Didn’t your life seem a bit more exciting when you were 5 years old? Do you remember what did you want to do and who would you like to be? Do you remember those dreams? Have they become true? Well, I know a few doctors, one policeman and one rally driver, who fulfilled their dreams. They have become people they wanted to be, but as for me – I am not the person I wanted to be when I was 5.
I don’t have any big and sentimental story, like: when I was 5, I always dreamt to set up a research company. I haven’t dreamt of setting up any company at all. I haven’t dreamt about career. I won’t say what I wished for, at least not now, it is now irrelevant. What’s important is that I haven’t dreamt of having a company and stunning career.
I’m writing about this, because I’m often asked during interviews: ‘What is it like to fulfill your dream and set up a company? What is it like to become the person you have always dreamt of?’ Those are really important questions, but they suggest a hidden story. A story about having a dream and a hard way which led to its achievement.
I love stories. Love. Yet, I don’t have any extraordinary and enlightening story of my job being the fulfillment of my dream. Of course, I could try to make it up. That would be funny. Maybe I will do it one day, but now, when I can be honest, the facts are the following:
- I hate waking up early in the morning.
- I hate doing things which I don’t believe in
- I have a problem with authorities and words like ‘you have to’ or ‘you should’.
That’s why I dropped my job at advertising agency. I dropped it even so for 4 years of my studies I was dreaming of working there. I dropped it, because I misplaced my dreams. They were so particular and concrete that my dream-bubble just burst in contact with the reality. I dreamt of something which hadn’t existed. This was no one’s fault. Just mine. That’s how shaping reality and woolgathering ends. Eight years of process of thinking can be defined by the following conclusion: duty and respect for my body and mind is bigger than for the applicable social law, when it comes to career making! No one harmed me. I have no regrets to anyone. I met amazing people: I loved them, they loved me. I liked my clients and they appreciated my work. Yet I felt it not my truth. The pace, expectations and requirements were totally different from who I am and what can I give. I had more inside me than I was giving . And what I was asked to do.. – I dint have it
My brain doesn’t want and doesn’t like working at 7am. This can’t be changed even by the fact that it has to. You can try order him but he is not working anyway. Thus I was pretending to work, because you can’t do anything else when your brain is still OFF. Additionally, there were the points I mentioned above, which disturbed me a lot. I was constantly miserable. So I was thinking about it so frequently and so long and so intensive that I became mentally exhausted.
As a psychologist, I know that there is a moment in which if you fell too deep, a lift can take a really long time and sometimes you can never lift yourself at all.
I was really close to burnout, so I decided to give myself a chance – I don’t want to realize one day that it is too late. I am leaving and I will see what will happen. I was a strategist, but I was leaving not only without any strategy but also without any plan.
One of my most important life-truths: listen to the signs of the Universe. If everything gets along the way which is destined for you, the obstacles are ok. They show us if our path is right. If you manage to walk it, you are on a good way… I have the attitude that the obstacles and my possibility to overcome them are the sign that I did well. Now, here’s the drama part. Everybody knows that the beginnings are very hard. Again, I have no such story, no tragedy, no starving.
I was good. I worked hard. I put my heart in my work. Yet, everyone, or almost everyone, who has their own business work that way. There’s nothing extraordinary in it. I don’t think that my situation was peculiar; it was really typical for starting from the beginning. Yet, it was strange that everything for me was running smoothly and naturally. Everything just happened in a way that the right people in the right time reached a helping hand, believed in me and took a risk.
Summing up: I was working on it to be just like it has to be, but I was also very lucky and I had some favorable people close to me. I had the courage to ask and I had my pride hidden to take help. And I know now, when Izmałkowa Consulting is on the market for 10 years, that I finally have a good story.
I often have to wake up really early. I go to bed at 3 am, for the researcher to get remarks in the morning, and I wake up at 7 am to read a piece of report I just got.
- I do what I believe in and I don’t believe it can be done any better – if it is possible – I will start doing it immediately.
- I listen to and adjust to those, who are my bosses. Those, who own companies, have the biggest number of bosses. Your finance is ruled by one person – the one who pays invoice.
Seemingly, my balance looks relatively poor, but I feel a lot happier and more fulfilled. Apparently the same, but very different. The things that I learnt from my job situation are some conclusions: what I like, what I don’t like, what can I do, what I am not for…
I forgot about the most important – THE ROLE OF A CONTEXT. Who we are (or not) is often dependent on who we are with, where we are or WHY AND WHAT FOR WE ARE DOING SOMETHING. My context is that I believe in and I love the things I do! Even if I want to do different things – I still want to do what I’m doing.
My context is that I don’t want to feel ashamed when I look into my eyes or the eyes of people I work with.
My context is that I want to do thing that make SENSE.
As an assessment axis of my professional life, I chose the scale of HOW MUCH I AM NOT AFRAID OF MONDAYS. How much I think ‘LIKE’ and not ‘HAVE TO’ when I am working. How much FUN or excitement about a new project do I feel. Everything which is BESIDES this axis is just… less important. They are only preferences and tendencies, something that is to be changed, tamed, and mastered.
So, the difference between what was then and what is now is the feeling: IT IS MY CHOICE, IT IS MY DECISION. I may not do this – I will bear some consequences. But I may. I always have the right to decide and to choose. Of course, back then I also might and I borne some consequences – OUT.
I know myself better than earlier and I know that I have really limited possibilities of bending when it comes to rules and values. Yet, I have a limitless patience and willingness to change when I know that something I do and I believe in can be done even better.
So – I accepted that I reject things which are not mine, but when I make up my mind about getting into something, it’s over – I’m there. I don’t discuss and I don’t complain.
Why am I writing all of this? Because I am really tired of endless discussions about how awful are corporations, bosses, work, etc. It is terrible that we decide to work somewhere and then we waste our energy on complaining about being harmed by someone instead of develop ourselves. Instead of finally see that we make OUR OWN CHOICES, which we choose and not are chosen by someone else – we do not only change the way we see the world, but also the way we see ourselves.
This year, I spent most of my travelling time in Patagonia. Everyone who knows me will confirm that mentally and physically I stand cold much worse than any physically normal and mentally healthy person. Patagonia is not that exotic, but IT WAS ME WHO CHOSE IT. I was in a place where the wind was so strong, that when I was taking a photo of little penguin, I accidentally killed his mother, because I nearly fell on her. But I really wanted to go there – to get cold, to feel wind. IT WAS MY CONSCIOUS DECISION. That’s why I spent nearly 3 months in Patagonia, when I tried to escape the winter in Poland. When I was too cold, I was telling myself: ‘Hey, you can leave even tomorrow’. And then the wind didn’t seem that cold… Nothing holds you back. Do you want to leave?
I don’t…I stay. I wear warmer clothes and don’t complain.
My choice. My decision. My satisfaction.
I think that the work has to be done. Indeed. When and at what time is relative. This rule works for me.
It may not be visible in the pictures, but the wind was so terrible that I took most of them squatting or on my knees. That time in Poland, the temperature was 4 degrees higher than in Patagonia.
My every day journey – CHASEtheSUNtrip – in the context of Patagonia glaciers seemed absurd. Of course, it was really beautiful, but nothing will change the fact that Poland had a lenient winter. There was even no snow in Warsaw. I have seen snow for the first time in 4 years, but if you want to experience some wonders of the world, you sometimes need to correct your assumptions – YEAH, I don’t like snow unless I decide otherwise 😉