may call it rock bottom) when you feel as if you can’t go on living the way you’ve been living and believe it or not this is a good thing. You now have a chance to rebuild your life to focus on the things that really matter.
When you realise this the feeling of relief should only be outdone by the excitement for what lies ahead.
And of course a little trepidation. That’s normal. Anything that’s worth having doesn’t come easy but at least you know you’re now on the right path and that you’re living life for the real you.
For me, life looks a lot different these days.
Those days of working ’round the clock on something I didn’t ultimately care about are a distant memory. And while it’s not always easy, I’m finding it to be incredibly rewarding focusing my finite energy on the things that matter to me. Writing. Being a parent. Travel. Learning. Doing my bit for the planet.
I have no doubt you will get there too.
Surrender to the process and if in doubt ask yourself is this the life I really want? Am I living in alignment with my Why?
Just remember – the easy part is asking the question, the difficulty comes in truly listening to the answer.
If you can do that, you’re well on your way to living life in alignment with your Why.