Go to college. Get a job that pays well and offers good benefits. Do that thing forever until you die.
Ok, that’s a bit of an exaggeration of advice I have heard often. Nevertheless, many people of older generations live by this advice and see it as the only way. You see the world through your elders’ eyes until you figure out there are alternatives.
I want to do more than just one thing for the rest of my life. I want the freedom to decide what those things will be and how to do them.
I mentioned in my last video that I used to teach preschool. In June of this year I left that position voluntarily because I came to find that it wasn’t what I wanted to be doing.
Don’t get me wrong, I love helping children grow into happy and healthy individuals. That part was nice.
However, there were some aspects of the job that didn’t necessarily align with my values or help me live by those values. I woke up at 4:30am daily to get in some meditation, exercise, and a healthy breakfast. The commute was about an hour each way. I couldn’t use the bathroom when I needed to, which discouraged me from staying hydrated. The environment was a bit toxic. I went to bed at 8:30pm daily. I really didn’t have much of a life outside of work and my commute. Oh, and I can’t forget the lesson planning.
I think there’s a lot of work we need to do in the education/child care field if we want our children to be well taken care of, educated intelligently by happy and healthy teachers, all at an affordable price for families. I just realized that this wasn’t the fight I wanted to fight during my time here on earth.
I took some time to really “speak with my intuition” and find out what I really wanted. I discovered what I really wanted to do was help people be more mindful, reduce animal suffering on this planet, promote a healthy lifestyle, and enjoy my day to day life.
So I quit.
I saved two and a half months worth of money and I quit.
Many people would recommend saving for much more money than that before one quits a job without having another lined up. Perhaps 6 months worth or even a year. Perhaps more! The more you can save, the better.
I chose to leave the position when I did because I just knew in my gut it was time. I think I made a good decision.
It’s scary to even think about leaving a job that you’ve been doing for years or a job that is safe, predictable, maybe even comfortable in a sense, and puts food on the table.
However, for me it was scarier to imagine being at that job that didn’t serve me for even a month more.
I knew that I would find a way to create income while doing something that was healthier and more in line with my values.
Almost immediately after quitting my job, I had an idea to create a product that would help promote daily mindfulness. It was something that I was looking for, that I couldn’t find anywhere. So I made it!
I worked on this product during July and August. During these two months I also spent a lot of time with friends and family. And I searched for a more appropriate job because my funds were quickly running out.
I looked into several different positions and applied to the ones that would allow me the time and flexibility I wanted to be able to work on my mindfulness project.
I settled into a nannying job that requires less of a commute, less hours per week, and only $100 less a month than I was used to at the preschool. Perfect!
I now work Monday through Thursday, 11am-6pm, and am loving it.
I get up around 6 or 7am. I meditate, journal, exercise, make breakfast, spend a little time with the cat and my boyfriend. I do some work on my projects, listen to music, and I head to work.
When I return from work, I have dinner, spend some time with my cat and my boyfriend, maybe go for a walk, watch a show, do some more work or read, have some tea, and get to bed by 10 or 11. And Thursday is my Friday so I have all day Friday to work on my projects, work on the house, see family and friends, whatever. It is a dream come true.
I’m sharing this because everyone should be so lucky to have time to actually enjoy life and do work that is personally meaningful.
Some resources that helped me quit my 9-5 job and come to this new lifestyle include: The Lively Show (podcast), The Rich Roll Podcast, The Smart Passive Income Podcast, “The Four Hour Workweek” by Tim Ferriss (book), “Linchpin” by Seth Godin (book), and “Essentialsim” by Greg McKeown (book).
Now I’m not saying that I’m going to try to sustain this exact routine and position for years to come. I’m working on building financial independence so that I can use all of my time to (as stated above) help people be more mindful, live healthier, reduce animal suffering, and enjoy my day to day life. But I am certainly content with this life while I strive for more. A tricky balance to strike that takes daily reflection and focus.
What do you want out of your life? Have you asked yourself? Are you working towards it? I’d love to know!