When There’s a Why There’s A Way
Have you ever daydreamed about the things you would do if you won the lottery?
I definitely have. Sometimes on my drive to work I fantasize about how I would spend our millions...a rental house at the beach, trust funds for our kids and travel plans for entire summers. I actually envision the conversation I would have with our financial planner about what I want our monthly budget to be so our riches can last our lifetime and our kids lifetimes. My daydreams can get very in depth.
My fantasies are great ways to pass the time on my daily commute but the reality is those specific fantasies will never see the light of day because I don't even play the lottery.
But just because I don't play the lottery doesn't mean my dreams and fantasies can't still come true, they can definitely happen, just maybe not to the extent of having millions and millions of dollars at my disposal.
Do You Know Why?
Randa and I had a good talk last night about my Five Year Plan and the reasons why I feel the need to try and achieve the three goals I wrote about in that post.
It was a great conversation because it allowed me to explain to her that I'm very happy with our current situation and the life we're building together with our two kids. I told her I've never been happier, and I truly mean that.
Then I explained to her that way back before I met her when I was in college I had dreams of one day owning my own business and achieving financial success through something I created.
We discussed all the different business ideas I've had over the years, some of them good and some of them bad. And we talked about why I didn't follow some of the ideas through to launch and why even after launching a couple of them I didn't make them successful.
It was a very reflective conversation that wasn't meant to make me feel bad or put me down, it was more of a pep talk on how to learn from some of the mistakes I made along the way.
Our conversation even went a little bit deeper when we talked about why I feel the need to start a business or pursue these goals if I'm so happy with my life already?
That's a good question.
Life fulfillment & Job Satisfaction
It's 5 am and I'm sitting on our couch in the living room writing this post before I leave to go to work at my office job.
I'm looking at the pictures of our kids at the beach on the wall, the wooden kitchen table I built, the plastic cup of green beans and soil Sydney brought home from preschool sitting on the window ledge, the t-shirt Trey wore yesterday laying on the floor, the toys scattered all around, the iPads and a half eaten granola bar Sydney left on the TV stand.
And I'm drinking my coffee out a mug the kids got me for Father's Day, it's got pictures of our kids and 'We Love You' in bold letters on the side.
These are the things that bring me true joy and happiness, this is the good stuff that makes me proud to be a Daddy and husband. I couldn't ask for more when it comes to our family life.
That's why it's so difficult to try and explain why I'm feeling unsatisfied with certain parts of my life, specifically my job satisfaction and feeling unfulfilled with my work life.
It's hard to describe that even though I'm so happy with my family there still remains a part of me that feels like I can do more, can achieve more and wants more. And these feelings of want are more than just materialistic things like a big house and bank accounts, they're part of my psychological makeup manifested as the need to be challenged, the need to create and the need to leave a legacy.
I'm the happiest when I face a challenge and when I'm creating something, whether it be building a piece of furniture, growing grass, writing this blog or working on my golf game because golf is hard for me.
These feelings are completely unrelated to the happiness my family life brings me. I needed Randa to know that during our talk last night.
The Four Pillars
Yesterday I had my monthly conversation with my direct supervisor.
Our monthly conversations are ways our organization gauges our job satisfaction and gives us a platform to discuss ways we can improve our overall job performance for ourselves and for our clients.
My conversation didn't go very well.
Don't get me wrong, I felt great after having my conversation but I don't think my supervisor was expecting to hear some of the things I said. Things like...I'm currently unhappy, my job satisfaction is on the low side and I'm probably having a mid life crisis.
Those things might normally have my supervisor call HR to draft the severance papers but she totally understood my feelings because we all go through them from time to time with our day jobs. It's totally natural.
She suggested I seek more challenges in my job and try to use my creativity the best I can within my job description. All good advice and something I'll definitely pursue.
But when I got home I started to do some research on the feelings I was having and I found a great resource about the Four Pillars of Creative Job Fulfillment.
The best advice I took from that article is being able to supplement your current job with a project that utilizes the top qualities in your four pillars...much like this website does and much like my five year plan does.
This site is helping me to feel more creative, I've challenged myself with a five year plan to more financial freedom and I'm leaving a legacy for my kids with the words I'm writing.
By doing something I have a passion for I'm creating a more fulfilling and happier life.
Start With Why
One of the best TED Talks I've ever seen is Start With Why by Simon Sinek. If you haven't watched it, take 18 minutes out of your day to discover your why.
It's a great educational talk that can be related to your everyday life and your business life, too.
During our conversation last night Randa told me she totally supports my need to pursue my five year plan but she also wanted me to know that she's very happy right now and the kids have everything they need.
She reminded me that being rich is being content and happy with what you have.
This morning at 5 am when I was looking around the room at all the pieces of our lives, I asked myself again to start with why? Why do I need a five year plan? Why do I need to make more money? Why do I want Randa to stop working?
If you asked me those questions last week I probably would have said I want to achieve those those goals for my wife and kids. But after some reflection and a good conversation I've learned Randa and the kids are already happy and they have everything they need and more.
They give me so much joy already, will achieving these goals somehow make my wife and kids happier? The answer is no.
Randa helped me realize the reason why I'm doing this isn't for them...my why is for me.
And that's OK.