When I was a kid I never remember being particularly religious, but I do remember praying. I remember praying for a Commodore 64, a Scalectrix and for Manchester United to win the league and cup double. I would close my eyes, push my palms together, kneel by my bed and pray. At the cherubic age of nine I really believed that life was that simple. Then as time flew by, my prayers went unanswered and my palms became complete strangers.
The biggest reason people don’t get what they want is they haven’t got a clue what they want.
Once you have understood your sense of meaning and your sense of purpose it is time to find out what you want out of this great life of ours. When I was a child I knew exactly what I wanted, but nobody really taught me how to turn my dreams into a reality. I quickly lost faith and this lack of faith followed me through life as I grew into my role as a Sleepwalker. I was repeatedly told that I couldn’t have what I wanted and repeatedly reminded of how lucky I was when compared to the starving kids of Africa.
Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees Lee Davy!
I don’t remember having a conversation with my parents about how I was going to survive once my down had fallen to the floor and it was time to flee the nest. Then throughout my tenure in school, nobody talked to me about what I was supposed to do when the final bell was going to ring. My Dad was always working away and my Mum was always cleaning; be it housework or kids tears. At school I went to Maths class to do sums, English class to write essays and science class to learn how to remove chewing gum from my school trousers! Not one lesson on life. Nothing. Nadda. Zilch!
Education…has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading – G.M.Trevelyan
If I were playing God then I would create parents who asked their children what they wanted to be when they grew up then helped them achieve it. I would then get the parents to pass that information on to the schoolteachers so they could structure their learning around their dreams. If I had known that dreams can turn into reality with a little hard work, I would have set my sights that little bit higher. Instead of asking for a Scalectrix I would have wished I was driving an F1 car. That is what Lewis Hamilton used to do when he was younger and he even got the added bonus of a Pussycat Doll. After I had woken up and started to become a fully-fledged member of the Daydreamers fraternity, I worked out my life purpose and then began asking myself what I wanted from life? I was a senior manager working on the Railway and I didn’t have to ask myself if I was happy in the role because I knew that I wasn’t. I asked myself if I wanted a different role within the same organisation and I knew that was not the answer either.
Why would anyone choose to settle for second best?
In the end I did two things to help me move forward with more clarity. I created a bucket list of 101 things that I wanted to do before I die (well actually 83 because I haven’t decided on the rest yet) and then I also decided that I needed to quit my job. The daily grind didn’t align with my newfound sense of purpose and so I knew I needed to find one that did. In the years preceding my retirement from the Railway I worked for the most ignorant, aggressive, up your own arse type of man I have ever met, and so I decided that wasn’t going to happen again either. I was going to go it alone and work for myself and it was going to be in a job that allowed me to help other people. I decided that I wanted to help people quit alcohol, cigarettes; their jobs…screw it…I wanted to help people change their lives!
But we need money to pay the bills…we can’t all be so bold Lee Davy!
I decided that I was going to try and see if I could earn $45,000 through poker in one full year. If I could manage that then I would quit my job, make money through poker and focus on creating my own business as an entrepreneur. All I needed to do next was to set myself a Breakthrough Goal!
Once again the inspiration for this blog post comes directly from Jack Canfield: The Success Principles. Once I completed reading the book I joined a Success Principles training course and my coach would speak to me about what I wanted out of life. I had never really heard of a bucket list despite knowing that there was a movie of that name starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson. Creating it helped re-enforce my sense of meaning and purpose and it gave me activities to plan and look forward to. I really wish I had done this exercise at a much younger age.
I didn’t need the coach to tell me that my job on the railway was not in alignment with my life purpose. My body had been telling me for quite a while. I was weary, angry and extremely sad. The only time I felt alive was when I was playing cards, and the lads and I would often joke about how it would be great to play poker full time. Two years later and most of my friends actually do play poker full time!
Once I had an greater understanding of what I wanted to get out of life my body started to change. I was no longer weary, angry or sad and instead I was happy, enthusiastic and determined. Establishing what I wanted to do in my life was another extremely important stepping stone for positive change.
Photos courtesy of macieklew, brewbooks & epSos.de (cc @ flickr)