This article is written for Evolving Beings by guest author Megan Bord.
In 2009 I quit a very lucrative job working in a great office with incredible colleagues and a lot of job security. I had four weeks of vacation, a deliciously high salary, amazing benefits — the works. What started off as an assistant position six years earlier ended with me in a leadership role, standing on the top rung of a corporate ladder I hadn’t quite recognized I climbed.
So why did I quit?
I quit because I realized that money isn’t everything, and my heart just wasn’t in that job. Heck, it wasn’t even in my chosen profession. I felt like I was faking my way through most of my days.
I’m reminded of a very brief engagement I had when I was 25. The guy who asked me to marry him epitomized everything I thought I was looking for at the time: super handsome, smart, doting, wealthy, faithful… On the outside it looked like I had it all, but on the inside, I was dying a little each day. As I later came to learn, what we think we want in our minds and what our hearts know we need in order to thrive aren’t always the same.
And so it was with that really good job I left.
I soon discovered that I didn’t need a huge salary as much as I needed to be doing something that was meaningful to me. My passions were wrapped up in spirituality and personal growth, not in what I had been doing. My best days often came when I was simply sitting in my office, listening to a coworker talk about a problem they were having, and offering them advice. Ultimately, I knew I wanted to help people for a living, and I loved to write. If I could somehow combine the two into a dream job, all the better. So last year, I took a leap of faith and decided to quit my job in order to write a personal development book.
Thankfully I had the support of a wonderful man, and some great friends. In my head, while I thought it would take me just three months to write that book – at which point I’d go back to work – it ended up taking much longer (side note: I’m still writing it!).
What I’ve learned along the way is that following a dream isn’t always easy. I sometimes have days when I let fear get the best of me. For instance, I wonder:
- Is my writing good enough?
- How will I keep paying my bills without a full-time job?
- Will anyone buy the book when I’m done?
Luckily, though, despite such doubts, I know that dreams, just like newly planted seeds, don’t sprout overnight. They require faith, perseverance, and lots of love in order to grow and bear fruit. On days when I begin to lose a little bit of faith, I have a support system of positive, uplifting friends and family who always say just the right things to keep me on track. I can’t tell you how important that’s been.
In meantime (until my dream comes to fruition and starts earning me money), I’ve redefined what work means to me. For the past few months, I’ve been looking for ways to earn money that appeal to my innate desire to be happy, have fun, and work with good people. That might mean shoveling snow for a few months (which is a blast, by the way!), or being someone’s personal assistant (another great job I did for a short while last summer). Unlike how I used to judge success, I know that salary, titles, and an office of my own aren’t nearly as important as doing things that bring me joy. And when I’m joyful, my dream is infused with that energy and has an even better chance of blossoming before my eyes.
No matter what I do to earn money now, I’ll also keep working on my dream one step at a time, and trust that the seed I planted and continue to cultivate will bear fruit when the time is right.
Life these days, since taking that leap of faith last year and quitting a good job, is as sweet as can be. Regardless of how my dream turns out, pursuing it on my terms and doing things that bring me joy has proven to be phenomenally more valuable than any paycheck earned doing something that doesn’t fuel my soul.
About the Author
Megan “JoyGirl!” Bord is a freelance writer specializing in spirituality and metaphysics.