"... in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one to dissolve the bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them..."
-- The Declaration of Independence
Another Independence Day is upon us; a time typically reserved for the celebration of the birth of these United States. This year, however, I'm calling on all those who yearn to be free of the shackles that bind them to a job or career, which is safe and known yet limiting and unfulfilling, to break free and create the career of their dreams.
I am tolling the bell for a new age of freedom. The freedom from working to achieve someone else's goals instead of your own and from the resigned notion that independence is only possible in retirement. For all of you that aspire to be free, to be the arbiter of your own destiny and the CEO of your life, the day has come to take a stand.
You can create a life that you love. Declare your personal independence!
Drama and theatrics aside, the truth is that so many of us feel trapped in jobs or careers that do not allow for the greatest expression of ourselves in the world or at work. As I mentioned in my last piece, so many of the concerns that prevent us from pursuing the career path that we are passionate about are based on assumptions that don't necessarily have anything to do with reality. They are driven by human nature, the instinct to place safety (including the illusion of it) above all else.
To be sure this does not apply to everyone. There are clearly people who love what they do. We can call these the "free" peoples of Workistan and Joblandia. The rest of us, however, remain under the thumb of our fears, worries, "what ifs", and myriad other considerations.
The good (hell, great!) news is that the yoke of oppression has been constructed and sustained by none other than... us! It's just like Radiohead said,
"You do it to yourself, you do. And that's what really hurts. Is that you do it to yourself. Just you, you and no one else."
Hurts, doesn't it?
We create the situations we find ourselves in and, somewhere along the way, forget that we were the ones that set it up this way. So here we are seemingly "stuck" in jobs that don't make us feel alive or well-used, jobs we don't love, feeling as if we don't have options or that the risks of doing what would make us happy are too big to take. And that's plain crazy.
If you work a 40-hour week you're going to spend 30 percent of your lifetime at work, that's a third of your life. You'd better be spending it doing something you enjoy it.
And so I call on you, the aspiring entrepreneur, the working Joe or Jane with a "sidecar" company, the would-be nonprofit executive, put down your Think Pad, leave your cubicle and pull off your tie. Your life is out there just waiting for you to create it. What are you waiting for?