The Seduction Of Security

At one time I worked as an accountant for a major publishing company and I thought I’d found my dream job.  I loved books. I liked the people I worked with. I met some interesting authors. After being self-employed for several years it was nice to have the security of a regular income.  But before long I realised that the work I was doing was so boring I started dreading going to work.

Talking to my family one night I said, ‘I think I’m going to resign’.  My security conscious dad begged me to reconsider.  Dad said, ‘But Anne you’re an accountant!’  My dad had a very valid point as such jobs weren’t always easy to get without formal qualifications.  I knew I did the job well, I was valued, my job was secure and there was the potential to move up within the company.  I also knew that I couldn’t do this work long term because it was soul destroying.  I needed a creative outlet and I needed to work with people.  So I resigned and it’s a decision I’ve never regretted.

Two years later I was offered the position of starting and managing The Financial Woman, a financial planning business for women.  That job changed my life. It suited my essential nature. It launched my writing and speaking career. It set the foundation for the work I do today.  Eight years after I resigned, my first book was published by the very company I once worked for.

Although I like security it is nowhere near as important to me as it is to some people.  Recently one of my daughters said to me, ‘I’m worried that if I don’t leave this job soon I am going to get locked into a career and lifestyle I don’t really want.’  My daughter has been very successful, after just a few years of working she was offered the role of setting up and managing a large medical specialist centre.  She enjoyed the job and liked the people she worked with but her passion is writing.  She eventually left that job to travel the world, a decision she now says is one of the best she has ever made.

The Seduction of Security

Most people start their adult life with so many hopes and dreams and within the span of ten years so many settle for less than they really want. They get trapped by security, financial obligations and the expectations of others until they become so locked in they feel they have no other choice.

Ignoring the call of your heart can lead to confusion or a midlife crisis.  Driven by the need to find a better way to live some seek the services of a life coach, or look for the answers in books.  If you are willing and open you can rewrite the story of your life.

Look at your life as it is today and ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you get more enjoyment from a leisure activity than you do from your job?
  • Do you feel as if something is missing no matter how successful you are?
  • Are your weekends the highlight of your week?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, it’s time to let go of the illusion of security and reassess your life.  I’m not suggesting you throw in your job or do anything reckless, just take time to reassess. Be open to finding a way even where there appears to be no way. Ask for help. Hire a life coach.  It’s scary to step out of your comfort zone and follow your heart, but the joy that comes from being true to yourself makes the journey so worthwhile.

The signs that lead to your Dharma

Gratitude

What I love most about my work is interacting with others, being creative and making a difference but in recent times the growth of my business meant that my day was filled with administrative tasks, managing and marking assignments. Not so long ago it got to the point where I dreaded the day ahead. Whenever I got to this stage in the past I generally sold or closed my business down, deciding that owning a large business wasn’t for me. That decision though was always followed by years of uncertainty and searching for what to do next.

What it took me many years to learn is that dissatisfaction of any kind is merely a sign that tells me to reassess. Reassessing doesn’t have to mean walking away and making radical changes, although it could, it often means making adjustments. Feeling disgruntled at the thought of going to work was just a little nudge from the Universe that reminded me that I needed to get back to doing what I love most.

Your soul constantly gives you signs when you take a wrong turn. These signs can come in many forms such as:

  • dissatisfaction,
  • unhappiness,
  • problems,
  • opportunities,
  • insights,
  • dreams,
  • even books.

When we get caught up in resisting, blaming and complaining we often miss these signs and see them as burdens. When you take time to be still, open your heart and your mind, you begin to recognise when your soul is guiding you. Some people think they don’t get signs but everyone does, but if you aren’t aware you may not recognise them.

When most people feel stressed they switch off their intuition, then they feel confused, and they  miss the signs that could make their life easier, happier and more prosperous. Sometimes what we love, or what comes easily, can be a sign to go in that direction. More often though signs come in the form of dissatisfaction and that is simply our soul’s way of reminding us to fill our needs. Sometimes signs come in the form of unexpected opportunities.

Christiane Amanpour led a sheltered life in Iran. She had no great ambitions, she expected to do what most girls her age did, marry young. In 1978 two incidents occurred that changed the course of her life. When Ayatollah Khomeini overthrew the Shah of Iran, people around the world were taken by surprise.

Not long afterwards Christiane’s sister decided to leave her journalism course in London after only one term, Christiane took her place so that her family would not lose their tuition fee. While studying journalism Christiane instinctively knew that she wanted to be in the middle of global events, to be a storyteller. To do that effectively she felt she needed to live in America so when she finished her journalism course she went on to complete further study in America.

When Christianne graduated she went to work for CNN and for more than 20 years she has been one the world’s leading foreign correspondents telling human stories of people affected by world events.

A simple unexpected opportunity led Christiane to a fulfilling career and lifestyle.

The signs that lead to your Dharma

Problems can either be stepping stones which help you uncover your gifts or they can keep you stuck in your fears. When I first became interested in personal development, I felt that the authors of the motivational books I read led a problem free life, so I always expected to reach a point in my life where I wouldn’t face any more major challenges—I was so wrong. Problems are a part of life and everyone experiences them. Often positive people don’t talk about what is going on in their lives, so it’s easy to assume that their lives are better than yours.

Wayne Dyer said, and I’m paraphrasing because I can’t remember the exact quote, “When you have a big dharma (purpose), you get big problems”. Problems are not a form of punishment—they are opportunities to let your fears go so that you can grow to your full potential.

If you are interested in finding your Dharma, or if you just want to have a clearer understanding of your life, consider joining my Dharma Retreat to be held in Sydney in August.