Radically transform your life, a little bit at a time

Last week I wrote about aligning your day job with your creative destiny and there were a few objections about the practicality of such things in this day and age.

So I want to be clear.

  • I’m not suggesting that you up and quit your current job that doesn’t work for you without having something new lined up.
  • I’m not suggesting that work for peanuts and stress yourself financially in order to pursue your creative work.
  • I’m not suggesting that the only way to have a more aligned day job is to work part time or fewer hours (though that may be part of your solution).

I am suggesting that:

  1. If pursuing your creative destiny is important to you and you believe it is your true source of life satisfaction and ultimate success, you must make it a priority.
  2. In order to make it a priority, you may want to reevaluate the current things you are doing and consider changing them to be better aligned with your creative work.
  3. Many people mistakenly assume there is no other solution to their current circumstances, and/or they are unwilling to challenges the choices in their lives that keep them stuck.
  4. Many people resist making changes because it feels overwhelming.

IF you want to make a change in your current life or job situation, rather than doing it in one fell swoop, I encourage you to tackle it a little bit at a time.

  • Begin thinking of yourself in a new way (e.g “What would it look like to put my writing first?”).
  • Take a look at what’s working and what’s not.
  • Get creative about new ways to approach what’s not working. What could you try that you’ve never tried before? (Getting up early to pursue your art?)
  • Brainstorm what your ideal scenario would look like.
  • Resist deciding there are no alternatives that might work better until you’ve thoroughly explored the options.
  • Open your eyes, heart, and mind to new possibilities and solutions.
  • Take a active role in pursuing those solutions.
  • Start making changes a little bit at a time.
  • If something big falls into place, go for it!

For a long time, I believed that running my busy coaching business meant I couldn’t write. As I wrote last week, I had to shift what I was thinking and believing first, and then shift what I was doing to make a change in my life. And now it’s happening, bit by bit.

The mistake I kept making was not believing it was possible, so I kept waiting for something to happen to make it possible, rather than making it possible myself.

Your Turn

What about you? What’s the first small adjustment you can make to bring your creative work to the forefront of your life? Let us know in the comments.

 Jenna

Coming Attractions

~> Ongoing. My Protection & Grounding Jewelry is on close-out. Only a few items are left. Find them here.

~> December 26th, 2011. The next session of my Writer’s Circle starts — come rain, come shine, come holidays! Sign up here. Get my Free Writing Tips series too, and receive a coupon for a savings on your first 4 week session.

~> February 2, 2012. Start the new year fresh with your life purpose clear in your mind. My next life purpose breakthrough group session in on February 2. Details. Registration deadline: January 5.

 

What I'm Up To

~> Ongoing. Writing in the ProSeries class at ScreenwritingU.

~> Daily and especially Fridays. Sacred writing time. The Do Not Disturb sign is up.

~> Getting ready for some time off with my family over the holidays.

Comments

  1. Hi Jenna,

    I’m with you on aligning your priorities. Years ago, when I said I wanted to write for Saturday Night Life, my then roommate said, “What are you doing to make that happen?”

    Nothing.

    And I never did because I did not have the courage to align my priorities.

    Am I writing stuff I love now? Yes, but I did exactly what you suggested. I started a reading/writing group at my corporate job, took writing classes and started writing. And before that I wanted to have a job more artsy, so I started taking classes, reading books, etc and did QUIT my job without another one.

    Really liberating to move past that fear of ending up living on the streets. It didn’t happen. In fact, I was making way MORE money within a year. We are taught in schools not to TRUST ourselves. It’s startling when you realize what’s going on.

    I think a lot of your adverse reactions to the previous post are fear and loss of self-trust driven. Fear will talk you, me, us out of doing what are heart wants. Fear wants us to be miserable and sit on the couch watching reality shows with it.

    Sometimes, you have to take a chance in life or you’ll get to the end and wonder why you played it so safe.

    This post relates to the one I wrote today. It’s got a SCI-FI bent, which I believe you will appreciate. I want to thank you for reconnecting me to my love of Twilight Zone type Sci-Fi. Even within sci-fi there is wide range of writing styles. I had gotten to the point where I associated Sci-Fi with Star Trek, which isn’t my thing. So, I thought, “I do not like sci-fi.” I’d disconnected myself from the Twilight Zone and One Step Beyond type I loved in my younger years.

    I may join you in writing a sci-fi screen play!

    thanks for the post. G.

    • Jenna says:

      You are a star, G, Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  2. Yes! Thank you for writing these two posts Jenna! So timely! (I can’t believe I haven’t been signed up for your e-zine all this time, so just getting to reading them now!) And I agree with Giulietta, FEAR is the huge ugly beast rearing it’s head in the back of everyone’s mind, saying, “you can’t do that.” Certainly shifting the mindset is the first thing that needs to happen- and it can happen slowly for some, and overnight for others, and I think this is directly related to whether or not you are one of those people who can “quit your day job & take off with creative pursuits” or needs to break it into smaller, manageable steps. I have had experience with both. When I was younger, I quit many a day job I despised because I felt the need to “feed my soul.” However, in doing so, I wasn’t so concerned about feeding my body. Come to find out, we need food to live! : ) As I’ve grown older, had a number of different jobs and even followed a series of different career “paths” for years at a time, I realize, while I started out changing things up to help me “find my soul path”, I didn’t have the life or business skills to bring my dreams and ideals “down to earth” or ground them, which is generally what is required to achieve some monetary reward for the energy you put into your creative dreams. So, I kept altering them slightly to fit what matched what I believed at the time could be the “balance” between doing something I was passionate about and loved and doing something that fulfilled a need for people. Problem is, as I focused more on the needs that could lead me to more financial gain, I moved away from the things I was passionate about in each field. (Luckily, I have many passions. Challengingly, I have never been able to choose only one to focus all my energy on.) And the tricky thing is, the more you lose passion in what you are doing daily, the more easy it is to convince yourself that you NEED the standard of living you’ve grown accustomed to with the salary increases, because you don’t derive intrinsic benefit from the work you do, so you search more and more for extrinsic benefits that will make it all seem worth it (spa vacations, expensive cars, bigger homes, the latest gadgets to make your overstuffed life easier). It’s a slippery slope from there because until you are engaged with what you spend your time doing ON A SOUL LEVEL, you will NEVER be satisfied. (This is not to say people HAVE to make a living from living their soul purpose, it’s just easier that way I think. Some people may be perfectly satisfied feeding their souls purely through hobbies and pastimes outside of their daily 9-5. This has never been the case for me, but I am a rather “intense” person and I realize everyone is not that way.) I think this is the basis of our exceedingly consumerist culture. I also think it is the basis for why so many are searching for realigning themselves with work they love that fits their values, or spiritual fulfillment, or simplifying their lives to return to the essence of what is important to them. I have found the key, for me, is not to just jump off the deep end with living my dreams, not because I shouldn’t, simply because I don’t have the level of self-trust that G. mentions, and I have needed time and positive experiences, bit by bit, to build that back up. If you are a much more self-trusting person, go for it! I imagine many people cannot bite off that big head of FEAR all at once. The beauty of the process is, if you are engaged in it, you are succeeding already. I think this is what you are saying here, just in different words.

    • Jenna says:

      Molly, beautifully articulated. Thank you so much!

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