I quit my job two years ago. That word, “quit,” just does something to me. It makes me feel irresponsible. It stands much taller than I do and it looks down at me, scornfully, like my mother would on Sundays when I spoke too loudly in church. Quit- the very word itself, was disappointed in me because I was supposed to have held on to it more tightly. I was supposed to have given it security throughout the winter, allowing it to inhabit the warmth of my creative space. I was supposed to have caressed and coddled it as merely a reoccurring thought…just because. No one in my family ever quit jobs. I was supposed to grin and bare the constant struggle of making my own mark in the world, while being a part of another person’s dream-just because that was secure, safe, and how I’d been taught. I have realized that it has been these instances when I thought I was stuck, frustrated, and in need of movement, that forced me to give myself a push. If you feel stuck, in business or in life, I offer you three ways to begin to actually Be The CAUSE versus holding on to things JUST BECAUSE.
1. Some may say to keep a safety net “just because things happen.” Well, it’s time to Be the Cause of your own need to fly.
I quit my job as a kindergarten teacher and curriculum designer in South Korea. My job also earned the apartment that I lived in, as well as the work visa that I’d acquired. Suddenly, I was not only out of a job, but also out of housing and permission to legally reside in my host country. What occurred as I experienced the messy middle between wanting to fly and soaring was that I became aware of the necessity of my success. If you want to see your business flourish really quickly, take away your safety net. Whatever you tell yourself that you can “always do” if you “fail,” remove that option. You cannot fail. Someone needs you not to fail. Someone needs you to get out your idea board and think of ten different ways to reach your end goal. Someone is waiting for you to mentally shift from hobby to business because you are not longer doing things just because.
2. Be the Cause of rejection.
Rejection is divine. Say that three times. I have to say it every morning. The moment that I decided to make rejection a game, things really shifted for me. Rejection means that your “Yes” is coming soon. Rejection means that you are playing your cards full out, that you’ve got your skin in the game, and that you’re letting more of your ideas breathe. Next time you get one, send a hi-five to me along the wind and my hand will meet it when it arrives.
3. Be the Cause of your own freedom.
I get it. You are busy being busy being busy. Sometimes, you barely have time to eat and forget about your regular promises to yourself to eat healthier. The thing is, no matter how busy we are, we find a way to come through for others. We feel guilty for being the friend who’s too busy or the partner who really doesn’t have time. But, what about you? The you that is forgotten when you are so busy being a gladiator. Self-attention is huge. I’m talking the difference between you and that next level you’re going for. The thing is, oftentimes, we get so busy that we lose touch of our true desires. I did two TEDx talks a few months a part, right after suddenly realizing that I’d had something that I needed to say. With this realization also came an entire movement that I felt had been waiting for me to “wake up” and stop being busy being busy. If you want your mind to be blown, get out two sheets of paper. Use one to write out titles of all of the books you could write if you used knowledge that you have right now. Take the other one and write, “20 Awesome things my mom, or dad, has accomplished” at the top. Then, make the list, as if you are your future, or current, offspring. Now, here’s the best part, give yourself the freedom to play with these new ideas. Pitch some articles, offer to speak at some events, create some youtube videos to bring more traffic to your website, and get some more rejection letters!
All action begets a reaction. I am no longer busy being busy being busy. I am busy. But, I am busy being the cause of my own happiness. I am busy being the cause of the shift that I intend to create in global education. I am busy keeping the Universe reacting to the actions that I continue to offer. However, if things begin to become a robotic routine and I seem to follow patterns “just because,” I will quit and start all over. Life isn’t always easy. But, what’s important is that we have started what many will put off until tomorrow’s tomorrow. Let’s make all of our dreams count. Be the Cause of the wheels of life turning in your favor. In the words of Oprah Winfrey: “Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it.”
Article originally published in Raspberry Magazine.