OOH Can you guys believe it’s already a NEW DECADE???? I am kicking this year off with a book review that I couldn’t wait to do!!! So if you know me well, you know that I’m a self help JUNKIE and I’ve basically read all of them out there trying to cure myself of everything under the sun from in my 20’s things like the dreaded quarterlife crisis, finding my purpose, to my 30’s trying to figure out how to find fulfillment, searching for my purpose (do we see a pattern yet??), and of course asking the question “what is the meaning of life” ....constantly.... Doesn’t my life sound so fun?!
I’m addicted to personal growth, finding my passion(s), being better every day, setting goals and crushing them, all the things that make my husband shake his head and wish I would sit still for JUST A SECOND and ENJOY LIFE even if I’m not sure exactly where I’m heading that day……anyone?? Or is it just me?? LOL
So now that I’ve let everyone know how cra cra it gets in my brain I’m going to share a MUST READ if you have a desire to grow and thrive in any area of your life. Logic usually makes us think and emotion makes us take action and this book has the perfect blend of both so that you are both inspired and motivated to begin the process of making positive change in your life! It’s not all rainbows and butterflies and fluffy stuff – there’s plenty of tactical steps to get you where you want to go.
**Disclaimer – remember when your mama said “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”? Ok so when you hear/read the title, don’t do what I did and think, "Oh, I’m good - I love what I do for a living so this book isn’t for me.” So the book is called “Don’t Keep Your Day Job” by Cathy Heller, and when I first heard of the book I legitimately thought I’d pass because I’ve worked so hard over the past decade for the career that I have that I thought it wouldn’t apply… Boy was I wrong – so I just want to throw that out there for anyone that is peachy keen in their current “day job” and that also includes anyone that doesn’t have a traditional “day job”.
Instead, think of it like "this book is going to show you how to be a rockstar and live your best life”…..got your attention now? Ok good, let’s move on. (Cathy actually backs this up in her first paragraph…she basically says that your “day job” is just a synonym for all the boring and predictable aspects of your life that make up your days so yeppers doesn’t just mean your “day job”)
Throughout the book, Cathy beautifully weaves in the stories of people in her life and guests from her crazy popular #1 podcast “Don’t Keep Your Day Job” to give real life examples of how to implement the strategies and techniques she writes about to tap into the person you are uniquely created to be.
The empathy she has for those on the journey is evident in every story she tells and every strategy she shares.
So who is Cathy Heller you ask?? Cathy is the host of "Don't Keep Your Day Job" a #1 podcast on Apple, runs a successful music agency called Catch The Moon Music where she teaches artists and musicians how to grow their careers, has a thriving online community on Facebook, and has lived this journey so she totally gets where you are at!
So you guys know me….I drive a ton so I often grab books online and listen to them. I did that and also had a copy that Cathy sent me so I got to digest it both ways. I LOVE it when an author reads the audible book and Cathy reads the entire book which I enjoy as a “reader/listener” because you start building an emotional connection to that person as you hear their story.
The opening chapter starts with a quote from Cathy which knocked me square in the gut. “The opposite of depression is not happiness. The opposite of depression is purpose”. OOH….REALLY??… so that means this search for happiness I’ve been on is actually like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow??? It’s an illusion that DOESN’T EXIST?? Or if it does, and purpose gets me to the other side of depression then that means that I HAVE A PART in getting there versus finding some magical happiness along my journey…ooh…Immediately I knew that this was gonna require some action from me but count me in!
Before we move on, let's pause for a minute to reflect on that quote…“The opposite of depression is not happiness. The opposite of depression is purpose”...when you stop to think about it, I believe she has a very valid point. When I look back at times in my life where I've felt low, they were the times when I didn’t have a clear cut purpose.
I also see this a lot in my clients that I help sell their homes, when the kids leave home or they retire from their careers and they don’t replace that purpose with something else that they can focus on, depression sets in because we are beings that are created for doing things and contributing to the world!
Ok moving on…so a big overarching theme in “Don’t Keep Your Day Job” that I can TOTALLY relate to is this idea that we do a lot of the things we do in our life and career by default and then we wake up one day like in our forties and think…what has my life come to?? Mid-life crisis anyone??
So apparently I’m a little ahead of the curve because this actually DID happen to me back in my mid-twenties….y’all this is before Pinterest if that tells you anything, before we texted on cell phones, and the word “entrepreneur” wasn’t quite the buzzword it is today, so the thought of doing something outside of an office was not very well understood or accepted. The long story short is I graduated college and positioned myself to get right into a successful sales career.
Things were great on paper – I was making a great six-figure income at 24 years old, I actually loved working with clients and was good at what I did, but I was miserable with the constraints. I was tied to a desk, working 70 miles away from my home, and I would leave my house at 8:30am in the morning and wouldn’t get home till 8:30pm at the earliest. Then I’d get dinner going, feed the dogs, hang out with my husband, go to bed, and do it all over again.
