Forming a new habit seems to be one of life’s greatest pains in the ass. Flossing. 30 minutes of daily physical activity. Morning meditation. Yuck. Blah. Shit.
As someone who rarely succeeds in forming a new habit, I’m both proud and confounded to say I’ve somehow managed to start a daily ritual and keep up with it for the past eight months.
That ritual is called Morning Pages, and it’s become part of my morning routine into the Escape School in London:
Wake up. Shower. Make a 3-egg and veg scramble. Walk to the Tube. Step onto the District line. Sit down. Pull out my notebook. Start writing.
My task is to write three pages, longhand. If I don’t hit three pages on my Tube ride (which I normally don’t), I duck into a coffeeshop to finish the rest.
How did this happen? How do I keep up with it? And more importantly, what are “Morning Pages” and why do I care so much about them?
The more I told my story, the more I became obsessed with stories and storytelling. And the more obsessed I became, the more stories and books about stories I read. And the more I read, the more I spotted this literal or metaphorical journey “into the woods” to discover something that’s lost or missing.
The following is a letter I wrote our Escape Tribe in London.
From the day I started GiveLiveExplore in June 2012, I decided to send a handwritten postcard to anyone who signed up for my email list. I anticipated sending several handfuls of postcards or so.
But as my email list kept growing, so did my postcard writing. Three years later, I’ve kept up with the practice and have written hundreds of postcards to readers all over the world. And I’m still writing.
It all seems a bit silly. If you add up all the hours I’ve spent searching for, writing, and sending the postcards; the standing in line at post offices, trying to cobble together enough Greek or Lithuanian or Portuguese to ask for the right kind of stamps; and the money I’ve spent buying the damn stamps (especially from the UK…), you’d think I’m crazy.
Maybe I am. I’ve now sent hundreds of postcards to strangers. I’ve probably spent….I don’t even want to calculate it because it’s an embarrassing amount of money. Especially as it was being spent by someone who often needed that money for food and bed.
Why did I start this practice? And why am I crazy enough to continue with it?
In How to Land Your Dream Job, I detailed the long and winding road that led me to working with Escape in London. Hopefully my story sparked some ideas for you if you’re transitioning or hope to be transitioning in the near future. But what if you don’t have a clue what your dream job looks like? What if you feel stuck and you don’t know where to start?
In this post, I’d like to offer some suggestions on ways to get closer to a dream job, even if you can’t fully articulate what that dream job is yet; things I’ve stumbled upon through my own transition, or things that seem to work for people I meet at Escape.
In honor of my “Seven” enneagram style, here are seven ideas for getting closer to your dream job:
As I sit at a desk in the Escape office, tucked away in a previously vacant office space in a corner of The City of London, it feels surreal to wonder:
How did I end up here in London?
How did I become part of this team?
How in the world am I working with a group of guys I once, and still do admire?
How did I go from a job that I drifted into, to one that I more deliberately marched towards; one that challenges me to grow, rewards me for being me, is packed with meaning and fulfillment, and helps me to help others pursue the same?
How did I “get” a job with Escape the City? Not just any job, but one so well aligned to my values, strengths, gifts, my personal mission and ideal way of working?
More broadly, how does one find work that matters to them? How does one find a job they’ll love?
Better still, how does one land their own dream job?