One of my favourite films is a French film called “L’auberge Espagnole“. It’s about a French young man who comes to Barcelona for a year abroad as part of his degree and sort of finds himself there.
Obviously, being from Barcelona myself, I have soft spot for any story which happens here. But that’s not why I love this film: I love it because of its ending.
The main character is your average young person, who’s gone through the motions in life by going to university and getting a regular job straight after. Sound familiar?
As a last-ditch attempt at savouring the freedom of being a student, he spends a year living with other party-loving people in a shared flat – before having to face the horrible reality that is getting an office job and settling down.
The last scene is awesome, and it was incredibly thought-provoking for me at the time – with my 9-5 job and all.
After his return to France, he starts at his new job and gets taken on a tour of his new
prison office. This is such a shock to him that he literally runs away to start doing what he loves: writing.
While at his desk at home, in the middle of writing a novel, he looks at a picture of himself as a kid, while remembering that he wanted to become a writer when he grew up.
As he’s looking at the picture, a voice over of the main character’s adult voice tells us something that I think more people should live by:
“I don’t want to let him down.”
Is This How You Imagined Life Would Be?
How about you? What did you want to be when you grew up? I bet a lot of you will say “astronauts”, “doctors” or “professional unicorn riders”, but I’m not talking about your profession.
When you start to define yourself by your actions and who you are, rather than by your job title, life takes a much more unambitious dimension. Life is so much more than your job!
What I want you to think about, is what idea of your future life looked like back then.
Where would you be living?
Who would be around you?
What would drive you to wake up in the mornings?
Most importantly, would you be happy?
I used to imagine myself as a successful CEO of a large company, making something that would make peoples’ lives much better. Something that would make the world a slightly better place to live for generations to come.
That’s actually why I chose to become a mechanical engineer: I really thought that I could use my creativity and science skills to do something great.
Then I started living the 9-5 career lifestyle and my view completely changed.
Some people have an inner entrepreneur waiting to come out. I definitely did. Working for someone else, doing something I didn’t really care about would have forced me to become a shadow of the person I could have become.
Although I didn’t realise it when I was younger, I now know that I’d never have been able to live my dream life whilst working a 9-5 job.
Taking Risks Will Get You There
If you love your life and feel that everything’s like it should be, then I would bet you’re in the minority. Good job! 🙂
For the rest of us, we have two choices:
- Keep living our current lives. Keep enjoying the apparent safety of our jobs, always knowing what tomorrow will look like, too afraid to see what we could have accomplished.
- Take risks and actually fight for a better life. It’s uncomfortable and difficult, but OMG it’s so much better! Trust me. 😉
I bet you never realised that you’d be sitting at a desk for 8+ hours a day (which is literally killing you), and spending another hour or two commuting. Maybe you still don’t like the idea, but your paycheck justifies it all.
Money can be like a blindfold of sorts. It can stop you from seeing that your life could be anything you wanted it to be.
I’ve talked before about two of the biggest obstacles that stand between you and the life you want to live. These are:
- Procrastination – we have a tendency to put off difficult things and to resist change. I wrote an article showing the best way I’ve found to beat procrastination.
- Fear – Fear of the unknown is one of the biggest mental barriers you’ll face if you decide to improve your life. For a 5-step process to get over fear, check out this article I wrote a few months ago.
Even after you’ve overcome both of these, the void left after leaving your job is hard to digest.
That’s what happened – and is still happening – to me.
I chose to make my life what I wanted it to be, at the expense of financial stability and the comfort of money – at least temporarily. I took the risk to leave a promising career with a very nice paycheck, and I jumped right outside of my comfort zone.
Despite the difficulties I’ve experienced during these first few months of starting a business, I have no doubt that I made the right decision.
Best of all, if time travel ever got invented and going back to talk to my younger self wouldn’t completely destroy time and space, I’d know he’d be proud of me.
What About You?
I know most people reading will stay at their 9-5 jobs and keep going through the motions, choosing comfort over their dream life.
But what if you actually did something different?
What if you mustered up the courage to take an 180° turn with your career and start heading towards a life that you can be proud of?
I can help you to find your true passion and make it into a business which will allow you to live the life you imagined. Start by reading my guide below:
I’d love it if you could share this article on social media, or even better, with someone you know who isn’t living the life he/she imagined.
Thanks for reading! 🙂