June 5, 2011

The Negative Train

I have been working in corporate America for 6 1/2 years now with the same company, and relatively the same type of job. Up until this point, my motivation for going in every day has been to completely rid myself of financial debt incurred mostly during my college years and the few years after graduation. Well, now that I have successfully realized that goal, motivation for going in every day is becoming very difficult to come by. It has made me fully realize that I don´t have some deep, inspiring passion for what I do. Sure, money provides all sorts of benefits in itself, but we all agree at least theoretically, that it can´t bring ultimate satisfaction in and of itself. Oh, and I promise that I´m not forgetting about the millions of people that have it way worse than I do with absolutely no end in sight. So, I guess this rant makes me somewhat greedy and selfish. I apologize upfront for that and will continue to work on it. My main goal here is to be honest.

A big challenge I have had recently is finding the time, and more so the energy and motivation, to figure out what it is that I want to do. This can be such a daunting task, and frankly, one for which I was not prepared. I even feel guilty at times for not knowing. Sure, I have some ideas, but I was never that guy that knew what he wanted to be when he grew up. I envy these people. Are they for real? Or are they just able to mentally psyche themselves out enough to follow through on their goals? I´m frustrated to the point that I have even considered professional counseling. 

There are all sorts of programs and people out there showing you how to get debt free, encourage you, and remind you of the benefits. I really like these people. However, these resources don´t focus as much on the period after, when you are no longer required to do your job to pay off your mountains of credit card debt and student loans. Until I find my passion and am doing it, there is this in-between phase that can be really difficult. I have, however, learned one crucial principle. Avoid what I refer to as ¨The Negative Train¨. I´m not really one that buys into power positive thinking, and while I don´t necessarily think it´s 100% hocus pocus, I think there are some who take it way too far. Like anything else, a healthy balance of it can probably go a very long way. Negativity is an interesting train to ride. Over time, being familiar with the thoughts and feelings that come with negativity and the ´blame anything but myself´ game can become very comfortable, and it makes it harder and harder to get off. You end up staying on just to defend your position and why you got on the train in the first place. Believe me! I am working to get off the train myself...right now, even as I type. 

I need to first acknowledge what a huge blessing it is to have a job. Also, to acknowledge what a huge blessing it is to have a job that pays enough to cover my expenses and save a little for the future. Yes, I am thankful. And if I were to die tomorrow, I would have lived a pretty good life. That´s something to be thankful for in itself. So, if you find yourself working toward financial freedom, keep going, stay on track with the plan you´ve set in place. It is certainly worth whatever sacrifices you´re making. To those who are doing what they love, I envy you...in a healthy way, of course. You can help to show the rest of us how to make our talents and interests a bigger part of the work we do on a daily. To the in-betweeners, and really everyone, stay positive! Remind yourself of all the things you do enjoy and the blessings you do have. Focus more on today than on tomorrow. And don´t be too busy to encourage others in this sometimes difficult journey we call life. Peace!