It’s March 16th2018, 9pm at night, I am sat at my desk on a work call, I haven’t had dinner and more frustratingly I have missed yet another swim on my schedule. Whilst the technical team are troubleshooting the work issue, I am scrolling through my Instagram feed, looking at all these people that seem to have it all, dreaming about quitting my job, becoming a motivational speaker and travelling the world. It looks so easy, quit your job they say, follow your dreams and have everything you ever wanted… and for a split second I buy it. Then just as quickly I snap out of it. I hope I will get there one day, but I know it’s going to take a lot of hard work and planning and even if I do get there, I know it will still require a lot of effort! In my opinion those people that tell you to quit your job and follow your dreams are either broke, unemployed or living off handouts/trust funds! Ouch controversial 😉
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that these people haven’t done exactly what they say they have done and I’m definitely not saying that I don’t admire their courage or find them inspirational, because I really do. I’m also not saying that we shouldn’t follow our dreams, because I am big advocate for reaching for the stars. But what I am saying, is that it isn’t always as easy as we are often led to believe on social media.
Fast forward 7 months… I am sat writing this blog during the day on a weekday. I’ve just returned from an amazing 3-month trip touring the UK in a campervan. I’ve been posting daily Instagram photos of my training in many different places. I’ve been doing interviews with national broadcasters and I’m making a documentary about my Sea to Summit challenge. You would be forgiven for thinking I’ve quit my job overnight and my dreams have come true! Well… this really isn’t the case. I’ve made changes, it is progressing but it certainly hasn’t all been unicorns and cupcakes!
So what have I changed?
In a previous blog: How will you work train and still have a life, I talked about 6 things I was going to practice to try and restore some balance within a chaotic period of my life. Well…drum roll… for once I actually practised what I preached! I stopped talking about making changes and actually started to plan how I was going to make it happen. While making the plan, I asked myself a number of important questions:
- What are my priorities, what do I want to achieve?
- What are my responsibilities, can I take more ownership of them?
- What is my current work situation, can I change what I am working on? Can I change where I work? How I work? When I work?
- Can I change what my day to day life looks like and how it feels?
Life is a big place and can often be overwhelming, breaking it down and really thinking about these questions made it easier to tackle. So here I am, I made a plan and I started to action it (once a project manager, always a project manager ;-)). It’s very much a work in progress, but so far so good. I’ve reduced my working hours, giving me more time to train and focus on Sea to Summit and I’ve become more flexible in where I work, enabling Karl and I to follow our gypsy hearts.
Reality is we are creatures of curiosity and most of us at some point want something different to what we have. But remember whilst you may think the grass is greener on the other side, sometimes you may just need to take the time to water your own grass.