For one full minute I want you to sit down (preferably in silence) and think about what you have accomplished in your career thus far.
Now ask yourself, “Is my life any more meaningful?” If the answer is yes, you’re luckier than many people I know.
Recently, I’ve been talking with a lot of people who are experiencing the same situation: good job + good pay + good title = still not happy.
Many have admitted that they’re lucky to have good paying jobs with fancy titles but at the end of the day, they’re feeling uninspired, unhappy. The mental pendulum of guilt swings back and forth. I should be grateful… but I’m not… to and fro… the emotions go.
This is what happened to Casey Miller who, by all accounts, seemed to have it all: a good education, a good career and a good life. After graduating from Harvard with two degrees, Casey built a successful company that turns garbage into energy. He made money, was able to travel the world, acquired stuff, but still he felt empty.
“By most accounts, I was what I thought success should look like. Yet I was not any happier. And my life was certainly not any more meaningful. Like many people of my generation, I was stuck between the allure of capitalism and the painful realization that more does not mean better. I felt empty, even though my life was surrounded by wonderful places, experiences, and things,” Casey admits.
So he quit and moved to San Francisco (partly for love), but then he was dumped. He then couldn’t find a job and fell into depression.
Several conversations ensued. Casey told everyone that he was going to do something he was very afraid of: ride a bike (he hadn’t ridden a bike since elementary school) across the country — from Oregon to Massachusetts and along the way ask people some simple questions that delved deeper into the journey of finding meaning: What inspires you? Are you doing it now? Why not? His journey was aptly named “Socrates Spoke”:
Taking this risk helped him get the wheels of inspiration turning and, for once, Casey says he “found his meaning of life” and is now empowered to use his experience to help others discover what matters most to them. He’s even created a website (CaseyAdamMiller.com) to inspire people to live the truest, biggest, most meaningful lives possible.
Socrates once said, “An unexamined life is not worth living.” Casey read this, listened and is riding high on these words of wisdom.
If you’re feeling unfulfilled, make a list of what you can do to find meaning.
1. Many people say, “I can’t quit my job.” However, you can spend a little bit of time outside of your work to engage in a hobby or passion project that enlivens you.
2. What would excite you out of bed in the morning? Take baby steps doing what brings you joy. Check out Casey’s website for inspiration: CaseyAdamMiller.com
3. Stop talking about it. Do it now. This was the best advice several mentors gave me when I wanted to leave my TV career and pursue my nonprofit GoInspireGo.com