I want to play a game with you.
On a scale of 1-10 how much do you love or hate your job?
When you consistently find yourself doing something you hate at work, what do you daydream about doing? (Causing any sort of mayhem should not be on the list.)
Let me ask the question a different way.
When your life is out of balance and going to work is miserable, what in your mind’s eye do you see yourself doing so you don’t have to do what you are doing?
How do you stop the pain?
As an entrepreneur, when I feel myself drowning at work, I begin to fantasize about owning my own business. A business that is incredibly different than the one I have currently created.
My fantasy doesn’t have any paid employees and everyone is strictly commission with cash paying customers. To be even more specific, I daydream about owning a little neighborhood barbershop where guys come in for a good hair cut. While they wait, we tell stories, laugh, and shoot the bull. In my imagination, every customer becomes a friend and every friend leaves with a smile on their face and a skip in their step.
The only real problem with this is… it is a fantasy and fantasies are what we create when we can’t deal with reality. Fantasies are the great escape!
Three Great Escape Strategies
1. Fantasies help us recognize that our life is out of balance!
As a pastor and public speaker, I am constantly helping others. When my life gets out of balance I use what I call, “the grass rule”. If my grass is getting too long, it is a sign that I have become too busy to take care of my own life, so if I am too busy to take care of my life, I am most definitely too busy to take care of anyone else’s life. During this time, I cancel all my late night meetings and extracurricular activities until I can effectively manage my home and my family.
2. Fantasies are not reality.
If I were to drop everything and open up a barbershop, I would soon find myself with a whole new set of problems. Instead of fantasizing about how good life could be, deal with reality; solve the problems you have. Remember every job has problems and every problem has a solution.
3. Create a beautiful reality.
Fantasies are often the very things that keep us from creating a beautiful reality. When people spend time thinking about a dream, it can be enough of an escape to actually keep them from accomplishing a dream. Make real plans, with real goals; life is too short to spend your days dreaming about what could be.
If you are going to escape, escape to reality!