Welcome back to another episode of life as perceived by me. Today’s entry will merely be a tangent, a rant of sorts. I was going to write it yesterday and title it “Tangent Tuesday”, however…it’s currently Wednesday, and I found that I needed to gather my thoughts before approaching my laptop. The further I move along in this journey of self-discovery and personal development the more I realize that it’s important for myself, and you as well, to not just experience things for what they are and allow life to happen to you…but rather, to have experiences and leverage them to extract meaning, learn valuable lessons, and gain profound insights from them. I find that my low moments reveal a lot to me and with each misstep I feel I’m moving forward marginally. I’m anxiously anticipating the moment where I fully turn the corner and entirely commit to a complete evolution before it’s too late.
DEAR “BOSS”, I NO LONGER SEEK TO BOW IN YOUR PRESENCE
For those of us who work FOR somebody else it’s not uncommon to have someone you report directly to. It could be a manager, a director, a lead, but regardless of the official title this is someone we basically call our boss. The more I think of the term the more I’m reminded of an interview with the famous Dame Dash where he approached the topic of 9-5 jobs and bosses. Some of his most famous quotes from that meeting were, “If you gonna work hard, you should work hard for something you want,” and “There is no amount of money in this world someone could pay me for me to call them my boss. That’s like calling somebody daddy.”
I don’t disagree with either sentiment. I’ve found myself in the situation I’m in as a result of my actions, or lack thereof, over the course of my life that could have created an alternate reality. I’m finally waking up to piece together what I believe will be a promising and lucrative future, however, I’m forced to live in my current reality as well. In this reality, I have a boss and it feels every ounce of degrading as Dame insinuates. I’ve had bosses over the course of my life, and not all have been bad…and the experience is very necessary. I’ve learned valuable lessons from some, but at the ripe old age of 35 it now feels unnecessary. My current director does his best to unintentionally work my nerves. I recently was moved to a new team within my organization and my boss is always looking to force quality time. We have team meetings every morning that are designated for small talk, he consistently attempts to force me to take on other tasks that are not directly related to my job and also read the books he wants us to read in our free time. It’s frustrating and not something I embrace. I’ve been fairly stubborn in my refusal to indulge him in his requests. As human beings he happened to win some lottery in the universe that granted him the “gift” of this very arbitrary and subjective title that he has. I realize he’s no better than I, though, he is a much better representative for this job. I’m beginning to embrace my resistance to fully drink the Kool-aid.
Yesterday was really a final straw kind of moment. Recently, I applied for a new job within my organization. It was a job that actually better aligns with the long term vision for my life. It’s potentially a lateral move in terms of pay and title, but it’s a position that will force me to have to do research and build coded prototypes for innovative solutions. This is something I KNOW will greatly benefit me well beyond this company in the grand scheme of things, however, my company does this wonderful thing where they send an email to your BOSS when you apply for new positions. I knew this and understood the risk, but with regards to MY life and taking advances in a direction I feel strongly about for me, I feel like it’s not your place to tell me what you think is right or in YOUR best interest in spite of me. That is exactly what happened. My BOSS got the email and seemed to take it personally, insisting the next time I choose to do that to run it by him first so he can let me know whether it’s okay or not.
Excuse me…sir, but…ARE YOU OUT YOUR DAMN MIND! I don’t give a flying **** what you think about the decisions I’m making for me and my family. I show up to work everyday and work diligently. I do exactly what I’m tasked to do and nothing more, and that’s my right as both an employee and a human being. I’m not politicking for promotions and have even made it known that advancement within this company is not my primary objective anymore, but rather the acquisition of knowledge.
This interaction infuriated me, and helped me remember that I need to stay the course and find my way out of this company and this middle-class existence…speaking of the middle-class f*ckery…let’s jump into the next topic…
MEDICAL BILLS AND INSURANCE
Can someone please remind me why I have health insurance again? I pay nearly $400 a month on an employer plan and find that almost nothing seems to be covered. I thought we had an extensive network, I thought the seemingly absurd amount of money coming out of my paychecks would provide some basic financial protections in the event of needing medical assistance…boy was I wrong. Over the past 2 years it seems that most of my claims come back unpaid by my provider. My family has amassed ridiculous amounts of medical expenses that have become unpayable, unless I wish to put my family in such financial constraints that we find ourselves being evicted for our inability to pay the rent and utilities.
Yesterday after the meeting with my boss I went to check the mail to find 2 new unpaid claims. These weren’t small amounts neither, we’re talking THOUSANDS! It would seem always as though the universe is either conspiring to fully break my spirit, or seeking to remind me to not be comfortable…I do have a tendency to occasionally get too relaxed from day-to-day in spite of knowing what needs to be done to change my circumstances.
