What to do when you can’t live “like before”, but don’t know how to start a “new life”

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This article (not even an article, but rather an essay) is for those who want to change their lives, but don’t know where to start. Habits… Stereotypes… Doubts… How to destroy it all in a blink? How to start “from scratch”?

What to do when you can’t live “like before”, but don’t know how to start a "new life"

You work, live, everything seems to be fine. As always, you go to work, can hardly wait for the end of the workday, and then … Then – home … Sofa, TV, household routines… Simple, clear life, comfortable enough. But … the key word is “enough”. For whom is it enough? What is enough? And if not? If it’s not enough for me? You can’t “tumble over yourself?” Or, is it worth a try?

Malikova OlgaFor a long time, choosing a job, I considered the top priority the amount of money earned. Such concepts as moral satisfaction, favorite hobby were left on the back burner. Thus, I found myself in multi-level marketing. I set goals, pushed forward, strove for good living. About 10 years went that way. In the last 2 years I came to the understanding that I was going wrong, doing wrong and in general, hated the business, to which I’d devoted so many years. Anyway, I lacked the courage to drop everything and quit. What was to be done? What job should I start? And the most important – where would the money come from?

This point on the path to a new life is the most difficult. Making up the mind to pass a wet sponge over early life experience, starting from scratch for most people is the hardest. I was no exception. The hard-and-fast guidelines are drummed into our subconscious mind since childhood: “A bird in hand is worth two in the bush”, “Cut the coat according to the cloth”, “Dry bread at home is better than roast meat abroad” and so on and so forth. Over the years, the people get more afraid of risk, become more and more overgrown with doubts. As a result, dreams are forgotten, unrealized ideas remain unrealized.

We are told: Don’t be afraid, seek, go for your dreams. But where shall we go? How? What if I’ve been selling pans all my conscious life (some were driving a tractor, others were doing something else) and I can do nothing else? The main work on self-improvement starts from this point on. After all, to change your life, you need to change your attitude to it and to yourself. Here is how to do it.

STEP 1: The most important things you must understand

  • Don’t work solely for money!
  • Don’t work just because you HAVE to work!
  • Don’t work on the HATED work!
  • Don’t work “IN GENERAL”!

If you get up every morning horrified that you have to go to work, if you go there as if to be executed, if you can’t see your colleagues and smiling at their faces, silently tongue-lash them, then your body is experiencing a heaviest stress. This stress is repeated day after day, year after year. As a result, your body starts to falter. There comes a depression and, as a consequence – serious diseases.

Here is a real-world example: my friend’s health sharply deteriorated for no reason at all. Within 2 months she underwent two operations; diseases were found in almost all parts of her body. One course of treatment followed another. As a result, she had to leave work.

I come to visit her. Sick, emaciated, but her eyes are shining. ‘You know, I’m so happy!’ and leads me to the kitchen. There’s a bunch of jars, bottles, something is boiling in a saucepan. All in all, she got busy with soap-boiling and started doing customized crochet and cross-stitching. That is, she allowed herself to do what she was keen on, what she liked. She recalled her old job with horror, ‘How could I force myself for so many years?! So much, that my body couldn’t stand it, revealed a bunch of sores, so that a fool of me finally decided to quit it.’. It took her the whole year to restore her health. I moved to another city. I didn’t see her for 5 years.

Some time ago my friend came to see me. Where is that skinny, sick, aging auntie? Before me there’s a confident, beautiful forty-year-old woman. Bright, energetic. To my question, ‘What are you doing now?’ with glowing eyes she tells about all possible variants of ceiling design. The ways to make it, materials to make of… ‘I work a lot’, she says, ‘I get tired, of course, but I like it!’

Not a single new illness for 5 years, and the old problems don’t bother any longer…

And here comes STEP 2:

You have to understand, what actually you are interested in, what can captivate you. The most important thing at this stage is to reject such thoughts as, ‘Where shall I get the initial capital?’; ‘I have no experience, relations, money’. You don’t think about it now. At this point it doesn’t matter.

It is important to create a “base”, the basis from which you will take off, the foundation on which you will start setting your future goals.

My friend, having tried every possible hobby, settled on the one which fascinated her so much that she found the company she wanted to work, and despite the lack of experience, almost forced the management to take her. Of course, she had to learn a lot, to acquire new knowledge and skills, but it was interesting, and so, not difficult.

And here comes STEP 2

Remember, what you dreamed about? Think what you would like to do. To open a shop, maybe? Imagine yourself in a new role, not for one day, but for years to come.

You are the owner of a store. What do you sell? The usual set of products: milk, beer, bread? Boring routine again, sick and tired in two years.

Perhaps, you will find such a baker that in your store you will make the tastiest muffins in the city? Perhaps, it will be a mini-sweetshop, and you’ll invent new types of chocolate? Then, a network of sweetshops, then – production of premium chocolate, the most delicious in the world? Or maybe, you want to help sick babies? Maybe, you want to develop new methods of teaching disabled children?

If you can’t “work”, you CAN and SHOULD be doing things you love, something that inspires, captivates you. Then it will not be difficult to give it your time and energy. And the result will not take long, both morally and materially.

It took me 5 minutes to understand Step 1 and two years – to realize Step 2. I didn’t dare, I was afraid, doubtful, I didn’t know what I wanted. Complete financial collapse served me as a kick in the ass. Under acute “fight for survival”, mental process immediately began to pick up the speed, ideas started to pop up. As a result, I have found my “base”.

I have long liked watching houses under construction, seeing how a piece of architecture is growing in the green field. It happened so that I moved to sparsely-populated area. There are a lot of new houses and the ones under construction. And here, among them, it dawned on me: this is what I need now! I found two different real estate developers, proffered them my services (though had never done it). So, briefly, now I sell new homes in our area. And I like it. I like looking at a foundation bed and imagine the future house layout, l like to think up an exterior design.

And now STEP 3:

It’s the acquisition of knowledge and skills necessary for your business. Explore your job deeper. If you have some knowledge in this area – improve it, if not – seek to obtain more.

I sell ready-made houses, but I already know, it’s not enough. I want to create my own homes, with my layout, with my design of the plot, facade and so on. But I don’t have enough knowledge for independent work yet. So, now I gain experience, I’ve signed up for architectural courses. It is only when I fully pass through this stage, I will proceed to the next: goal setting. Then I’ll break it into separate tasks and steps to perform them. There, I’ll start thinking about cash investment, attracting investors etc.

And now I’m doing things I love and getting income. I’ve overcome moral and material crisis. And surprisingly, I have enough time for everything: my two children, my husband, a dog, customers, developers, books, courses, constant traveling; I don’t have a car (yet), but I still manage it. I grow, develop, I don’t stand still. At this step it’s the most important thing.

Shall I become a developer or, a more detailed study of the subject will reveal some other horizons to me? As one old Jew used to say, ‘We will have a see.’

Don’t wait until life gives you a push in the back or a kick (you know where), start changing your world right now. Look around you. There’s so much interesting in the world. Listen to yourself. You have so many undiscovered talents inside you. Seek, try, err and try again, and then you will be able to change your life. And remember: it is never too late to start “from scratch”!