TGIF. ?Everyone knows that acronym. ?There?s even a restaurant chain named for it.

watching the clockWhen you make small talk with someone in the elevator or wait in line at the Subway counter during a busy lunch, the conversation might revolve around looking forward to it being Friday and getting to go home to do what you really enjoy instead of slugging along at work.

Why is that? ?Is it because you really hate your work? ?Do you really dislike what you are doing but do it because it pays well, or at least pays enough to make a decent living? ?Is it because you haven?t found an enjoyable activity that also happens to cover your bills? ?Or is it because you fear change and are comfortable enough as is, getting by, waiting for better times in retirement, waiting for something to fall into your lap, or waiting for a divine signal of some sort?

If you stop to think about it, you will realize that what you are really doing is exchanging a non-renewable resource — your time on earth — into a tradeable good: money. ?You will also realize that what you do for that commodity is very, very expensive: ?35-45% of your waking hours on this planet, doing something that you look forward to not doing for a few days, just so that you can give yourself and your family the material things you feel you/they deserve.

Don?t Waste Your Time
No matter how hard you may try, you cannot get your time back. No one has invented a time machine for you to go back to take a different path. So instead of doing something unfulfilling for over a one third of your time on earth in exchange for money, do something you enjoy instead. Being miserable for more than one third of your lifetime is not worth the money. ?Instead, do something that will make you look forward to work, even if the pay does not initially match what you currently get paid doing that unfulfilling work that you do.

My Attempt
That?s what I did. ?Bored with two decades of routine environmental consulting work, about a year ago I decided to go all in with software development. A new journey filled with risk, disappointments, difficulties, unfulfilled expectations, concerned/scared family and friends, naysayers, skeptics, financial struggles, bankers that don?t understand anything except historical data, and all the baggage that comes with trying something new. But it?s this newness, the ?what-if? possibilities, and the upshot that made things exciting again. While I still look forward to Fridays, I also look forward to Mondays and every day in between. And I?m a different — and much happier — person for it. Even if things ultimately go south, I can honestly say that I at least tried. ?No regrets of shots not taken.

Don?t Settle
Don?t merely accept that what you do for work is what you will always do for work and that?s that. Don?t settle for your lot in life. There is more out there. A more fulfilling career. A more exciting adventure for you to travel down. It?s out there, waiting for you. All you have to do is make that mental decision that you know you need to make and go for it. It will take boldness, persistence, patience, focus, and really really hard work, but in return, you will get a third of your life back, doing things that give you pleasure and excitement again. And when that happens, you too will look forward to Mondays. TGIM.

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