Guest Blogger: Fernando Camacho
How did you get here?
Where you are right now in your life. Your job, your relationships, your health, your finances, your everything. How did you end up where you are right now in all the areas of your life?
The problem is that life keeps moving on whether we want it to or not. If we’re not quite prepared or don’t know what to do, life doesn’t wait, it keeps rolling on. And if we’re not paying attention or we’re too caught up in the responsibilities and drama of our daily routine, we don’t even realize how fast life is moving, taking us along for the ride.
Then one day something happens that makes us pick our head up and look around. It’s at that moment that we realize we’ve let life’s current take us places we really didn’t want to go. That’s the drift . . . and it’s deadly.
The drift is a subtle ninja that’s there all the time but you never notice it. You start off with great intentions and with amazing life goals in mind, however, if you don’t regularly check your course, you can find yourself in places you never wanted to go. It’s like if you were on a plane leaving New York headed to Los Angelas but your course was off by one degree upon take off. You don’t realize it, set the automatic pilot and six hours later discover that you missed L.A. by miles and miles and are now landing somewhere you didn’t want to go.
Any aspect of your life is susceptible to the drift – nothing is immune. It could be that one day you have a few cookies before bed. No big deal. However, then you do it again a few days later, then it’s skipping a morning workout because you’re tired, then it’s getting sucked into binge watching every Game of Thrones episode to “see what all the fuss is about.” Before you know it a year has gone by and you look down at the 25 extra pounds sitting above your belt line thinking, “how did this happen?”
Or maybe you’re in a relationship that starts off great but little by little turns into something that doesn’t fulfill you and now you’ve wasted all that time that could have been spent with your soulmate.
I got caught up in the drift a number of years ago in my job, which is the one aspect of life the drift is most prevalent. I was working as a real estate appraiser, not because I really wanted to, but because I needed a job and it was offered to me (that’s another interesting story but I’m trying to stay on topic).
Being an appraiser was a very dangerous situation for me and it’s one that so many other people end up in, which leads them to fall prey to the drift. In that job, I was comfortably unhappy. I didn’t hate my job but I definitely didn’t love it. It’s not something I was interested in or something I would talk much about if you asked me but it wasn’t horrible. So I did the minimum necessary to get my paycheck and lived for my time off.
I didn’t dislike it enough to go out and find a better job but it wasn’t making my work days pleasurable either. So, I stayed in that job for WAY longer than I should have. I drifted for years, unaware of where I was going.
Lucky for me, fate stepped in and forced my hand. In 2008, the economy crashed and overnight I had no more work as an appraiser. It was at that moment that I came to the realization that I didn’t really care about losing it because I didn’t enjoy it. With no job to keep me occupied I took the time to really think about what I wanted to do with my days – not what I had to.
After a lot of internet, as well as soul-searching, I decided I wasn’t going to drift any longer. Life is too short and we spend most of our waking time doing our jobs, so it makes sense to actually enjoy doing it. Thinking about my interests and what my passions were, I searched day in and out until one afternoon I saw a small listing on an online job board: “dog trainer wanted.”
I had always loved animals and had a great relationship with my own dog. Maybe I could help others achieve the same results. I had never even thought of dog training as a career option. It was only after I had asked myself what I cared about that I was open to seeing it.
So without much preparation, I jumped into it. The cool thing about the time that we live in is that there is an abundance of information and opportunity out there for the taking. You just have to take the action to find and implement it.
Dog training took off pretty quick for me. It wasn’t easy – I had to start a brand new business I knew nothing about in the worse economy since the Great Depression. But because I loved the work, I powered through the obstacles, fought to make it a success and have enjoyed every single day doing it (even when times were tough). Even now, a decade later, I smile every single morning as I jump out of bed and head out to work.
It’s an amazing feeling and now that I found a job that brings me so much joy and satisfaction, I realize how unhappy I actually was doing real estate appraising. I’m sad I didn’t realize I was caught in the drift sooner – I think about those years I wasted, not maximizing my happiness.
That time is gone and I’ll never get it back. Time is the most precious resource you have. Money can be replaced and duplicated in the future but once today is over, you’ll never see it again and it leaves you with one less day in your life. You can’t do it over. It’s gone.
If I’m bumming you out – GOOD! I don’t want it to take some economic or natural disaster to finally make you see that you’re drifting in your career. I want to be the kick in your pants that clears your head and makes you realize you’re not fulfilled in your job and not spending your days as happy as you deserve.
Work doesn’t have to be work. It can (and should) be fun and engaging and rewarding. If you’ve been caught in the drift at work for a number of years, it can seem impossible to get out of. You might have spent a lot of time and money building up this career and you feel like it would be too hard or wrong to just abandon it.
I hear ya’ and I’m sorry. No, it’s probably not going to be easy, but it will most likely be well worth it. I’m here to tell you that you can reinvent yourself as many times as you like. I’ve had 5+ very different careers (another cool story for another time) and every single time I switched, I started at the bottom, knowing nothing about my new job and worked my way to success in every one.
I was able to do this not because I’m special (damn!) but because I figured out what I needed to do (thank you internet), learned my new craft day by day and worked my tail off. Anyone can do it, if they have the desire to do it.
I can tell you once you complete your reinvention and see what life can be like when you’re living your days with a smile on your face, knowing you’re doing what you love, you’ll never allow the drift to pull you in again.
If you mindlessly drift through life you’ll be left with the bitter taste of regret. However, if you live with intention and prioritize your happiness each and every day you’ll be able to squeeze all the juice out of your life.
Note from The Daily Feels: If you’re as inspired as we are and hungry for more, check out Fern’s new book “Getting Paid to Play with Puppies: Creating a Career and Life You Love”
Fernando Camacho has had 5+ different careers over the course of his life so far – always starting from the bottom and working his way to success each time. He’s reinvented himself over and over again, always keeping his focus on what brings him the most daily happiness Fern has also been able to transform himself from a pessimistic, depressed young man into a confident, lover of life. It wasn’t an easy or short journey, but was most definitely worth the effort. He’s the author of 5 books, the host of 2 podcasts and a popular speaker, where he tries to help others squeeze the juice out of life.
Facebook – That Fern Guy
Instagram: That Fern Guy