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4 Lesson I Learnt Chasing My Dreams

Written by: Michelle L. Raymond, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


I gave up well-paying jobs, my investments and financial security for a healthier lifestyle, a family and an opportunity to pursue my passions.

And so far, I am in debt.

I have kids to look after, a bond to pay, and I am working harder and longer than I ever have – and you know what? I love it!

Of course, there are times, many times, like every day, when I worry that maybe this is not such a good idea.

Before all this adventure, I had money – safety nets, money in savings and investments. Now that I do not have that anymore, I sometimes struggle to sleep at night. I lie awake, wondering when and how the bills will get paid.

And this is not the side of the story one usually hears. We only hear about what happens once we have passed the finish line and talk about these things in hindsight.

I am living in the struggle now and learning some interesting things along the way.

Lesson 1: Forget about the Jones's

The bad days feel like I am stuck in quicksand, and I become so overwhelmed. Mostly from all my own expectations. Things like:

  • I should be saving for retirement.

  • I should be able to pay for my son’s soccer lessons

  • I should have enough in savings to adjust for an increase in interest rates

  • I should bring in more money to take some pressure off my husband

  • I should be giving to charity

There are many times I find myself looking for jobs just to keep up with the bills, and the Jones's.

And this is often the biggest reason people look for work, not for fulfilment and passion, but a paycheck. And I have fallen into this trap many times. So, when I feel like I’m heading down that road of desperation, I ask myself:

  • Is it worth more time away from my kids?

  • Is it worth my well-being?

  • Is it worth giving up on all I have worked for even though it is not yet rewarding me financially?

Lesson 2: Find meaning

When I started working, I hated every job I had and jumped from one to another.

If a recruitment specialist had to look at my cv now, they would be shocked!

It was not that I hated the work – that part I enjoyed – but the people and the lack of meaning caused me to leave. Finding meaning at work is everything to me. I can’t just do a job. Some people can and I’m somewhat jealous of them. To be able to just put your head down and get it done day in and day out. Nope – not for me!

I didn’t come from privilege, and I had very little help getting into and pursuing my dreams in my current industry. Everything I have done I worked hard for; to prove myself and build a reputation and brand. I did not have any ties or a network that could mentor and support me, so it has been a very long and very lonely journey. Sometimes I wish I could just get a break.

I do not think I am alone in that thinking. I’m sure many feel the same. We are all trying to get by. We are trying to make it work, to create something of value for the world and do something we love that can support our families.

Lesson 3: Be open

Then I look at my family – my incredible husband and amazing kids. And I realise that I did not need to work hard to get them. Neither were they part of my life goals. I wanted to be independent. A lone ranger. To come and go as I please. At yet, the greatest things in my life, the reason I get up in the morning – my greatest meaning, came from no effort or struggle. It came from embracing life, going with the flow, having a curious heart and being in the moment.

To be open to what life asks of you. To be open to what opportunities are in front of you. To be open to something amazing allows for something amazing to happen.

But worry, anxiety, pressure, doubt, all these things that disturb sleep and haunt dreams block the things that could happen. The things that life is waiting for you to try, things that are beyond your wildest dreams!

Lesson 4: Stop trying so hard

Take a deep breath, take a step back. Re-evaluate.

Sometimes I get so caught up in the doing – because if I am not doing, I feel like I am failing. But the two are not opposites. Ironically, failing often comes from obsessing over getting things done right or perfectly; or when I become so caught up in my ego – when I think I’m right or when I’m so convicted in my actions that I lose sight of common sense.

It’s easy to say, stop stressing about it. Sure – ok, I’ll just do that then. Why didn’t I think of that?

So, has it paid off?

Yes. I can be at home more and play with my kids. I can attend their school events. I can support my husband in other ways. I can maintain the house. Sure, I may not have a successful, fancy career by society's standards – but I have meaning and purpose. I can honestly say I am happy with my life.

I know this is just a season, and things will change. Opportunities will come and go. I will measure success differently as I get older. But here I am now – embracing what is and curious for what is to come.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


Michelle L. Raymond, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Michelle is a multi-potentialite. She has worked in numerous industries throughout her career, gaining extraordinary experience and perspective. This has given her a unique ability to creatively problem-solve, strategise and connect with people on a deep and authentic level.

Her experience includes Executive and Leadership Coaching, Psychoneuroimmunology Diagnostics, Trauma Coaching, Relationship and Family Coaching, Young Adult Coaching, Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consulting, Integrative Well-being and Spiritual Coaching. Michelle looks at things holistically and has a practical and "down-to-earth" approach. She is trained and certified in numerous methodologies and frameworks and thus can pull from her knowledge and intuition to find the best fit for her clients' journey and outcome.

As well as being an avid writer, Michelle also records podcasts and vlogs to promote conscious living, personal mastery, spiritual growth, healthy relationships and parenting and mental health.



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