Month 3 – Shooting for the moon

It’s now been 3 months since i left my job, despite the weather being rubbish and the days being short, the time has gone incredibly quickly. As i mentioned in previous posts i swept my life clean of waste and distractions, i released my worrying thoughts and condemned them to the past, and accepted that regardless of whether what i have done is the right or the wrong thing, it is the thing i have chosen so i now need to make the best of it.

That last part is important to me, make the best of the opportunity, i will never have this chance again, i will either continue to live this life or i will return to work, whichever path feels right when the moment comes. I get inspired by others i see take this path, they go off on massive adventures, do crazy things, post amazing photos and videos, and in my head that’s what i hoped to do.

Problem is, i can’t do these things.

There’s a million reasons why, many of the pretty weak to be honest, but most important reason is one of the reasons i decided to make this change originally – i’m married to a wonderful wife and i have a great mother, both of whom i want to spend more time with and repay the patience and support which they’ve given me. I don’t want to be selfish and go away, leaving them behind, i might as well have done this working and had the bonus of being paid.

So i chose to do what i always said to people at work, think about what you can do, and not what you can’t do. I can go on small mini adventures and challenges, locally on my own during the day, further away with my wife. I can continue to repay the support by doing small things to help my wife and mum, whether that be things around the house or visits to my mum. I can continue to help and inspire others, either directly through the gym and personal training, or indirectly through social media and blogs.

I sat in bed last night talking to my wife about this, still worrying but more importantly, now talking things through. We went through the things i have done since January, it made me feel like i’d started achieving my goals

  • I had inspired and helped a number of people make career changes, they had either read about me or spoken with me and decided to take a risk. Some went and got new jobs, some set up new sidelines, but all had gone and done something different
  • I had been written about in a couple of magazines, not small magazines or articles either. For me this was the next step after my blogs, social media, and books. Lots of people read these articles, some were people who i mentioned above making changes, for some it may have planted small seeds in their minds, and probably for others they just thought stupid fool for giving up what he had, but either way they know about me and what i’ve done, hopefully making them think differently
  • I have taken people out trail running with me, for some it was new locations, for others it was hitting new personal bests, for me it was unpaid in terms of ££ but paid in good feelings
  • I’ve helped people in the gym get fitter and healthier through inductions, helping with form and technique, and personal training. To see someone set and achieve goals like run 5km with a certain time and get fit and strong enough to get into their hockey first team is awesome for me, just as much as for them
  • I have also increased my presence on professional social media via LinkedIn, post regularly. This is for a couple of reasons, firstly i know people professionally who are not content in their world so hoping i reach out and inspire them, and secondly i never know if i’m going to return to that world in one form or another, so need to stay visible. This has proved very popular, my posts are regularly read by 10k+ people, i’ve had telephone calls with a number of people to discuss work, life, and “stuff”, and this week i met face to face with someone. All of this would not have happened if i’d still been in my job, i either wouldn’t have had the life experience to reflect and post my stories, i wouldn’t have had the time, or i simply couldn’t be bothered
  • I’ve spent time during the day going on my mini adventures, making sure i’m home by 3:30pm to greet Sally home with a fresh coffee. These are small treks, sometimes running, sometimes just hiking, anything from 3 to 5 hours, just exploring the local countryside, slowing down my mind and thinking clearer about “stuff”, enjoying meeting people out of my travels, not worrying about time and stopping to actually talk to these people. As the days get longer and the weather gets better i will expand these days, maybe using my road or mountain bike as well
  • I’ve spent more time helping Sally out at home, doing housework may sound tedious but it frees up time for Sally to relax and do other “stuff” which she enjoys
  • I’ve spent more time with my mum, most weeks going around to see her for breakfast or lunch, again with no time pressures, we just sit and talk which is nice

All the above may sound small to some people but for me they are massive, i simply wouldn’t have done any of these things if i’d still been working. I’m cash poor but life rich.  If every person in the world did one small thing which positively impacted just one other person, and this happened continuously, then wouldn’t the world become a better place ? For me that’s how continuous improvement works, lots of people making small incremental improvements, all focused on the same goal, and together making a massive change for the better.

A big learning point for me, well actually it’s a validating point, is that I’m no entrepreneur or salesperson. In my old world I’d come up with problems as well as options, but I’d always rely on having a great team with fabulous skills to turn options into realistic solutions which are then implemented. I don’t have the skills or patience to do things like that, I’m very honest about my limitations, but then I also know that without my skills these other amazing minds would probably never even notice or take time to tackle these problems. For me this sums up what leadership is about, inspiring, motivating, but also appreciating others, working together to add value not for personal gain but for the collective good.

We are now entering the period where Sally and I will be going away regularly each and every month until October, my mini adventures will become bigger, i will see more of the UK and beyond, still not as epic as others i’d aspired to be like, but whilst i won’t manage the physical things they achieve, i will achieve the deeper, more meaningful things such as being more mindful, relaxed, happier, content, etc.

I can’t see me getting involved in working over the spring and summer, i tried but opportunities that enable me to continue following my plans for this year seem limited. I think what may happen, if i chose, is i become a part time worker in the sense of part time per year rather than per week, so as a contractor, maybe that’s more realistic ? I’ve known people who have done this so it’s certainly an option.

So far then, despite continued ups and downs, this is turning out pretty good.  It’s not yet reaching the dreams i had originally, but it’s going in the right direction, it’s adding to my own life experience which i believe will make me a better all round person.  I’m shooting for the moon, but landing in the stars, and that’s progress in my mind,

All the best,

Mark

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One thought on “Month 3 – Shooting for the moon

  1. Was great to run with you back a few months ago on the south downs and to finally meet you after sharing messages on fbook etc.

    Don’t be tough on yourself. You’ve done plenty and it’s not about measuring performance, accounting for outputs and impact anymore. It’s about what makes you and Sally happy.

    Good to remember too that nothing is forever. You owe yourself to try new things and see what sticks.

    Liked by 1 person

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