Boundless #34 - "You should have a 'steady' income" and other myths
#1 The Career Myths We Tell Ourselves
In my coaching work over the past year, I have discovered many beliefs people hold about work. Many of these beliefs come from an incredible period of growth and increase of wealth across the world and the institutions that enabled much of that growth. However, many of these models are outdated, don't match people's expectations of how they should be treated at work, or are a shitty deal for many people in low-wage, low-dignity jobs.
When I challenge some of these beliefs, I tend to get a lot of pushback from many. This is to be expected. These beliefs still work for some people and these examples can be held up as proof of their wisdom.
However, based the conversations I have had with hundreds of people, many are stuck with these beliefs, but don't know what else to think.
I recorded a podcast discussing 10 myths with Jeff Hittner, who founded Your Project X, an accelerator in New York City helping people re imagine their future. He is building what I have come to see as the much more reasonably-priced, transformational and practical solutions to the future of work and learning.
Our goal was not to question the amazing lives of many are succeeding on the traditional path, but to offer an alternative narrative (and practical exercises) to people who feel stuck.
Here are the ten myths we landed on
Myth #1 - "Once I land my dream job / make $X a year, I'll be happy"
Myth #2 - "I need to find my passion"
Myth #3 - "I should never take a pay cut"
Myth #4 - "You should have a 'steady' income"
Myth #5 - "I have to know what I need to do before I change directions"
Myth #6 - "An extended break is irresponsible"
Myth #7 - "It's fine to take a risk when young, but not when you have kids"
Myth #8 - "I should go to grad school to figure out what I want to do"
Myth #9 - "I can't make a change now after years in this field"
Myth #10 - "I'll be happy once I'm running my own business"
I had a call with a Boundless reader, Simon, who has started writing publicly and I just loved this and wanted to share it:
I feel like I’ve spent my whole life dreaming.
Perhaps not all of my life, but almost as long as I can remember. Maybe it was when I first started reading books on my own. I remember the thrill of picking up a book about a topic I knew nothing about and diving into a whole new world.
I would read a book about all kinds of topics. Let’s say dogs – I’d learn about the different races, how to take care of a dog, how to teach the dog to behave, and so on. I would pick up a whole stack of books about dogs and read through them all.
It was not just about learning, it was about dreaming. I dreamt about how I would take care of that dog, how I would build a dog house for it, and so on. I loved dreaming, it was my favourite thing.
But sometimes it was like there was something wrong with this world, like it felt unsafe and hostile, and dreaming those big dreams, reading those stacks of books, was my only escape into a more beautiful world.
I always kept my books and my dreams to myself, though. Feeling embarrassed, I never showed them to my friends or my parents. I think I was afraid people would laugh at my dreams. Somehow my dreams felt naive and silly when exposed to the reality of the outside world.
I still feel embarrassed about my dreams, actually. And I still hide them away. At least to most people. They still feel weird and naive when exposed to the outside world. Like they cannot be explained. Or that they become this small version of themselves when spoken aloud.
It’s like our deepest dreams demand us to be vulnerable.
It’s like our heart speaking the truth and we’re finally brave enough to listen. But it’s so difficult to stay open like that, to be vulnerable, to be innocent, to believe in something more than this life.
A lot of people feel that if they do what they want which is their hearts voice, their calling...if they honor that desire, they feel it can be selfish and it's'not at all. If you truly honor it, each step reveals the next, you don't have to know all the journey. You just follow the next step and then the next step and as each step reveals itself the more you're are able to honor that voice, that calling from your heart and the more it calls you to serve anyway.
#4 Reads / Listens
1. Community & Tribes: Sebastian Junger was on EconTalk talking about one of my favorite books, Tribe, a book about our need for crisis, community & connection
2. The Millennial Experience: Increasing expectations, higher costs and less time (link):
“We put up with companies treating us poorly because we don’t see another option. We don’t quit. We internalize that we’re not striving hard enough. And we get a second gig.”
3. Five #goodreads: Weekly Reads #101