I’ve had this nagging experience lately that I just haven’t been able to put my finger on, but it is now, I believe, slowly starting to take shape and I figured I would share it with you guys and see what you think.
I got sick over a year ago and was forced to leave my 30+ year career. That was hard.
For men in general, we derive much of our self-worth through our careers. We are providers, we are problem solvers. We are meant to work, to have an impact and for many to be a leader.
To not have the health to perform the typical 40-hour work-week (ok, mine was 60+hrs per week which influenced my illness but that’s another topic) meant I needed to now reinvent myself.
That in itself was not an easy transition, letting go of the traditional employee mindset is completely counter-intuitive. But I believe in the end, being forced out of my career will likely turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to me.
And trust me when I say that isn’t a statement made lightly. I am currently only 54 and living off my 401K retirement, and using it to seed my new business.
Yes I know, accountants all over the planet just groaned in unison.
So it is critical that I make this transition into entrepreneurship sooner rather than later. But talk about walking through the valley of the shadow of death.
There is nothing in my life that says success is just around the corner or even remotely a lock.
In fact, quite the contrary. Statistics are horrible for new entrepreneurial startups and everything is screaming that I’m wasting my time, that failure is imminent and that every day that I’m not looking for another 40-hour job that I can do from bed or computer desk is one day closer to the point of no return and self-insufficiency.
But the choice has been made, give it at least 1 year before freaking out. I’d say I made it maybe 4 months before I began freaking out.
And that’s where I’m at today. For the past month, I have woken each day with a sense of discomfort, some internal unrest that has been sapping energy, creativity, motivation, and commitment.
But I haven’t been able to pinpoint the source, or even recognize what exactly the emotion was. Everything has just been off, but off how?
And it hit me talking to an accountability partner earlier today. It’s just simple fear.
Imagine the scene, you’ve worked a hard week and it’s Friday night and your off work. Feels good but your tired. You might go out, have some fun or stay in but you hit the sack wiped out.
But oh, when you wake up Saturday morning, there isn’t a care in the world; you’ve got the whole day.
You can sleep in, you can go for an early morning jog or hit the gym. You can call a friend and make lunch plans, hit the clubs later that night, even go into the office if you felt like getting a jump on next week.
No matter what choice you make for a Saturday it is the right choice because you are the master of this day and it will go any way you choose, and whatever you choose will be the right choice.
There isn’t a care in the world because no matter how far you push it, you’ve got another day off, all day Sunday, to enjoy just the same.
This is what I call Saturday Morning Joy, it is true freedom and it is how life is supposed to feel.
What do I want, what do I need, ok, let’s go… total freedom of spirit, mind, and soul.
But what happens when you get up on Sunday? Is it “I’ve still got a whole day off, how awesome, the best day ever!”
For some, maybe. But for most people I know, the dread starts to come in and the thought “ugh, I have to go to work tomorrow” starts to drape a cloud over our sunny disposition.
What???? This day is going to be less-enjoyed because of commitments more than 24 hours away that have no bearing on today?
And no matter what you engage with, there is always this nagging voice that interrupts the joy saying “don’t forget, you have to work tomorrow”.
And that is the feeling I haven’t been able to shake; for more than a month!
As an entrepreneur with a business plan, short-term and long term goals, financial stability at least for the short term, I should be thrilled every day.
This is it, the dream transition has begun. Every day I can choose to work on the business some, engage in social activity, change tasks. I am my own boss and I can do anything I want to or need to. Every day is Saturday.
But instead, every day I have been filled with a sense of dread that even if I am free today, I’m still not free. There is this weight that is stealing my ability to stay present, a weight centered around the unending insecure tomorrows, even if today is secure.
Once I realized that it is my thoughts and subconscious beliefs messing with my emotions I began to ask friends and mentors about the “Sunday Mindset”.
They all knew exactly what I was talking about, and the conclusion I drew I’m calling ACTIVE SURRENDER.
Everyone shared tales of how they pushed through the darkness of uncertainties that dominated different seasons of their life. And, in the end, they simply needed to do the actions of a successful person while surrendering to the fact that it was God who had to bring the miracles.
It ultimately became the opportunities, resources, and discoveries outside of their control that rescued them from their dire situations and carried them to the next level.
All they could do was remain active and faithful to the dream, but they also had to surrender the timelines and outcomes as to when the next breakthrough would come.
We simply move forward on faith that the breakthrough is coming without ever getting the assurance of knowing when and how it will come.
I know many motivational speakers or coachers will say “you make your own breaks”, but the reality is, on some level, success only comes when we actively pursue through faith and trust that God will meet us in our efforts.
So what does Active Surrender look like?
For me, I’d say it is staying rooted in the Saturday Morning Mindset.
True freedom is a state of mind, soul, and spirit and must not be based on physical circumstances.
We won’t escape the feelings of anxiety, fear, insecurity or hopelessness until we change the often hidden limiting beliefs that are feeding them.
We must recognize every morning when we wake up that we are free today to craft whatever we want with the next 12 hours of our life. Work, play, socialize, rest, dream, sing, dance, write, draw, create, destroy, we choose each activity.
I am not a victim, I am not trapped, I am not dead, I am not helpless or hopeless.
Quite the contrary!
I can do whatever I want today, and tomorrow I have the same freedom. Sure some decisions may come with huge repercussions, but if not making the decisions leads to unending misery then is it really a choice?
Change or die. Grow or die. Risk or die. Overcome fear and insecurity or die.
Live or die, the choice is ours.
We are all going to die, the question is, will we die without regrets?
If there is an aspect of my life that I feel trapped in, then it is up to me to evaluate what needs to change and start moving in that direction.
The Sunday Morning Mindset knows it is free physically but yet still feels emotionally captive to an unsure or undesired “tomorrow”.
It is a victim mindset that believes it is trapped, that nothing will ever change, and that we have no power to overcome the circumstances of our life.
But the Saturday Morning Mindset, along with knowing it is free, also chooses to believe it and live like it.
Once we get the heart and mind right, then it’s back on course.
Focus on your “why” and get busy kickin’ ass
If we can just choose to hang on to the Saturday Morning Mindset and remain Actively Surrendered we won’t just endure each day, we will tackle each day with enthusiasm, with a free spirit that lives without boundaries or limitations in pursuit of dreams and desires.
To successfully navigate risk in any area of life requires making peace with the unyielding pressure for assurances that aren’t coming.
The sooner we (I) get over it, the sooner we (I) can back to crafting our song and dance the day away.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
So, how about you? Do you have a Saturday Morning Mindset or a Sunday Morning?
Feel free to join the conversation in the comments below.
Let’s do this!