When you were in college, what vision did you have for your life?
Did you tell yourself you would be the “next big thing?”
Did you envision a life of impact, service, money, freedom, or all of the above?
When you closed your eyes and thought about life after college, did you see yourself laughing with friends, going on trips, and living the good life?
When you were in college you thought you could have what in life?
You could have absolutely anything, right?
The world was your oyster as they say.
Because you were told you could do anything, be anything, and have anything.
So let me ask: how’s that turning out for you?
A Life of Disillusionment Defined
The reality is that by the time we reach our late 30s/early 40s we have put in what . . . at least 15 good years into our career?
We got out of college, put our heads down, worked hard, and we gave our careers everything. We invested what many would consider our best years working late nights, early mornings, weekends, and holidays to accomplish what?
We did it to get ahead.
To create our personal brand.
To get promoted and climb that ladder, right?
So we could have it all.
So we could take the vision of our lives we created in college and make that life a reality.
But about this time 15+ years later, when we pick our heads up and look around we are shocked.
“Hold on!” we say.
“This isn’t my life! This is not how it’s supposed to be. I have career success, yes. But career success is supposed to give me the freedom, the flexibility, and the ability to take my hard-earned money and enjoy it. That’s why I have worked so hard to create career success!”
Then we look around and start asking ourselves, “How did we screw this up? Are we the only ones? Is it too late to figure out how to fix it?”
And at that moment, the disillusionment becomes your reality.
You have realized that this grand life you were going to create is actually not the life you have created thus far.
So then what?
You start trying to figure out how to get it.
Yes, you may have gotten a little disheartened to start but you aren’t a quitter!
You are a problem-solver!
So let’s fix this!
. . .
Then reality sets in and we say, “Crap. How do I fix this? I don’t know . . .”
Welcome to adulthood as the majority of the world knows it.
This period of our lives is when most people have what we call a “mid-life crisis.”
It’s not a crisis, it’s an awareness that we can’t strive for career success 100% of the time and think that we are going to have an end result of happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.
That’s not how life works.
What we strive for, we get. Thus far, we have been striving only for career success.
But guess what?
No one taught us that career success doesn’t result in freedom and fulfillment.
We were told we could have it all while also being told the way to get it is to get good grades, get a solid degree, get hired by a stable company, have a family, and voila, the dream life.
So how do you get rid of this disillusionment?
Step 1: Give yourself some grace. Don’t beat yourself up. You didn’t know that the path to an amazing life resulted from focusing on both success and fulfillment. 99% of the world doesn’t know that.
Step 2: Start asking yourself what you really want out of life. Define it. What does life on your terms mean to you? Get clear and specific.
Step 3: Learn how to become an irreplaceable asset so you can stop devoting 100% of your life to your career, still be secure and successful, and have the mental confidence and time to start living!
You can still have the life you envisioned. It’s simply going to take some pivots, mental shifts, and some additional learning.
All things you are fully capable of doing.
It’s time to take action, remove the disillusionment, and have both career success and personal fulfillment.