Learn to avoid building a toxic better future. Living half of your life and suddenly realizing you are not living the life you envisioned can be a nightmare. You may have spent years working hard to build a toxic better future.
It can take just as much time, energy, and work to build a paradise as it does to build a toxic better future. They both seem like you are building a better future for yourself as planned but in the end, the end result may be a nightmare.
Don’t allow this to happen to you. Learn the signs and avoid building a better toxic future.
What Is A Toxic Better Future?
I believe it’s a crime to put off happiness today for possible happiness at a later date. Tomorrow is not promised to you and may never come.
Be productive now to possibly enjoy more time later. Sacrifice now by working more hours to accumulate more freedom for later? Save your money today so you can have even more to enjoy tomorrow.
This all makes sense and can even be considered Golden Rules but not always. There are times these default positions can become toxic and lead to disaster and regret later in life.
Why do many of us constantly forgo enjoying life or simply having a good time for the promise of building some imaginary future later?
“Youth is watsted on the young.”Anonymous
I have a toxic fear of success that would explain why I do it what about you?
Allow me to ask you a few questions.
Is there anything in your life you do for just fun, without looking to better yourself for the future?
If so do you feel guilty about it?
Do you really enjoy that vegan diet? Really?
Do you really enjoy yoga, kickboxing, early morning runs, or working overtime?
If so good for you. Many of the things you do for fun have not become toxic or have they?
Let me know in the comments below.
There was a time when almost everything I did was to help monetize my many websites. Now I actually live and enjoy life and my websites still do fine.
When Your Passion Turns Toxic
What does pursuing your passion really mean?
There was a time I thought I knew but now I am not one hundred percent sure. I hate to do this to you but do you remember this one?
“If you do what you love, you’ll never work another day in your life.”Unkown
I am the perfect example of how doing something you love and are passionate about puts you in the perfect position to be exploited and craped on.
You don’t mind working extra hours or going the extra mile to get the job done, without extra pay or compensation of any kind. Many employers and bosses do not appreciate that and exploit it. Sometimes they don’t mean to it’s just business.
It can even devolve into being asked to do demeaning tasks or tasks unrelated to your job. All because you love your position and what you do and doing your actual job does not seem like work to you. That passion thing can be a curse.
With every job comes times when the demands of the job become too much. Employers always seem to push to find your limits. That is when compensation and perks help alleviate the pain.
Always keep them top of mind when discussing every opportunity. There may come a time that is all you have and without them, any great opportunity will quickly become a toxic nightmare.
These big tech companies are good at offering perks. Free meals, physical and mental pampering, and stock options but frown upon you leaving to go home for the night.
Please be mindful and realistic when trying to leverage yourself into the perfect opportunity to get your career started or break into your dream industry.
When you begin to climb the ladder of success make sure it is up against the correct wall that does not have a huge toxic sea on the other side.
That’s not the waterfront property you planned to spend your golden years at.
How To Avoid Building A Toxic Better Future
There are times when living in the present is better than preparing for the future. Think about it.
Your children will never be two years old again and some events are once-in-a-lifetime events. Believe it or not, you have the power to create once-in-a-lifetime events, TODAY! You can live the good life today. RIGHT NOW!
Work and productivity should not always be your default mode. It can be fun thinking of ourselves planning every minute of our days, and weeks, and adding and subtracting tasks and goals. That is how you become successful, right?
That may fill my Bullet Journal with content that helps it look great but is that what I need to do to be successful? Nope!
I love to begin my weekly planning by highlighting things I will enjoy doing and the food I would love to enjoy during the week first and plan EVERYTHING else around that second.
I swear I have no problem planning my whole day, adding and deleting a task or goal around the best place to grab lunch.
I know there are more important things that need to be done and they do get done. They are just not a priority ALL OF THE TIME for me. Sometimes my favorite Chicken Empanad or a cup of Bone Broth.
There are so many places where I live and in New Jersey and New York City where I spend a lot of my time to eat drink and be merry. New York City is one of the world’s top tourist destinations and I take pride in planning my days like a tourist.
I don’t suggest you live 100 percent of the time like a tourist like I try to do (there are negative aspects to that) but devote small portions of your days and week to living like a tourist in your neighborhood while still being productive along the way. You may be surprised at was is going on in your neighborhood.
I would never suggest you completely abandon preparing for your best possible future. Striving to succeed and a feeling of accomplishment is one of the things that make life worth living.
Desiring that feeling can also become toxic.
Balance is key. Spend almost as much time planning rest, leisure, and just plain old fun as much as you spend planning for success. They should complement each other.
I have found the end result we dream of when reaching success consists of buying and acquiring stuff. If that is you I suggest you create more appropriate symbols of success, because stuff will never make you happy in the long term.
I bet when you fall back on your values and consider what is really important to you coming up with more appropriate symbols of success will be easy.
More importantly, I bet many of those more appropriate symbols of success can be realized sooner rather than later. Like even today. You can plan them into your schedule this week. Right now. Give it a try.
It beats waiting years to become the more toxic version of success and buying all the junk you don’t really need to be happy, to only end up as clutter in your life.
Long Term Goals Can Be Toxic
I believe the mere act of setting goals is toxic. Please allow me to state that again. THE MERE ACT OF SETTING GOALS IS TOXIC!
The minute I set a goal it sets a ticking clock in my subconscious. Like a TICKING TIME BOMB that can only end badly.
I become anxious about my progress and assess my success or failure almost daily. I find that uncomfortable and toxic.