Whilst viewing these claims I sat in my office going through a wide range of emotions, which all culminated in intense diabolical laughter and a rapid heartbeat. I was livid and sad at the same time. I want so much more for me and my family. It seems that this World that was provided for us to live from freely has been reduced to one big money grab thanks to consumerism and capitalism. I understand how economics works, and I’m not entirely opposed to certain things…but being in the middle-class, in America, with a family, has become almost unmanageable (in my humble opinion). I checked all the boxes that were advertised to me as those that would help me and my family realize the American dream…and all I’ve found is that the older I get the dream begins to seem more and more unattainable. Unless you’re able to step outside of conventions and do something magnificent you are destined to live here…at the mercy of others, and struggle to live until the day you die. It’s a miserable realization, but one that we all need to constantly be reminded of.
LET’S GET CLEAR ON PURPOSE AND INTENT
How does this all tie in to purpose? Good question. These events really got me considering my purpose and how does one even objectively consider the idea when wealth and getting yourself out of financial constraints seems to cloud your ability to be clear on what your purpose could be. I know purpose has to be greater than empowering myself to escape the workforce, and I know it has to extend beyond monetary gain. I get anxious for both things, but in a moment of meditation yesterday it occured to me that I could easily achieve both things in a few years…and then what? Was my whole reason for living to pay off my debts and become my own boss? Highly unlikely.
I know what I’m passionate about but the reason why things haven’t manifested themselves yet are because I realized money is my driving force to do everything in this life right now. I could be investing more time into my passions and goals, but my need for money throws my priorities into disarray. My bosses and leads would have me believe that blindly submitting to the “company’s vision” is the best path for me in my life. That could not be farther from the truth. Marginal financial gains in the form of small pay increases, bonuses, and promotions…paired with working on projects that are insignificant in the grander scheme of life lead me to believe that this road is the hardest, but the one I’m stuck on until I really invest into the idea of my purpose and doing what I love for the sake of doing it.
5 TIPS FOR GETTING CLEAR ON YOUR PURPOSE
- FIND WHAT YOU LOVE TO DO – This is the first step. Consider what you do daily and what brings you joy. Even if you’re not doing it, if the idea of doing it brings a certain level of peace or excitement over you then perhaps that’s something you need to consider as being a calling of yours. Until you’re financially free from the grips of dependance on the corporate world your time will be limited, but my encouragement is to utilize the free time that you have to explore that which seems fulfilling to your spirit.
- BLOCK OUT THE IDEA OF MONEY, AT LEAST AT FIRST – Don’t approach your passions with money in mind out of the gates. Really invest time and indulge in these activities without the experience being diluted with thoughts of how to monetize these skills or talents. There will come a time for that, but for now you need to be intentional about discovering if you have a love for that which you’re aiming to learn or do. If you’re approaching the activity with the intent of making money then you’ll only hinder your ability to focus on building a level of proficiency that even makes you worthy of being profitable. People can see right through your bullsh*t, trust me, I see it everyday where I work.
- BE FEARLESS AROUND YOUR GOALS – You need to be fearless with regards to your goals. Most of us are overthinkers and we stand in our own way. Our visions of great success impede our willingness to embrace the smaller steps and victories needed to achieve great success. No expert was an expert without pursuing their passions tirelessly. One might say that you don’t find purpose, but rather…you pursue purpose and then purpose finds you. I think we want to force our way into something, but I truly do believe that when people just fall in love with the act of taking action that the universe willingly reveals the reason behind their existence to them.
- THINK ABOUT ALL THE USELESS THINGS YOU WANT, AND THEN THINK BEYOND THAT – Try to imagine a life where you’ve acquired all of the monetary success and consumeristic goods your heart desires. Then contemplate how you’ll feel once you’ve climbed that mountain. Imagine that happens in your 20’s or 30’s and the universe grants you longevity in the form of 80 – 100 years on this planet. What kinds of things would prove fulfilling to you over the course of that extra 70 – 80 years? Be intentional about living and doing, and how the steps you take can help others. I think once we realize that true value resides in adding value to others lives and helping them along with their journey that we begin to uncover pieces of our reason for being here. We’re not here to be a part of the World, but rather contribute positively to the World in some manner.
- TRY TO MOVE FORWARD WITH LOVE IN YOUR SPIRIT – When one moves in love then love is what is returned. When you exude love in your work, and love for the people who are inspired or impacted by your contributions…it shows. People can see it and they only wish to see you succeed. This love should be genuine. You can’t force it, it has to really come from within. If you think about everyone that you enjoy watching succeed…it’s because you LOVE what they do or you LOVE who they are or you LOVE what they represent. Think about your favorite actors, comedians, musicians, influencers, authors, etc. When they were coming up you cheered them on, you wanted them to succeed and even used valuable time of yours contributing to their success. You loved them so much that you wanted to see them win at the expense of yourself. Even once they got filthy rich or successful you still cheered them on and only wish to see them enjoy much more success in the future. You have to realize that this is achievable for yourself and when you find a way to let your light shine then others will champion YOUR success in much the same way.
If you read this entire post then thank you. I really do hope it helped someone and if you have any questions or just want to be a part of the conversation please feel free to leave a comment. Something you ask about could be the topic of a future entry. We all have a lot to learn and we’re all still growing. I wish everyone the best and until the next time…please be blessed! Love you all.