I drag my 16-year old self out of bed.
I get dressed, and make myself two slices of toast with a glass of orange juice, because I’ve never been big on breakfast.
I think about the day ahead of me while staring out the kitchen window of my parents’ house.
A day full of mowing lawns, picking up trash, and making gardens look green and clean.
It’s my first job, and no amount of money is worth what I’m going through. It’s not the job, but the feeling that I’m heading down the wrong path.
This is not for me.
With each day, the feeling of dread grows inside of me.
“It’s only two weeks. The job’s only two weeks, then you’re free,” I told myself.
But deep down I knew that I had to make a decision. This job was going to end. It was only two weeks during the summer, but what would happen after that?
Would I go on to study at the university and get another job?
A job that would look better on paper and have different assignments, but ultimately destroy me from the inside out, like a deadly virus.
This is not for me.
There was a little voice inside of me. It was desperately calling for my attention, like a child stuck in a deep, dark well.
The cries had fallen on deaf ears for so long, but something had changed. A switch had been flipped.
There has to be something better.
That was when it all started.
I didn’t know it at the time, but it was at that summer job that a flame inside of me was born and my life changed forever.
From Idea to Action
Time flew past, like it always does, and the next summer was upon me.
This time, I had scored another job: one that paid more. I was going to wash and clean boxes inside of an old warehouse, where boxes, tools, and metallic objects where stacked to the ceiling.
After each day, it was as if I aged 40 years. It didn’t just show in my hands, but also in my spirit. I felt old after each day.
One day, while washing box after box, I was chatting with my friend, who told me about a guy he knew who had made $500 playing online poker.
“That’s it,” I thought to myself.
That was the opportunity I needed. That summer I began studying online poker. I bought books until thirty of them filled my brown, wooden shelf in my small room.
I read, studied, and was active in online forums.
It took me six months of hitting my head against a brick wall before I finally broke through.
At first, it was just a few cents. From there it grew to a few dollars; to a few hundred; to a few thousand, and at that moment I knew.
I knew that other possibilities existed out there.
People told me to get a good education and get a job, but it never felt right.
Now, I had the proof for what I had been feeling all this time.
Just like a child in a candy store, my eyes opened wide, and I stood in awe looking at life and all it had to offer.
The veil had been lifted.
Like any good story, I ran into my first big obstacle not a second later than I started feeling like I was on top of the world, and it felt like a spear had been thrust through my stomach.
It was the fear of what if.
As I began making a living playing online poker, I got scared. I started feeling like I should go to the university anyway.
“What if I fail? It would be smart to get a university degree just in case,” I thought.
Fear had gotten its long, dirty claws in my flesh. I was making life plans out of pure, unadulterated fear.
I didn’t yet know that fear would become my constant companion on my quest to living my purpose.
All I knew was that I was scared out of my mind, like a kid is scared of monsters under the bed on a dark, ominous night.
I kept moving forward despite my fear. I gave myself no other choice. I wasn’t going to get a job, so forward was the only direction for me.
I knew I was going to be miserable if I did anything else. I’d rather be afraid than succumb to a life full of regret.
There has been many of these challenges since that time, but those are stories for another time.
As I kept living a very unconventional life, I noticed how oppressive society was.
Most people have no idea that the ideas and beliefs they have are merely figments of their imaginations–stuff they’ve learned.
My friends and family kept urging me to get a job.
“When will you get a job,” they asked me as I was making a living doing what I enjoyed and traveling the world.
Even with the evidence in front of them, they refused to see the obvious.
They could not.
For seeing what I was doing meant that they, too, could do what they wanted, but instead they decided to turn their heads and look the other way.
When you begin to travel your own path, you will come upon people that do this, and you will meet people that condemn you. Not because you are wrong, but because it scares them.
They will do anything from facing their own fears, because when you begin to live your purpose, they will be reminded of how they are not living theirs.
You Don’t Need A Job
Deep inside of you, you know that you don’t need a job.
You’re reading these very words for a reason. There’s something calling you, like it called me, to take that leap of faith into the unknown, and trust.
You keep getting pulled back by fear, and the what ifs. And that’s exactly what should happen, because the closer you get to your true purpose, the more afraid you will be.
You don’t want to screw it up.
But what you aren’t realizing is that the only way you can screw it up is by not starting at all.
You don’t need to heal, be fearless, or have the perfect business plan. You only need the courage to take the first step.
All the excuses you make are your fear trying to stop you, like a little, red devil sitting on your shoulder.
“I’m not good enough.”
“I’m not interesting enough.”
“Why would anyone listen to me?”
They all come out of fear, yet they show that you care deeply. You want to make this work.
The jobless path isn’t for everyone, and it might not be for you at this time, but if there’s even a small part of you that is trying to get through, you know what to do.
Will it be scary? Hell yes.
Will you doubt yourself? I hope so, because otherwise you aren’t pushing yourself enough.
Will it be worth it? More than anything else in the world.
Image by Desmond