Last night I sat in bed with with my laptop and a glass of wine and browsed career openings at a big media company. I'm not quite sure why — I guess just general curiosity. That's when I stumbled upon a Junior Art Director position in Chattanooga that piqued my interest. And I thought:
Wow, this looks like the perfect position for me right now in my career.
And It would have been perfect IF I wanted...
- to step into the corporate world again and get back on track to move up the ladder.
- a nice apartment in the city.
- to enjoy office parties and happy hours with co-workers.
- to work with big brands and businesses.
- to spend the majority of each week in an office working for someone else.
All of that does sound comforting, especially in the wake of a massive van-repair bill and months of financial uncertainty. BUT. I stopped myself before entering in even one personal detail, because I came back to the clear vision I have for my life (for now, at least).
This is what I DO want...
- to have the freedom to make what I want, when I want.
- to make art every day, sometimes all day.
- to see how simple life can really be.
- to climb rocks and hike mountains and live outside as much as possible.
- to work with brands and people I truly believe in and respect.
- to travel around the country in my van with no end date in sight.
One of the most powerful questions I've ever been asked was: What do you want daily life to look like? When I start to get swept up in a potential endeavor or big life change I come back to that question and the vision.
WHATEVER DOESN'T ALIGN WITH MY VISION, I SAY NO TO. IT'S THAT SIMPLE.
Long-term vision > short-term satisfaction. (Usually.)
Choosing your long-term vision will probably require sacrifices, but hopefully what you're giving up is so worth it because you're trading it in for the experience you truly desire.
At this point in my life, I don't have any children, a spouse, a house.. so I'm okay with the uncertainty and risk of being a full-time freelance designer and artist. Sure, I have a Plan B, but I'm moving full-steam ahead with Plan A, because right now that vision pulls me in stronger than any fears may hold me back.
So ask yourself, what do you want tomorrow to look like, and what decisions can you make to get you closer to that reality?
- Do you see yourself being creative every day? Maybe get rid of your TV and set aside an hour every night for art instead.
- Do you see yourself walking to work? Maybe sell your car so you have more money to spend on rent in a central location.
- Do you see yourself designing for clients? Maybe un-enroll from that Instagram class and instead sign up for a Photoshop training.
Life is a series of decisions. Every decision has pros and cons. You just have to step back and figure out which align with your true vision, and which are just shiny, fleeting short-term satisfactions.