Diana Ross is playing in my head, “I’m Coming Out.” The lyrics, “I want the world to know, I got to let it show. There is a new me coming out”… Y’all the entire song is applicable! Put that song on your play list ASAP. Being able to live your life on your terms is liberating and Diana is affirming that for me today.
(Still using the buffet analogy), for me there was a period of time that I grabbed a lot from the buffet and ran back to the table to eat. In the end I did not like much of what I had on my plate. I like to call that period of my life purgatory and most of my 30’s were spent there. Forget the quarter life crisis and no I am not in a mid life crisis either. Listen I am old enough to know the rules are outdated, bold enough to break those outdated rules, young enough to still be able to put in the work and have just enough experience to fuel my courage to chase my dream(s). Even if I can’t fully describe my dreams, at least I know what I don’t want. Plus now there are description placards in front of every food item on the buffet so I don’t have to tastes test any longer.
Just to close the loop on the back story and to set the stage for forward movement, I use any of these phrases like, the uncharted path, off the beaten path, your hero’s journey, maverick, hummingbird, multi-passionate and/or following your heart’s desire, interchangeably because that mean share the same meaning. We, me and you, are choosing to follow a nontraditional route in life towards what we define as success. Again, the uniqueness of each human is equal make each journey equally unique. There is no all or nothing. Moreover, when I use thriving, I mean more than self sufficient, more than content and it is implied to encompass both professional and personal lives.
I can say that there has been a common theme in my life. In one way or another I have had an interest in Career Development. Either through creating a nonprofit organization around the idea or working with a friend to create a website dedicated to exploring various career options or conducting information interviews for my self discovery, I have been interested in professional lives people who were not a traditional.
Over the years, several ideas have seeded themselves in my psyche. Topics such as thriving on the uncharted path, being a maverick and innovators in the entrepreneurial space truly interest me. I have considered interviewing people who have nontraditional careers like a Bee Keeper of a NBA Referee. About 10 years ago I dreamed up a movement called PAUSE, the fun way to take a sabbatical from life, and have considered reviving PAUSE.
Most of my ideas center on profession/career and how that contributes to lifestyle. No one wants to just work for the rest of their lives but all appreciate that income supports lifestyle. Those ideas flow into more curiosity about founders/creators of businesses/nonprofits. Lastly, I have noticed that the spirit of entrepreneurialism/creativity is a required skill in today’s working world, regardless of one is it or not. Learning how to
So how does one thrive on the road less traveled? I believe step on is t get a job that covers your everyday needs until the dream job/career comes along. Whoopi Goldberg echoed this in her Master Class episode and there are countless other innovators who feel the same way. With needs met then our vision can blossom. Your mind is free of stress and can dream and explore. This job probably wont pay the best but you can live, eat and have shelter. Don’t worry this will a temporary situation.
The caveat is the job can not be all consuming in your life, it is just a job. It may be a job well below your skill set or education. It may be a physically laborious job but not mentally taxing. It may be a job where it does not take all of your brain’s capacity. This does not mean you don’t do the job to the best of your ability, a good work ethic is always required. This job is to sustain you (and your family if you have one) and nothing else.
If you have no idea how much you need to earn to be sustained then make a budget. Consider downsizing your home, moving to a different neighborhood, embracing being a minimalist and by all means pay off your debt (as much as possible). Once you know how much your needs are then look for jobs paying in the range of your budget.
I was an Assistance Store Manager for a fast fashion company, an Allocator for a shoe brand and I held down other jobs that I was over qualified for just to make ends meet. I did this while I explored what I would do on the road less traveled. My problem was I stayed in those jobs too long because all I wanted was to be normal. I was afraid to pursue the opportunities that were in line with my heart’s desire.
If you can stay at your present job, meet your needs and shift your focus to doing the work of thriving on the road less traveled, the ATTA girl/boy. If not, then I encourage you to stop, assess your needs and make shifts. Final word of caution. I am not saying quit your job and take a leap of faith that it will all work out. NOPE. I am suggesting that your current lifestyle can be scaled down so you migrate over to the unbeaten path easily.
In the comments below let me know what you think.