Nearly two years ago today, I walked away from a successful career in investment banking. At that time, I was no longer happy with the life I was living. My smile had gone. My passion for life was dead. I realized that I was spending very little of my days doing the things I loved to do. Being a marketing manager was never my childhood dream, but somehow I had got sucked into a Westerner ideal that I needed a well-paid, professional career to be a success and that I needed a lot of money to be happy.
Well, in the Spring of 2014, I decided it was no longer right for me. I needed to try something new…
Two years later, I find myself on a Sunday evening in May, sitting outside a tiny bar in South Korea having a cold beer and some pretzels and watching the sun go down after an amazing weekend in the countryside at a camp for children who are learning English as a second language. It was an exhausting weekend, but such a rewarding one seeing the kids having such a great time, making memories, and developing their English skills.
As, I sat there consciously feeling very content with life, more content than I can remember in decades, this song came on the radio – “It’s Not Right for You” by the Script. The words hit home hard:
“Is this the life you’ve been dreaming of
Spending half the day away from the things you love?
It’s not too late to do something new.”
“It’s hard enough trying to live your life.
But not following your dreams made you dead inside.
If you don’t love what you do.”
“Open your mind, take a look within.
Are you happy with the world that you’re living in?
If not, you gotta change what you do.
“If we don’t do something now then we’ll never know
So, before it’s too late and it’s killing you,
We’ve only one life to live. So love what you do.”
For many years, I dreaded Sunday nights and the looming Monday. This Sunday night, I can honestly say, for the first time in a long time I was looking forward to the work week ahead. Many people I’ve met over the last two years have told me how brave I was to make that conscious decision to change what I was doing to find something that would make me happy and that I’d love to do. It wasn’t a simple, easy decision, but I knew I had to do something different because I couldn’t go on living the way I was. Now, teaching English as a second language, spending my spare time writing a blog and my spare change traveling the world, I finally feel that my life more closely resembles the dreams I had for myself as a young girl.
As you wind up your Sunday and begin thinking about the week ahead, ask yourself “Are you happy with the world that you’re living in?” If what you are doing right now doesn’t feel right for you and you feel like it’s killing a part of you each day, then you gotta be brave too and change what you do. I promise you, if you follow your dreams, you’ll find a way to make it work, and once you find the path that is right for you, you’ll think, “Why didn’t I make this change sooner?”
You’ve only got one life to live. And it goes in a blink in an eye. So whatever you do, please love what you do.