I hear it all too often, “I can’t wait for the weekend” or “I hate Mondays.” I cry a bit inside when I hear this. Why do you want to wish away your days? Life is short enough already! Perhaps if you’re really that unhappy with what you’re doing Monday through Friday, nine to five, you should reevaluate your situation. Don’t get me wrong, work is work for a reason and I understand that, but we spend the majority of our lives working! In fact we spend 30% of our lives working. That’s certainly a big chunk if you ask me. So if you’re reading this and can relate to that feeling of Sunday night work week anxiety, well, maybe you need to switch career paths or at least make your current work situation a little more enjoyable. Or maybe it’s just a matter of finding fulfillment elsewhere. What fills you up and brings you the most joy? Do more of that!
Either way just don’t wish away your days. Life moves too quickly already. And know that you CAN design a life YOU want to live. Sometimes change can be scary, but most often it’s so worth it. What is stopping you from making a change? Allow me to share an exercise by Tim Ferriss called “fear setting”. Let’s drag out those fears and self-doubts and stare them straight in the face, shall we?
Think of a goal or a change that you want to make in life but for whatever reason, you’ve been dragging your feet. Write it down and then create three columns. In the first column, write down all of the things that could go wrong should your attempt fail. Think of the most terrible things possible. In the second column, determine ways that you can mitigate the possibility of each of those bad consequences from happening. In the third column, think of how you would recover from each of the scenarios you imagined and wrote in the first column.
My guess is that you’ll walk away from this exercise realizing that the worst case scenario isn’t so bad and that most often we create these horrible, dramatic stories in our head of what could happen. When I was contemplating (for seven years) leaving my job in Corporate America, it was the most paralyzing and terrifying thought ever. But then I went through a similar exercise (before I knew of Tim Ferriss) and weighed the pros/cons of my decision, I realized that the very worst possible scenario wasn’t so bad. For me the worst case was quitting my job, attempting to start my own company and failing. That’s it. And if that happened, I have a transferable skill set and could go back into the same industry in Corporate America. The alternative seemed much scarier to me and that was sitting in a place of complacency the rest of my life. Go be bold and courageous. I dare you.