Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Where are all the heroes?

Updated on 2.18.11

Sorry for all the novel but I've been meaning to write this post for a while and when I came across this FREE ebook by Nate Green, I figured it was about that time.  Only read the first half of his book so far, but I love where he's going with it.  Why? Well I've lived it.

My History

For those of you that don't know my background, this is my one year anniversary of quitting my corporate job and being in business for myself.  Once upon a time, I worked in the IT consulting industry, behind a desk, 10-12 hours a day, and on a plane about 50 weeks out of the year.

I did everything I was "supposed to" do. I went to college, majored in something that had good earning potential and an optimistic job outlook, I got good grades, I got a job immediately with a firm, and followed all of the things I was supposed to do there.  The money was great, the job was secure, the earning potential was up there, I got to work in a lot of interesting places, met some great people and I wouldn't have changed my experience for the world.

The Realization

Eventually I came to a point where I realized I wasn't living my life the way I wanted to live it.  I found myself becoming unhappy and stressed.  I felt stuck in something that was awesome on paper but didn't provide the life challenge I was looking for, I wasn't leading the lifestyle I wanted, and I was spending very little time doing the things I loved to do.  

So where most would just suck it up, complain, forge ahead, and perhaps buy things (possibly things they can't afford) in hopes of creating happiness...  I decided to take the reigns of my life and live the lifestyle I wanted and ignore what I was "supposed to" do.

The Action

I'll be the first to admit, it was one of the scariest things I've ever done. I was constantly looking for validation that I was doing the right thing, and questioned my actions.  It was a slow start, it took some time, but I had a plan and I executed it to perfection.

I can go on about the whole process I went through and the mental, physical and financial challenges I faced for hours, but the point is, don't let what you're "supposed to" do, dictate how you live your life.  Figure out what you want, go after it, and don't let anything get in your way (including yourself)...

Now I'd like to make a quick clarification. This doesn't mean you need to be impulsive.  Create a strategy, think through it, and make sure other decisions in your life are inline with your goal.  It might take some time, and you might have to sacrifice some things to get where you want to be, but I promise its worth the investment in yourself.

Here's a small excerpt from Nate's book that prompted me to write this post... In the previous section he details what a hero is and is not. I've highlighted a few things that I really liked.

Where Are All The Heroes? by Nate Green
It's like most of us are in a state developmental limbo between school and supposed responsibility. (If you aren’t careful this “limbo” can go on until you die.)
We've never taken the time to define what our values are, and all the old credibility indicators — graduating college, settling into a career, getting married, raising a family — have disappeared.
What's left is a gap most of us fall with apathy, bad booze, boredom, and shitty jobs. Consider this:
• College is leaving us tens of thousands of dollars in debt and won't guarantee a job.
• Since 1970, the number of young adults moving back home has increased 50 percent. Nearly one in five twenty-somethings move back in with their parents at some point.
We don't know what we're working for. We don't know what to expect. We don't know what our lives should be like.
So we blame the economy, our parents, our shitty luck, or other people.
We should blame ourselves. 
Don't have the body you want? Your fault.
Working a job you don't like? Your fault.
Shitty grades in school? Your fault.
Up to your eyeballs in debt? Your fault.
It's all your fault. But this is actually great news.
Because it's your fault, you can take responsibility for it. And if you take responsibility for it, you can change it.
Even if we have other parts of our lives figured out, most of us are likely neglecting other vital areas.
Have a great body? How's your financial situation?
Making a ton of money? How are your relationships with your friends?
Life of the party? Are you truly happy or are you just putting off the “real world”?
The goal, mind you, isn't to become complete. That's impossible.
The goal is to seek experience, fulfillment, and fun. The goal is to feel good about ourselves and the lives we lead.
So let's start there.
It's time to take control of your life and do what you want to do.
It's time to make your own luck. It's time to become your own hero.
If you like what you've read, make sure you download his eBook here.

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