My friend, Sherree shared this link with me yesterday on Facebook and I thanked her for sharing but I want to thank her again. It is the best thing I’ve seen on the internet in a while, and I think it’s about wisdom. It made me think. It validated some things in my life and it made me question other things. If that link doesn’t work try this one, same comic strip but on a different website.
Now I will ask you to stop reading and go click on one of those links and read it. If you regret the few minutes it will take you to read that than you have no heart and you can just go on with your day.
So here’s the thing; we know that we waste a lot of our time. We know that many of our priorities are screwed up. I know these things because it’s true in my life and I see some of you talk about it too. Why do we talk the big game about what matters in life but we don’t follow through and have our actions align with it too?
I know that there are certain rules in life that we can’t escape. We all need to make money to pay the bills but can you live on less? Can you forgo the “ladder of success” What is the “ladder of success” anyways?
I wanted to have the biggest house painting company in my county. Honestly, I feel I was on my way. Three years ago I said “no more”. I wasn’t sleeping and I was stressed constantly. There was never enough. Make some money and get a BMW. Make a little more money and buy nicer bottles of wine. Make even more money and buy more clothes and eat at the more expensive restaurants.
The thing is; it never stops. It was eating away at me. Trying to live up to this mythical “ladder of success” was sucking away the happiness; what little happiness was left. I was always seeing what others were doing and what they had and no matter how many hours in a day I worked I felt like I was failing.
I hit my bottom one day and looking back now it was the greatest day of my life. For the first time I really started putting the pieces together for me. I stopped taking every single job that came my way and downsized my painting company. We moved from a 1,700 square foot house to 900 square feet (we’ve since bought a bigger house because we had Sammy). My goal was to start cutting things out of our lives.
We focused on paying off debt. We cut cable and don’t go out to eat as much as we used to (some of that reason too is due to Sammy). We got rid of the BMW. I started writing again, a lot. I’m still working through what all this means but I know that trying to live up to someone else’s system can make you crazy. I know that every decision you make that does not align with your true being will probably affect you negatively. I still mess up all the time but I try to recognize the mess ups and reevaluate what’s happening.
When Sammy was born we had more choices to make. Do we put him in daycare or does one of us stay home? The final decision was that I would stay home and work on the second business I started and Annie would go off to work. The cartoon I linked to above and wanted you to read depicts that situation; dad being home with the kiddo and starting to take back your own life.
My takeaway: Why would we trade our soul for someone else’s dream? Why would we trade our happiness to keep up with the Jones’??? Is that a sign of wisdom? I don’t know how to word this to get you to understand. This is all we have, this one brief moment on this planet. We have choices to make and I know it can be scary as hell to take the leap but isn’t life all about the leap?
I’m not asking you to leap to your death, I’m saying leap to your life.