Do you ever question your profession or how you make your living? I do it too often these days and it bothers me. I am struggling with this for a number of reasons. I do not want my distaste for the corporate life to be misconstrued for laziness or an unwillingness to put in the hours. God only knows how much I have sacrificed to get to where I am today. Perhaps it is the exhausting self-competitiveness I possess or the constant self-indulgent need to achieve that has created this bad after-taste. In otherwords, burnout, yes, but also a longing for self-actualization, if I am to use Maslow’s theoretical term. Man! There are a lot of “self’s” in this paragraph – probably a testament to how desperate I am to connect more deeply with who I am and to what I am truly meant to be doing.
This inner questioning is also bothering me because I am of the mindset that you always have a choice, and that you can either choose to change something, or choose to accept it. I apply this principle to all aspects of my life, so why am I finding it particularly difficult in this context? There is no personal fulfillment in the work I do. When I go home every day, I have no great feelings of pride or accomplishment. The success of completing and delivering presentations or launching products has lost its allure, and quite frankly, is shallow and meaningless in the grander scheme of life. These emotions I am experiencing are dormant and lurk beneath the surface of my skin. They emerge when provoked or awakened as was the case last night and as is the case too often these days.
I watched Freedom Writers yesterday and I was deeply moved. Such true stories are a humbling reminder of the world outside our cushy lifestyles. They depict the harsh reality that is life to so many people. They also shed light on those few rare fighters whose plight is to propel change and make a difference. I have always had this feeling in my gut that my calling in life is to help others. There is no greater satisfaction than seeing someone change or grow because of the influence you have had on them. I wish to be part of such change. To bring meaning to peoples lives. To touch people… I wont be remembered for being promoted into corporate management quickly or for the late hours I have put in. What I am saying may sound somewhat cliched. I assure you I am neither having a mid-life crisis nor am I experiencing a momentary hunger for humanitarian activity because of last night’s movie. These feelings are real and they have been inside me for long. I dream of starting a charity for the forgotten children of Palestine. To educate them, to support them, to give them hope. To tell them that life exists outside the hell hole of refugee camps and hunger and fighting and poverty that is all they have ever known…
Is this a leap of faith I should take? Have any of you left the corporate life to pursue something of your own? What do you want to be remembered for?