I realized the problem wasn't everyone else, it was me.
It really doesn't matter what your dreams and goals are, just that you actively work toward them. If you are already doing this in your life, congratulations! This is awesome and I encourage you to keep doing it. However, if you feel stuck there may be some things you can do to kick start your path toward deliberate living. I suggest creating a plan of action. For example, here is what my plan of action looked like between 2007 and 2012. (That's right. Looking back it took about 5 years to make such a big change in my life.)
- Buy Land. We knew we wanted to build our own house near Asheville, North Carolina. We didn't know what kind of house, but something we could build with our own hands. To do this we needed land.
- Research building techniques. Some might say we put the cart before the horse, but it was important to us to have our patch of land to get started. Then we looked into several building styles and settled on Tiny Houses.
- Build. First we learned, then we practiced, then we started building.
- Downsize. The next step for us was to prepare for living in our new tiny house. This meant we had to scale back a lot of stuff. We sold our 2700 square foot house and moved into an 800 square foot apartment. That intermediate step helped with the transition
- Pay off debt. I knew my next step was to pay off my debt. I didn't have very much compared to others, but I wanted to be free of any debt when I quit my job. Selling the big house was a huge help in this regard. It didn't take long to pay everything off.
- Start freelancing. Before I quit my job, I needed to start building a portfolio of writing work so I could get more clients. I pitched myself to a few places I thought might be interested. I landed my first client who, to this day, is still my biggest. I took the age-old advice to "write what you know." I took my 15 years of recruiting experience and turned it into my first professional writing job.
- Quit. Then, I quit. Once the house was built and I was making some money freelancing it was time to jump without a net. I put in my notice and six weeks later I was independent. This step also involved some things like buying health insurance and learning about taxes.
- Make connections. I quickly learned that making connections was probably the most important thing I could be doing in my new life. Some of these are personal and some are professional. Connections help keep me engaged in my new self-employed lifestyle and that is important for me.