Arun is Bringing You...Your Daily Remedy

Friday, March 19, 2010

Exercise Your Freedom

I think most people would agree that among all big picture goals, Freedom is probably at the top. We all want freedom. Freedom from monetary constraints, freedom of time, freedom to travel, or freedom to do any damn thing we want.

A lot of people lose track of the fact that Freedom can frequently be a choice. They become stuck in a life with limited Freedom because all they know is a life of constraint and venturing out seems riskier than it actually is. This is the same reason that long time inmates struggle with life once they leave prison. The World and its opportunities are overwhelming and the regimented world they became accustomed to, has disappeared.

The chains that prevent most people from being totally happy, are the ol’ occupational bindings. I would venture that most people do not enjoy their job. Working seems to be a sacrifice that we must make in order to have money to enjoy the rest of our lives. But when you consider that we spend about half of our waking hours working, and then a bunch more time thinking and dreaming about work, it seems like a travesty that many of us do not enjoy what we do.

I was in the same boat…until I quit.

I spent the last four years of my life working as an Engineer. In college, I began to realize that I disliked Engineering. Working as a Logistics Engineer validated my initial inkling as well as enlightened me to the fact that I hate corporate culture.

When I told people I was quitting, they thought I was crazy. Quitting a “good” job in this economy? Admittedly, the company itself was pretty good. BUT, I hated the work I was doing and I wasn’t a fan of my Supervisor. The bottom line was, I hated Monday mornings, and time spent at work felt like such a waste.

Most people probably would have stuck with the company. I never hated going to work, but I certainly didn’t enjoy it. The money and benefits were good too. BUT, going to work didn’t excite me. For a while, I never really considered quitting. I thought this is how life is supposed to be. Grind through work, and enjoy my evenings and weekends. Use my Paid Time Off, to go on nice trips, then come back and earn myself another vacation.

Then I started thinking. Why should the enjoyment I feel on weekends and vacations only be fleeting? People who get to work from home all the time are so lucky! People who love what they do are so lucky! People who became successful at their passions are so lucky! Then I had a mini-epiphany.

It’s not luck.

Most of us are too scared to exercise our Freedom and really pursue what we want to do. The more I thought about things, the more I realized I could come up with no good reason NOT to quit. But first, I needed a plan.

There’re certain things I wanted in a job: lots of interpersonal interaction, autonomy, time off, a high degree of personal interest, and yes, a lot of money. So I’ve decided to become a College Professor in Organizational Behavior and Management. I love teaching and Professorship would satisfy the interpersonal interaction aspect. Professors have a high degree of autonomy with scheduling and curriculum. Obviously, there is ample time off between holidays and summer break. And, as an Organizational Behavior and Management Professor, my interests would be satisfied (I love sociology which is a major aspect of O.B.). Oh, and business Profs make top dollar as well  As a bonus, the scheduling flexibility would allow me to continue to exercise my entrepreneurial spirit!

I wrote in detail about my decision to go back to school over a year ago.

In the last year, I’ve also made some very beneficial moves financially and entrepreneurially that have me in a position where I can live comfortably while waiting for school to start. I certainly wouldn’t have quit my job had a not had a stream of steady income set up.

To be fair, some people have a lot more obstacles to hurdle in order to exercise their freedom. Many people don’t have the money to quit, or are supporting a family. As an independent 26 year old, I am lucky enough to have very few responsibilities to worry about. To those who DO want to exercise their Freedom but cannot due to supporting a family or other circumstances, I would say that you should ALWAYS keep in mind what and where you want to be. EVERY DAY you should take a step to move closer to be in a position to exercise your freedom. If you want to start a business but don’t have the money, set a bench mark then work towards earning and saving enough to reach the bench mark. If time is an issue, dedicate 10 minutes everyday that you will fully commit towards positioning yourself for freedom.

So for the last two weeks, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying life! Monday mornings feel like Saturday mornings and aside from my own personal work and projects, I have a lot more free time! I am enjoying the fruits of my freedom! AND, I’m excited for school to start in the fall! So from now until September, I’ve got a lot of time to adventure and travel.

I’ve already had one little adventure, and a couple more are in the works! Stay tuned…

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