You have a great job.
But you don't love it.
You're living a good life.
But there's gotta be more to it.
You're grateful for what you have.
But deep down, if you died tomorrow, you'd feel like you didn't live life to the fullest.
You're looking forward to the weekend because that's when you are free to do whatever you want to do.
I know, I've been there. I've already spent a great deal of my life working jobs with impressive titles that sound great on my resume, yet I was not happy with what I was doing, and didn't really know why I was doing it. I wasn't happy with who I was. I was waiting for something to change - the next thing to feel better about myself, or the million-dollar idea. Some nights I'd stay up stressing about how my life was drifting away and my hair starting to fall off until I was just too exhausted to keep thinking. I can't be losing my hair already, this is supposed to happen when I'm older. I'm not ready for this! I haven't even done XYZ yet!
At the same time, if you had told high school me that I would be where I am today, I would have laughed.
Yet, I felt like my weekends were slipping away. They go by so quickly. I just have enough time to get myself back together and then it's time to go back to the grind. I do just enough to be able to answer the most asked question in the office on Monday morning: what did you do this weekend?
What about you? Do you feel like something is not right?
Are you happy where you are?
When I get asked this question, it feels unnatural to say anything other than "yes," and that's exactly what I do.
Why wouldn't I be happy? I have all of the necessities for a comfortable life on Maslow's hierarchy of needs, and everyone always says to be happy with what you have because it can always be a lot worse.
Something still feels off.
The feeling that we aren't doing what we feel like we should be doing is dissonance.
We really want to change what we are doing, but do not because it seems risky and it is difficult to find the time in an average day.
You can see the implications of this all around in people who constantly complain, protest, and say they want things to change, but also always have an excuse for why it can't happen.
Oh, I can't do it because I don't have time.
I already tried that.
No that's not gonna work...
Basically, because they don't want to do any more work and are afraid of losing their TV and toaster, they are going to keep feeling dissonant.
But eventually the dissonance grows too strong and can no longer be ignored. That might be why you are reading this right now.
So when someone asks if you're happy and you experience dissonance, you're not the only one. Most of the people you see throughout the day probably feel the same way. 1
If you feel this dissonance, then this guide is for you. There are certain things you can do right now to start reducing the dissonance, as I have detailed in the first step.
If you find that you don't need this guide, that's great. I'm actually glad, and I wish society were at a place where nobody would need this guide.
But it is, and so I wish I could give three-years-ago me this guide because I could have learned what I needed to do faster.
My hope is that this guide will help you accelerate the change you know you need to make in your life, even if you're not exactly sure what it is.
Start with Step 1.
I'll give more details about the guide in step 1 in case you are still not sure if it's right for you.
PS: this type of thing is everywhere. If you don't like my guide, there are several a blogs, podcasts, and videos that walk you through the same thing. You can even hire a coach.
1. According to a study by the Conference Board -- as reported by Susan Adams -- 52.3% of Americans are unhappy at work. So many people? Why don't they do something about it? Also reported: 46.6% say they don't feel satisfied with their job security.