“God never gives us more than we can handle. Everything that comes our way is coming our way so that we can grow and evolve. If we look at it like that and we’re willing to open our hearts and see where we’re shut down, where we’re trying to resist life, then we have a great opportunity to step into who we always wanted to be.” – Debbie Ford.
Most of us spend lifetimes searching for our “element”, as Sir Ken Robinson says. And most of us, never find it. We waste our lives working the jobs we hate, living the lives we never dreamed of living and all because we are not willing to take a chance, to take a leap of faith and pursue what we really want.
But what is it that we really want? Do we even know?
I kept asking myself this question almost every day. And truth to be told, I had no idea what I wanted. I was always following directions others gave me and I was doing it to the perfection. I got an honors degree in International Relations without really being so stressed about studying as much as I was stressed about working and paying bills (and there were quite a lot of them – college life in the USA sucks if you don’t have money).
In my Junior year, I’ve realized I was quite disappointed with all the things related to politics because I’ve always had a high set of morals that didn’t go well with “ends justify the means”. I never believed in hurting people to further my goals and above all, I have always been a lousy liar. I strongly believe in karma, and doing good to others, so I continued to love POLITICAL THOUGHT, not politics!, and went on to study finance. Again, this was not because I really loved it, but because I was told that jobs in finance pay really well, and frankly I was just sick and tired of being broke all the time.
By the time I got my MBA in Financial Management and International Banking, I already had 2 years of work experience as a financial analyst. Instead of being proud and happy that I have finally made it, I was so down and out that I would wake up in the morning wishing I was sick so I wouldn’t have to endure any minute of my day at work or later in school.
But school was not the thing that made me feel bad. Nor was the work. I never had trouble with either. I was always and still am a nerd so studying about anything and everything came easy for me. It was just that I never really liked finance. And working in it wasn’t helping the situation.
CHANGE OF HEART
In the summer of 2010, I had the change of heart. I literally felt as if life was sucked out of me and that if I stayed one more day at work I would snap. So I gathered enough courage, and admitted first to myself and then to my family and my then boss, that I have made a mistake and that I have to quit. I explained I couldn’t go on living like that and hating my life for no obvious reason but the fact that I have chosen the wrong profession that didn’t fulfill me. That I have chosen the wrong “element”.
So, with my mind made up that I needed to get back to who I was or at least find out WHO I really was, I packed my things and left for Hawaii. And this is where my life began. And I can say, this was by far the best decision I have ever made in my life. The very best.
MY “HAPPY” BEGINNING
In the following year, I was quite broke, but happy. I was enjoying life, enjoying my freedom, enjoying the fact that my inner positive outlook on the world re-surfaced. I couldn’t take the smile off my face, everything was funny, everything was perfect.
I loved that I could wear what I felt most comfortable in –> snickers, flip flops, shorts, skirts, jeans…instead of suits and ties. (It’s gonna be 5 years now that I haven’t actually put on a suit, and I LOVE IT!)
I did everything I wanted to do. I read an enormous amount of books. I made so many photos I am still trying to group them and make them into an album. I traveled to Dubai, and then to France&Monaco, and when my year off was finally over, I was ready to get serious and have a fresh start.
And don’t worry! I didn’t go back to my old life after my trip ended! I actually started from scratch: learning things I always wanted to do but feared they wouldn’t pay much – things like marketing, blogging, social media, website and graphic design. And now, I am doing just that. And I am still learning. And I still have lots to learn but I am happy and I love it.
Every day I learn something new, I am happy because I am finally doing what I should have done from the start – listen to my gut feeling and go for what I was really good at – creativity and non-uniformity.
DO WHAT YOU LOVE AND YOU’LL LOVE WHAT YOU DO
Anyone who loves what they do – rules the world. Work shouldn’t be a bother. It should be a joyous activity that you benefit from not just financially, but also mentally. Just look at the world’s biggest child – Richard Branson. He’s enjoying his work because he has never let himself grow up and lose his inner child.
World is the playfield we can play on only if we enjoy what we do.
Have the courage to change your life if you are unhappy with the profession you have chosen. We all make mistakes in college. That doesn’t mean we should keep repeating them all throughout our life. Truth is, you might not make 6 zeros in a year once you start a new but you will love what you do and when you love what you do, no work is work.
Hello Marija, thank you so much for this article ! I found a lot of thinks very interesting ! I would also like to find my own element but it’s not easy ! In this article you said that you’ve read a lot of books ! My question is do you have some books to recommend me to help me to find my ‘element’ ! Thank you so much for you help ! I must say you that it’s a real pleasure to read your website ! It inspire me so much ! Again and again…Laëtitia from France.
Thank you for your very kind words 🙂 I’m glad you’ve found some interesting things in my rumblings here and there 😛
Well, I’d say, start with Ken Robinson’s “Finding Your Element” – https://www.amazon.fr/Finding-Your-Element-Discover-Transform/dp/0143125516. I think you can find so many interesting things in this book that may help you find your element or your true purpose, or if not, reading the book may at least spark your curiosity and motivate you to go search for it.
Depending on where your true interests lie, you may find plethora of amazing books on various subjects, but I guess, start with this one and see how it works for you 🙂
Good luck and let me know how you liked the book 🙂