One of the most telling truths about happiness is that we are pretty poor predictors of what will actually make us happy. We truly believe that if we just had that job or that house or that relationship, we’d be happy. But often, once we get it, the reality of what is required to have it and keep it sets in. You may have done a happy dance at first, but now you’re living it up close, every day. And when it comes to career, some women find that the amount and pressure of work – coupled with responsibilities at home – is more than what they wanted.
You wanted to use your strengths and land the position, but you didn’t want it to consume your life. You wanted the business, but you didn’t think it had to mean giving up any resemblance of a personal life. You wanted to be the boss, but you didn’t have any idea that managing people can be like herding cats. So it may not be that you didn’t want what you have, but maybe you just didn’t want so much of it. For example, I love strawberry cake. I mean, love it. But if forced to eat a whole strawberry cake every day, not only will I eventually hate the taste of it, but there are a few other unwanted results I’d yield, too – most of them horrible for my health.
The same holds true when your schedule of previously “wanted” activities begins to overwhelm you. What you once enjoyed begins to feel like a burden rather than something you “get to do.” The stress of it begins to take its toll.
So what if you decided to forge a path uniquely designed for the life you were created to live? What would that look like? Would you work 40 hours a week or 20 hours? Or would you choose not to work at all? Would you work from home or an office or behind the wheel of a delivery truck? And what adjustments, if any, would you need to make to your lifestyle in order to accommodate the work situation you desire?
As you ponder what will actually make you happy and what changes you may have to make, don’t be afraid to break outside the mold you may have fit yourself into your entire career. Most people follow what’s normal and acceptable, and believe they have no other choice. But with planning, creativity and the faith to believe your life can be different, you can carve out a new way to work and live. What is one simple step you can take right now, to forge a new path uniquely designed for the life you were created to live? Leave your comments below; I’d love to hear from you!