life

Will you hire yourself every day?

To what extent do you believe in yourself? Or maybe the better question is how much do you believe in your calling? 6918903804_50f44c58a8_z

A majority of my friends have employers just like me, I have an employer. Having an employer means we spend most of our work life producing something that meets a collective goal. Some folks work to produce springs in pens and other people work to help us travel. Some people work to create laws and other people work to see lives have transformation.

What I want to ask you today is what does your work produce in you? Not to be confused with what you’re producing at work today. But what actually happens in your spirit while you work? The question is worth answering because if you don’t like what is produced in you through your work there is a solution.

Hire yourself.

“I can’t quit my job.” This was the first thought in your head. I know it was because your brain is hardwired to flee in order to survive. And yes, your job helps you on a daily basis survive but to survive in misery isn’t much of a life either. Right now, right as you read this you need to make the decision to hire yourself. And you’re going to start to moonlight on your current job by sitting in your free time with a pen and paper and asking your new employee (yourself) the following questions:

  1. What do I love to have conversations about?
  2. What do I do naturally that my friends and family have to work really hard at?
  3. When I work on __________________ I experience joy?
  4. What do my friends and family come to me for advice about or need me to help them with?

Congratulations, you officially have a business idea or a new job description. Nothing is going to change today but things might be very different a year from now if you lean forward. Here comes the biggest factor in your work life changing: Would you hire yourself? Any employer knows the critical question in hiring - “Will this potential employee do the work.”  So I ask you - will you do the work?

Will you hire yourself every day? Will you start the job today you want in a year? Will you do the work in your free time? Will you produce something now that can be seen in the future? There’s no pay, there’s no benefits.

Except something new being produced in yourself, something that feels like life.

What’s that worth to you?

What made college great and how to make life better now

How was your college experience?  On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being "I absolutely hated it" to 10 being "I would give up a limb to go back" where would you rate your experience?  I would give my college experience a 5.  Most of the people I know who would give their college experience an 8, 9, or 10 do so not because of the education they received but based on the community they had.  In other words, they made some very close friends. The best you, however, was not in college.

The most impactful you was not in your college years.  The most fun you was not in college.  Sometimes we forget how limited geography and availability can be so powerful.  And college is just these two things.  The college you chose becomes like the Sun.  Your whole life orbits around this specific geographical location, if you get far away and stay away things start to fall apart. In the typical college experience you're committed to staying close.

College also provides plenty of space for you to be available, a couple of classes a day with time in between.  I'm not sure I've met a college student who spends eight hours a day in class?  (I think they eventually refer to the ones that do as doctors?)  But this space makes us available in free space and relationally.  There are roommates and friends also operating within this same available schedule so of course college can be relationally rich and full of adventure.  Of course you may look at this time and think, "I was so effective back then."

At this time if your tears are falling on your keyboard remembering Ultimate on the quad with friends please stop.  Some times we have to step back and ask "why" something was good instead of trying to re-live the past.   Most relationships, goals, or callings in your life will improve if you limit geography and make yourself available.  And just like college this occurs in seasons. College worked well because it has breaks.  Healthy adults will honor holidays and time off.

What keeps us from being the best us, the most impactful us, and the most fun us after college is our focus on limiting our geographical location and making ourselves available for specific seasons.  Unfortunately, one does not work without the other. You can be readily available but just sit on your couch and nothing will improve.  You can be obsessed with the thought of having a great relationships or reaching goals but if you are never available it simply won't work.

What do you need to focus on in this next two to three months?  What focus do you need to stay close to?  And what are you going to do to make yourself available in this space?

 

This thought should bother you

I feel a little bit justified by my middle school music choice as I write this.  The Red Hot Chili Peppers were right.  You have to give it away. Peppers

I've been thinking a lot about self-preservation.  This may be a better statement to a counselor than a blog post but for eight years or so I've been freaking out about dying.  It's seasonal.  I can go months without thinking about it or I'll have times where I think about it every hour.  I'm not sure where it came from but it hasn't been anything I can absolutely shake.  It's like that famous Woody Allen quote, "I'm not afraid of dying...I just don't want to be there when it happens."  The place I always think about it is movie theaters.  There is something to watching a story that causes me to reflect on my own story and wonder about it's length and content.  I want to stop watching and get moving.

Really, it's a silly fear.  I believe the chances are 100% at some point I'm kicking the bucket.  Same for you.  That's typically how I internally talk myself down.  This conversation happens inside my head, "It's not a maybe situation, so why are you freaking out? The good news is that it's not right now, can't worry about it until it happens."

But you might be doing this too.  You might not be thinking about death but you are probably thinking about a space you wish you could preserve.  It's a moment.  It's an event.  It's a role.  It's a title.  It's a trip.  It's a pay scale. It's a family.  It's an honor.  It's a living standard.  My experience has taught me this, the space we save will never be as good as the space we give.  What does that mean?  The very best in life is found outside of ourselves and our needs.  The more people who join with us in a space we give, makes it even more fun.  The space we save will one day be nothing more than something that's left behind.  But what we give creates a better story for others which makes our personal story beautiful and full of great content.

So what about you?  Are you working and planning to have more or to give more?  Are you trying to save space or create space to give?

If you want some giving inspiration check out www.ilikegiving.com.

Would you read this if it put more joy in your life?

Joy and patience are married.  They go everywhere together.  Both become richer over time.  

Photo credit to gemb1

I am not very good at patience.  My initial thought is, "I want it NOW."  Now is the story of my first car loan.  Consumed with chrome and four wheel drive I convinced myself I needed a new car NOW.  The problem with now is it takes everything now.  Have you ever heard someone with a new car and a new loan talk about not being able to do something else fantastic because they can't afford it?  That was me.  No travel.  No entertainment.  No savings.  But I had shiny chrome and four wheel drive.

Most people want joy to be present in their life.  Joy, however, is a product of patience.  Joy is only sustainable when it has place to hang out.  When we always long for the next accomplishment, raise, night out, relationship, gift, (fill in the blank for you) than we ask Joy to reside somewhere else, there is a no vacancy inside of us for Joy.

If you want joy, start practicing patience.  There's no such thing as an express lane to joy.  

How does patience and leadership go together?  If leaders are supposed to cross the finish line first, how can we be people who display patience and joy?