Every Day is a Choice
If you've ever been on a commuter train during a regular city peak hour, itcan be a rather depressing scene...
Thousands of people travelling in a giant, high-speed tin can, 99% of them staring at a phone the whole way, and 0% ever cracking a smile. Everyone looks so depressed. I know, because I used to be one of them.
The travel was boring, and I played endless games, watched countless movies and slept for I don't know how many days in a row just to pass the time travelling to my office.
But it occurred to me after listening to stories of some amazing entrepreneurs, that I was living what's called the 'default life plan'. That is; 'do well at school, get good grades, get a degree, get a good secure job and buy a house you can pay off over the next 30 years and then you can retire and be happy'.
I was accepting my reality as being this boring, always on the phone, drab, non-smiling lifestyle. It made me really quite angry with myself. Why spend the best years of my life (now) working hard climbing a corporate ladder, so that I can spend my retired life finally doing the things that bring joy to me and especially to others? It used to be the smart way to do life, not any more.
I came to realise that no matter your circumstance, every day is a choice.
You can choose to sleep, stare out the window, or scroll mindlessly through a social feed, or you can use it productively to build your business. And that’s exactly what I started doing. I started on the journey of building a business.
I didn't really know what that business would be, and I think I tried about 30 options before finally settling on the concept for Roarify (among a few other side projects I've got on the go) after (funnily enough) getting frustrated in my job that developers were not giving full access to websites as a way to lock themselves in as indispensable.
Looking at life through a new lens
Travel suddenly became the favourite part of my day because it meant writing business plans and studying new website building techniques and building online marketing resources. My days in the 'secure' job I was doing now felt like I was being held back from doing what I love - helping people in a 1-on-1 consulting environment and teaching how they can find real value in their digital marketing efforts by taking control of their business.
[Quick caveat - I'm not dissing working for others, it can be a great opportunity to learn your trade using the budgets of bigger businesses while learning to deliver value. You also learn the value of working in/as a team and how to navigate office politics - useful if you own your own business later and need to run an office like this...]
I have an obsession with learning and so during my commute I often spent time reading, writing and listening to podcasts and audiobooks. Trust me, when you’ve got 15 hours of travel to do each week, you need to fill it.
No matter the current circumstance, every day is a choice. How are you choosing to live today?
Do you find yourself dragging your heels to do a particular task each day or even each week?
If this is you, take this as a bit of encouragement. Sometimes we can’t change the physical circumstance of the now, but we can always change our mindset for the better. That's up to you, and only you.
Some examples to get you thinking...
- Hate washing up? Listen to a podcast while you do it.
- Have to look after the baby? See how many new things you can do together, teach them something new.
- Need to attend a dinner that you don’t want to go to? See how many questions you can ask or try and talk to everyone at least once.
Every day is a choice. You can't always change your circumstance in that moment, but you can change your attitude.
What will you choose to do?