Why Being Unemployed is OK.
I freaked out thinking about how I wouldn’t be bringing any income in. Then I realized…
This summer I had a job.
This summer I quit a job.
This summer I have yet to find another job.
Long story, short, I was employed 10 short weeks ago, but for the last 6 weeks I have not had a job. Since resigning, I have brought in an outstanding: $0.00.
The first few days I panicked. How was I going to survive with no income? Thankfully, I had my rent paid off for the remainder of my lease and I had enough money to live off of until the almighty college meal plan kicked back in.
I quit my job on a Friday, and right as Monday hit I began aggressively applying for any and all part-time jobs within my degree, and even some that had nothing to do with my field of study. I felt as if I needed more money to live comfortably. I was influenced to believe that I needed more to be happy. I needed more to survive.
As the days passed, I learned so much. I learned that I didn’t actually need a job right now. I just thought I wanted one. For the first time since I can even remember, I finally felt free. I felt free from a forced schedule that revolved around selling my time for a paycheck. I felt free from the pressures of not following my passions so that I could survive. I felt free to pursue so many different avenues of living that I had yet to, due to the fact that I just never really had time to.
Now, by no means am I saying quit your day job and be unemployed, because a life with no income is virtually impossible, especially for us that do not previously come from wealth. What am I saying is, if you ever find yourself lost and unemployed with no direction, do not be afraid. Good can and will come out of it if you can adopt these three mentalities:
You don’t always need more.
We are conditioned to believe that we always need more. So many times I have heard people say that the real American dream is to outdo your parents: to make more money than they did, to live in a bigger house, to give more to your kids. This is fine, however, it is not a life’s must. We do not have to fall victim to the rat race of life, selling our time for money so that we can have more things.
Sometimes where you currently are is enough. Sometimes not having a plan is okay. Sometimes being lost is the perfect place to find yourself. See, when we aren’t pressed to be obtaining more, we have the time to stop and as they say, “smell the roses.” When we cannot just go out, purchase whatever we please, and have to be intentional with our money, it teaches us to find new found appreciation for what we already have. When we are intentional with our spending, it teaches us that we don’t actually need more, we just want it.
Why? Well, take a look around. Every which way we turn, we are pumped with commercial images and thoughts that say, we need more to be more. Think about the last day you went without seeing an advertisement. Can you? I sure can’t.
Take time to create your reality.
We all have had a dream of what we wanted to do and who we wanted to be. Somewhere in the black hole of crammed schedules and expectations of those around us, we tend to lose those dreams. I know I did. I wanted to be a motivational speaker. I wanted to share the gifts of life to everyone around me. I wanted to inspire folks to find the light in the dark tunnel of fear. I wanted to love people up no, matter where they were in life.
I never pursued that passion. . . because I was afraid. I was afraid of failing. I was afraid of being broke. I was afraid that no one would care about what I had to say and I would have wasted my talents in business. So I stayed in school to get more degrees than I will probably ever need. Please, do not mistake what I’m saying though. I am so blessed to have been able to attend a university, because education is important. My profession is important. But so are our passions.
Having a free schedule has allowed me to create the reality of a life I wanted to live. Like I said, I always wanted to share my thoughts. I wanted to become a better at taking photos. I wanted to become more fit. I wanted to reconnect with so many people that I had lost touch with. I wanted to read so many book. I wanted to create a portfolio of all of the skills I possess. I wanted to have more time to put toward service and random acts of kindness. I wanted to grow as a man of God.
I am here to tell you that since I have been pursuing my passions and focusing on creating the reality of the life I wanted to live, I have become much more whole and much more excited about life.
Time is our greatest asset.
You can spend $100 dollars on groceries, and make $100 dollars back. You can lose your house, but purchase another one. I learned that time is the only asset that can be spent, but never returned back into our cash flow of life.
We’re getting old, and it’s coming fast. I cannot believe that I have been in college, and only have one year left. I cannot believe that some of the young men and women I had mentored now can drive, now have high school diplomas, heck, even some are married!
Let’s put this into perspective:
We each have 24 hours in a day.
The average work day is about 8 hours.
Don’t forget that unpaid lunch hour.
Don’t forget the morning and evening commute.
Wait. What about getting ready for work? Cleaning up from work?
Before we know it, half of our day is put into careers and jobs that some people do not even like!
We have to sleep, and the doctor recommends at least 8 hours!
Give or take, each day we only have about 4 hours to put toward everything else that matters to us.
We are losing time quickly, and we can never get it back. Time is the only asset in our life that can be spent, but never returned. When is enough money, enough? When is enough square footage for a home enough? When are the material possessions that we acquire enough? For so many people, it never is enough. No matter the economic class, so many are living paycheck to paycheck because of the liabilities of life that are not a need, but a want. Instead, we burn up our time to keep up with the addiction of more.
The time we are given is all we get. We get no returns for transactions of life.
Again, by no means am I looking to tell you to quit your job and neglect the needs of life. However, what I am saying is to take inventory of your life. Reevaluate how you spend your time. Reevaluate the difference between your needs and wants. Do you need more? Ask yourself, what were your goals and dreams, and how has your current life shifted the reality of what you actually wanted to do. Lastly, ask yourself, is the time that you are spending on the life you currently live, worth the price of the life you actually want to live?
For those who may be unemployed, rest easy, trust me. Grab a part-time job, save a little, keep your expenses low, and begin learning what you have always wanted to learn.
Begin doing what you have always wanted to do.
Begin being who you have always wanted to be.
What are your thoughts? What positives do you think can come from being unemployed?