Working for the weekend. Have you ever had a job where it was a countdown to your days off? How precious was that time between the end of your weekly shift and the beginning of another?
Once upon a time my dream was to own a cottage at the lake, the ultimate getaway. I dreamed of a place where my children could roam and I could relax. All around the lake were others who came to play on the weekend, holidays and whenever we could plug in time.
This was the dream. This was the epitome of my hard work. If I was lucky, I could retire at 55 and live at the cottage all the time.
I never lived the dream. Thankfully.
The problem with this picture is that weekends become increasingly short. And the rest of the week becomes excruciatingly long.
For those of us who have a desire for something more, those who may not know exactly what that more is but can feel it in quiet times, the cottage dream isn’t enough.
When you are feeling bewildered about your life, dissatisfaction often surfaces in work life. Understandable, since this is where you spend most of your waking hours.
Sometimes you don’t know how to figure out what to do. Perhaps you have a plan but that means staying in the job for one more year. Or two. Perhaps your vision is not clear. What you do know is how you feel. Draggy. Listless. Frustrated.
What do you do?
Begin by saying yes to your life.
Saying yes means paying attention to what excites you, what really engages you.
Saying yes means taking your desires and dreams seriously. With a lighthearted approach. It is all about enjoyment!
Saying yes means making the time for what inspires you.
Saying yes means doing the work of self discovery, getting to know who you are, and tying all of that to your dreams. The work is deep, and too frequently neglected in this hurry-up, accomplishment-driven, not-enough-time world.
Sometimes you don’t say yes to your life because you can’t think of adding even one more thing into your life. You are already stressed out. You don’t need another item on the list. Fun can feel like a burden.
When you feel that way, it is a sign that you need to move toward yes.
What happens when you say yes to your life?
You enjoy life more.
When you are connected to being alive, your energy changes. You feel fuelled.
You will drawn to others who share your passions.
And they will be drawn to you. You also will be a good role model for those around you – like your children. One of the best things our children can experience is seeing others who are happy.
Your outlook on life shifts.
You see possibilities where they were none before.
What does saying yes to your life have to do with work?
You get closer to your dream job.
By saying yes, you experience the ripple effect. When you say yes to one part of your life, it affects the other parts. Doing a volunteer or pleasure activity that inspires you allows you to be in the space where you consider what inspires you about work. In your most relaxing times is often when the most brilliant ideas arise. But there also is a deliberateness about saying yes to your life. You are doing activities which align with who you are.
How do you say yes to your life?
Pay attention to your needs.
Your needs are a guide to what is going on for you, pointing you towards your values, desires and preferences. Needs are universal. For a listing of needs, check it out here. It is just as important to examine both your unmet and met needs.
Pay attention to what inspires you.
One exercise to do get to the core of your inspiration is to write a list of what excites you, using your non-dominant hand. Take time to create a lengthy list – it allows you to get deeper. Using your non-dominant hand allows you to tap into unconscious parts of yourself. Make a life list – check it out here.
Make room in your life.
Just as we make room to do the dishes and clean out the basement, plan time to do those activities that you have uncovered in the previous exercise. Organizers suggest that scheduling these activities in your calendar will ensure that it is a priority.
Start saying yes.
The beginning point is to say yes to yourself – to your basic needs such as exercise, eating well, and sleep. This will allow you to have the energy to be engaged with your life in healthy ways. And then start saying yes to what is important to you.