In life, we are free as children until we are taught to distinguish between what is right and what is wrong. Our parents are mortified when we slip up and tell the truth: "Wow, is that a boy or a girl? That woman has a mustache!"
Young children do not know how to censor themselves to be socially polite since they simply know how to share what they see around them. To the horror of many parents, young children will stop and stare at someone who is different or ask a question everyone would like the answer to but would never dare ask for fear of embarrassing themselves. We are taught early on what is acceptable and how we need to live to be accepted into society. Isn't that what being mature is all about?
Every kid can't wait until they can be a grown up. The fantasy is that when you are an adult you can make your own choices, stay up all night and drink grown-up beverages. It looks so easy and rewarding. But nobody tells you that it's a lot tougher than it looks, those feelings you have that you are not good enough, that you're doing something wrong, they tend to stay with us.
Most people spend their entire lives trying to fit in and measure up. But there is a time when you start to see the truth: Being grown up simply means you know who you are and that you have the courage to be that person. The fairy tale of Prince Charming and Cinderella remain in the fairytale.
Most of us were raised to be ordinary, but we all want to live an extraordinary life. We put restrictions on ourselves. What do you expect of yourself? Can you manifest the types of relationships you would like? If it were as simple as just following a manual, then everyone would just do that and be a success. Should you try to go beyond average?
Our instinct and the way we have been conditioned is to wait to be picked. Think about it, we were raised to wait for someone else to tell us that we are good enough to do what we want to do. Seth Godin guides us: "Once you reject that impulse and realize that no one is going to select you -- that Prince Charming has chosen another house -- then you can actually get to work."
I spent a large part of my life waiting to be validated and waiting to be picked, expecting my boss to do the "right thing." And if he ever did, it came with a huge price tag. What I know today is that if I focus on why I am doing something and identify the core problem that needs to be addressed, I can go out and solve it. I can ask for help. I can connect with other smart people who choose to work with me to make a difference and get shit done.
You can choose whatever lifestyle you want. The question is: Do you have the tools and "permission" you need to solve a problem that will give you the financial and emotional independence you seek? What is getting in your way?
When I tell people that I fired myself, during a talk I give, they applaud or tell me in private that they wish they could do it themselves. The golden handcuffs we put on ourselves are self-inflicted. What we are not told as kids is that life is hard and it's up to each of us to do the hard work.
My goal is not to have a whole bunch of people fire themselves. My dream is that people learn to step out of unhealthy situations, so you can live a fuller life where you dream big and have a purposeful and meaningful life. It is right in front of each of us and is a choice we make daily. Children are beautiful and there is a child within each of us who wishes to live with purpose. What are you waiting for?