I gained 30 pounds and dreaded getting up everyday because I couldn't figure out how to get off the hamster wheel that I had created. I also couldn't tell a lot of people because most people out there would have taken my position in a heartbeat and I didn't want to seem ungrateful or high maintenance.
Most people didn’t understand why I kept saying “there has to be a better way” or “I know there’s a way to make good money doing what I love but with more flexibility” etc, etc. I was mentally bucking the traditional “go to work and make money at all costs” system, and at that time there wasn’t a lot of empathy or support – much less examples on how to make it happen, which is why this book is such an asset, but I digress.
Point is that Cathy discusses this concept in her book which I totally appreciate because it calls us to be self-aware of our ability to design the life we desire and question the “system” in the event it doesn’t align with our core being, even if it’s the status quo.
Most of us have spent so much of our lives going through the motions of what we are “supposed to do” that if asked what we desire our lives to look like, we have no clue after we get past the standard “travel more” or “retire on a beach”. We’re going to fix that by the time you get through this book so you can design the life you desire and be the boss of your life!
Cathy takes us on a journey of her childhood where she reveals details from her background and your heart goes out to the young girl that was caught between arguing parents and no doubt trying to make it all better by appeasing those around her by not rocking the boat. Being true to herself was not on her radar at that point in her life – she was simply trying to survive. Can you relate?
When she did find success with a record label as a musician, she writes about how she felt uneasy because she “felt like she was trying too hard to be someone else”, and after she got dropped from the label, she reinvented herself and was super successful but hating the life she was living...ooh I’ve been there too! This was her wake up call to tap into her essence – her meaning – her purpose - and she shares all about her journey in the book.
Another BIG nugget I got from the book is “clarity follows action”……ahhhh…DOUBLE CRAP….that means that instead of giving myself permission to “wait and see how it’s all supposed to play out before I act” or “wait and get ALLLLLL the research done before I start” is kinda sorta out the window because the ACTION is what brings the CLARITY…
Cathy writes about how when she got into action and was open to ideas and possibilities and followed things that brought her joy, things started to click, she gained clarity, which lead to more clues, and began building a successful life and business.
Obviously I’m paraphrasing here so you definitely want to get your hands on her book to get all the details!
She also talks about the idea of taking “purpose” off it’s pedestal and instead of it just meaning one gigantic super important thing and suggests trying to find purpose in everyday things – regardless of how small or large.
There’s a chapter that discusses the importance of vision and why it’s so important for us to turn our brains off from all the thinking and negative chatter which most of the time doesn’t get us any closer to our goals or dreams. Instead, Cathy suggests to get your mind above the day to day and be the observer of your life asking yourself “what do I want my life to look like in X years”.
One of my most favorite parts of the book is when Cathy writes about how to get out of your head and get in alignment with your true authentic self. She shares a practice called “Morning Pages” from Julia Cameron’s book “The Artist’s Way”. Basically every morning you free write on three pieces of paper front and back whatever comes to mind. Yep, write with a pen or pencil no computers…While this might sound airy fairy IT WORKS.
The first few times I sat down to do it I literally had nothing to write so I just started writing that “I have nothing to write. I am sitting in a chair with my morning coffee…” and suddenly it started turning into more legit thoughts and feelings and then I was writing so much my wrist started to throb…guess that else happens…your brain will feel like a pressure valve has been released, that 90 lb weight that may have been sitting on your chest that you’ve become accustomed to starts to get lighter, and your soul starts to show up on those pages over time. It’s like it starts to crack open the outer shell of your emotions, thoughts, dreams, fears, and gets you closer to your true self.
I feel like throughout the entire book, Cathy is giving us permission.
Permission to question the status quo without feeling guilty or high maintenance about it
Permission to want more out of life without apologizing for it
Permission to admit if we are unhappy with where we are at in our life
Permission to do things our way even if they aren’t the norm or how others around us expect it to be
This permission is a gift.
Some of us out there need permission to get started looking inside to figure out what kind of life we were created for. It’s a gift that many of us don’t even realize we are waiting for to take the first step to designing a life we love that is true to our own unique self. If you’ve been waiting for permission you have it right now!
This book is a definite re-read as it will be applicable in many seasons of life. This year you may change up your real day job. Next year you may be wanting to grow or change in your health and wellness. Five years from now you may want to take up yoga. Everything is always changing and we aren’t static so the support and guidance that are in these pages will live on.
This is perfect for anyone out there that is looking to tap into their passions, get energized about their life, and live the life they were created to live! Count me in!! You can grab the book here on Amazon.
Note: As I sit and edit this post before it gets published I have just literally, minutes ago, learned about the passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter in a helicopter crash...It physically pains me to think about the loss that happened today and the lives that were taken too early. It’s a harsh reminder that life is very precious and very short - we don't have any guarantees about how long we have. We literally have today as a gift and the way we spend our days is how we ultimately spend our life. Please don't spend your days dreading your life or muddling through your days wishing it was different. Let this book from Cathy be a gift and the spark you need to take control and be the person and live the life that you were created for in the time you have on this Earth. Much love and prayers to Kobe and his family, friends, and everyone that was touched by his life and energy.