So many times, we think, “If we just had more money, life would be better?”
Ever fall in that trap?
Working from home doesn’t spare us from this thought process, and over the past five years, I have wondered if I should continue working at home, put my kids in daycare and really pursue a career or just quit altogether. Very different situations, but the ups and downs of freelancing can cause you to have major mood swings.
I have received several senior editing and writing job offers before that promised to come with highly competitive payment packages. All these jobs were in the heart of Los Angeles, though, and I am not a fan of commuting.
A little more than a month ago, I received the best job offer ever – $132,000 for a senior finance writer with an amazing company. It was only a one-year contract and had the opportunity for overtime hours and pay, as well.
And I turned it down quickly.
Do you think I am nuts? A lot of friends and family members did. “You can hire a full-time nanny…” My husband even said he would stay home with the girls so I could do this job.
As appealing as the offer was, I just couldn’t because when you boil everything down, it isn’t about the money.
Yes, the money offer was appealing and could buy us many dream list items. The problem was that this job did not match my priorities.
I want to be a work at home mom, a homeschooling mom, have a great marriage, and have time to write my books. I’m not saying everyone has to want that, but these are the things I want more than a freelancing career or a million dollars. Saying “yes” to that job, even though it was only a year, would be saying “no” to everything on my priority list and dreams list. A year in that job would have only made me a little wealthier, but I would have come out more stressed or burned out than being closer to reaching my dreams.
My point in all this is to pursue your priorities and passions and not a profit.
You Might Have to Make Sacrifices to Fulfill Your Priorities
Sometimes you will have to sacrifice to pursue your priorities, but your soul will be much more satisfied doing so.
Let me quickly tell you about a friend of mine. She was a young mom of two and worked as a manager at Forever 21. Her husband did not earn enough to support them, so she continued to work at a job she hated. She really just wanted to stay home with her little ones.
She said she couldn’t afford to do so. Even though she had the latest iPhone, her nails done, and spent extra each month on new clothes, toys for the kids and eating out. She finally realized that she could stay home with her kids, but it was going to be hard financially. She even had to move in with family to make it happen. But guess what?
Since she quit the job she hated and started pursuing what really mattered to her, she found joy in life. She found more satisfaction from being with her young children than working at a miserable job. She even lost more than 50 pounds and started a successful Beach Body coaching business on the side and has been able to change her life around financially and physically.
See also: Stop Sitting on Your Passions
Defining Your Priorities and Passions
If you don’t have your priorities and dreams written out, then now is the time to do so. How are you supposed to know where you are going if you don’t have your road map inked out?
I like to write out my priorities and passions a few different ways. First, the pyramid way.
Draw a large triangle and divide the triangle into 5-6 sections. Mine looks like this:
Yours can look however you like. Having a priorities pyramid is so important because it shows us how much we are missing the mark. I put God at the top of my pyramid, but did I read my Bible or pray this morning? Nope. I put self-care higher than work, but do you think I last turned on my treadmill? I can’t even answer that; that’s how long it’s been.
What a nice wake-up call for me that my priorities have been out of whack recently. Taking that job would have put them even more out of whack.
Now for your dream collage. What are the five things you want to be known for when you die? I’m not talking about who you want to be when you are 80. If you were to die today, how do you wish people knew you?
I am an expert finance writer, and when I did this exercise, that didn’t even make it on the list. I like what I do and I like that finance writing provides me job opportunities, but there are many times that this job title is keeping me from pursuing my ultimate passions and dreams.
I made this collage on Canva, but you can make it on a piece of paper, or just list out your top five things. What didn’t make the list? Are you like me and find yourself devoting time to a project that you aren’t passionate about or that you don’t want to be remembered for? We’ve got to fix this, mama.
I am so glad I didn’t take that job, and writing this post helped me realize that I have so much tweaking to do in my own life to get aligned with my priorities and passions.
I would love to hear where you are in this journey. Please let me know in the comments if you did this exercise and what you discovered.