I find if I set “Daily Intentions” instead of goals I feel better and my life instantly becomes happier. I work just as hard but I have infinite flexibility and time to be successful.
Some days I get a bunch accomplished to reach my intentions and other days less. Either way, I’m always moving forward and all work toward my intentions a good.
When something more fun comes up there is no guilt. I often do the more fun things. The times I work really hard toward my intentions are great too.
I don’t have to use that good day as an excuse to take a day off because the days off are already baked into the cake.
I can go H.A.M (Hard As a Mother..er.) for days and not feel the need to take a break because if something great to do was available I would have done it already.
I found setting intentions has been the best productivity tool to help me reach success and avoid working toward a toxic future. I can work really hard for 30 days straight and not pat myself on the back feeling ahead of schedule because there is no schedule.
I can spend two leisurely weeks having fun and not feel guilty like I’m goofing off. There are no timelines. Just good intentions.
The problem with setting goals is even present when you reach them, you always end up moving on to the next one. That simple act of moving leads to a feeling of anxiety and that ticking time bomb as you deal with the feeling of starting all over again.
Of course, you celebrate but at some point, you still start all over and set a new goal. That’s the part I hate. You feel good for a minute or two then move on, Tick, Tick, Tick.
Goals are always asking what have you done for me lately? That can be exhausting over time. Intentions are what I like to employ to avoid building a toxic future.
Keep your intentions for the day clear and the natural next step to reach your long-term goals. It’s just that simple. Keep your foot on the accelerator moving forward every day. Celebrating large and small victories alike.
If you landed your dream job or met what seems to be the perfect dream person consider their great intentions. If either makes for feel unhappy regularly it’s toxic and time to make a change. It’s just that simple.
I understand working hard and paying your dues are the most effective beginning steps that lead to success.
There is a difference between being used, beating your head against the wall, or setting your latter up against the wrong wall as you attempt to climb the ladder of success.
You know the difference between making progress and going backward. You just need to be honest with yourself and pull the plug on any activity that becomes toxic. Seems simple but it can be difficult at times to pull the plug. If not you will be building a toxic better future.
For example, when you begin feeling drained, burned out, and worst yet, you hate going to work every day. Those feelings have become the classic signs of a toxic environment and It’s may be time to make a change.
I am not saying quit immediately. I am saying begin planning a change. The simple act of preparing for a change can be liberating. Quitting is always an option. Temporarily switching to part-time, moving to less demanding positions, or even changing fields are all options.
The goal is to find what you really desire and be happy building a brighter future. Not building a toxic better future.
Be mindful of what a toxic situation looks like. Be mindful of the beginning trappings of a toxic relationship. More importantly, learn to quickly make the changes to combat it.
Start a Side Hustle
Starting a Side Hustle in the answer more times than most of us are willing to believe. Playing by the rules, working hard, being miserable, going on interviews, and being judged like a show pony is not the answer for some of us.
Check this out. You are a hard worker? Are great at the things you love to do? Have studied your craft? Have studied the businesses within the craft while preparing for job interviews? You may already possess the same credentials as the boss or even the owner.
Why not just a step further and prepare yourself to be the boss? Be the solution you have been dreaming of. Why look for someone to pay you to make their business profitable?
Some people like the freedoms that come with being an employee and that’s the majority of us. Others thrive on the pressures of being the boss. Those are who I am speaking to right now.
Start off slow. That is what Side Hustle Means. Starting off slow. When you begin to make a profit it will be time to ask yourself if you can pursue this passion full-time.
That is a fair question. Again some of us are better suited to be employees. We like to start and stop work at a certain time. We like to do only what is necessary and nothing more because that is what we get paid to do.
That type of person is not well suited to be their own boss and that is ok for them. If you are making a profit with your Side Hustle you just may have it in you to go full-time and be the boss.
Have you heard the story describing a person complaining about working hard from 9 to 5 only to start their own business and find themselves working 24 hours a day?
Starting a side hustle is usually a great idea. You can keep your current sources of income and if things go well you will be adding at least one other source of income.
Sounds easy because it is. I must say in this instance doing what you are passionate about is a load of crap. There may be no money in your passions.
You have to create or offer something people are looking for and if you are lucky it’s something you’re passionate about or at least like to do.
I strongly suggest you start a side hustle working something you at least like because if you are lucky you will spend a large part of your free time doing it. Hopefully, the income will increase your passions.
Start a side hustle doing something you are very knowledgeable about or at least willing to learn everything about. The best way to begin is by becoming a copycat.
Find someone successful at doing what you would like to be doing and copy them. Sometimes it helps to put your own twist on your business. Don’t be opposed to befriending them if you can.
It can be in person (if possible), by phone, by email, via social media, or from afar. Become allies with them whenever possible.
If you are lucky they will help keep your feet grounded in reality. This will become invaluable when difficulties arise.
Be mindful of the future you build. You do not want to spend 20 or 30 years and end up with something that is a toxic nightmare.
Trust me it can happen. You can concentrate on working hard and saving money and still be stuck with a living nightmare in the end. You must be vigilant in working hard to avoid building a toxic future.
As discussed in more detail earlier one of the most toxic futures that I believe you should avoid is when all the dust settles you believe you reached your goals, look around and you are all alone.
The toxic better future that almost became my nightmare is when you believe you have found the perfect career. You love the work and as they say, you would do it for free.
Somewhere along the way the powers that be or you exploited yourself because of the love and passion you had for the work to the point you never got what you needed and deserved from it.
You essentially built a toxic better future by working for free.