In case you didn't know, today is the #InternationalDayOfHappiness! Here is my story on how I made the decision to choose to be happy.
A few years ago I went through a big "Happiness" phase reading as many books as possible on the subject including Dalai Lama's The Art of Happiness, Dan Harris' 10% Happier and Gretchen Rubin's books The Happiness Project and Happier at Home. I spent a lot of time focusing on what I could do in my life to be happier. I began meditating, found more joy through running, focused on little traditions with my family and many other small things. And in general all of those little things worked, I became much happier. At home, in my personal life.
However, I ignored a large part of my life. My career. I think in large part I was conditioned that I couldn't have it all. I had a job that gave me freedom, gave me flexibility and I was doing something that I was good at. However, it didn't leave me feeling fulfilled. And during stressful times in my job I couldn't sleep, laying awake for hours stressed out and worried. I stopped meditating, because I became too afraid to tap further into that unrest and unease, I was scared of my own thoughts. I would feel sorry for myself and then I would feel guilty for feeling sorry because I didn't have it so bad and who was I to think that I deserved it all. It was a vicious cycle.
Then things changed. My grandfather passed away, someone who strived for it all, someone who in his 80s searched high and low for a company that would let him skydive and when he couldn't find it he "settled" for paragliding! As clichéd as it sounds, his death woke me up. Well technically I was already awake, one of the many sleepless nights worrying and stressing now with an added layer of grieving. Why was I staying with something that didn't leave me feeling fulfilled? I wanted to help people but wanted to continue to work from home and for myself. So I made a choice. I chose to make it happen. I chose to try and work my hardest to have it all.
From that day on I put in the work. I found Classy Career Girl's podcast and did my own introspection on my interests, motivations and skills. Realized that this is what I had wanted to do all along. I began conducting informational interviews with other career coaches, finding mentors, learning about starting a business, designing my own webiste and am still learning so much every day. And I am still recruiting, as I have a client I love, meaning I am working longer and smarter each day to make it all happen (2019 update: no longer recruiting!!). At night though, I meditate (I'm not scared of my thoughts anymore), and go to sleep feeling satisfied and fulfilled. Because I made my choice and make that same choice everyday. I choose to be happy.
If you are feeling unhappy in your current job, you can make a choice to change! Don't know where to start?
How about a scheduling Discover Your Career strategy call, a free 30 minute call with me to get to the heart of where you are and where you want to go and how to get there.
Sara Curto helps people find a career they love by teaching them a new way to job search.
The Secrets to finding a job you love
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