Get a Life not a Career: Become a Hero not a CEO

by Joe Barnes




Date: Aug 21, 2013

Get a Life not a Career: Become a Hero not a CEO

Our outlooks are all skewed. We live in a system where the amount of money we earn and the status we attain is prized more highly than our levels of happiness and the good we do. It may sound crazy, but you’ll be held in higher regard if you’re the CEO of a colossal company, making decisions that wreck the lives of thousands and cause untold damage to the environment, than if you’re a charity worker looking to save the lives of the system’s rejects. 

At least you’ll have millions of dollars in the bank and people will covet your job, right? After all, that’s what we’ve been taught to want for our lives.  

Unsurprisingly, there is a massive fallout from living in a world with such an insane outlook. A huge dependency on all forms of drugs, scary suicide rates, the breakdown of the community and mass apathy are just some of the symptoms of this warped system. Even if none of the above apply to you, it’s likely that you’ve been struck by the meaninglessness of it all.

So what can you do? Carry on playing the system’s game believing there’s safety in numbers. Or, play a different game, get a new set of objectives and discover what happens when you refuse to accept what the system tells you you should want.

If you’re ready to take the plunge then here’s how.  

Career Crisis

The first step to living a more rewarding life is to reject the ‘career mentality’. The thing that your parents, teachers and careers advisors tell you is so important to being a fully functional and responsible member of society is only going to drain you of all vitality and leave you a burnt out husk of the person you could have been.

For many, a career can mean;

  • Most of your adult life spent doing something you don’t REALLY want to do 
  • Performing a role you have no real belief in
  • The daily compromise of ideas and opinions for the sake of playing the game

You don’t want that! And that’s why you have to start shifting your focus towards getting a ‘Life’. 

This means;

  • Your inspiration (rather than fear or perceived necessity) guides your decisions
  • Your success is measured by how good you feel rather than the money you make
  • Your joy is gained by giving to other people rather than using them as a means to your advance 

If you can shift your focus to these standards then you will begin to make the change.

Are you a What or a Why?

Understandably, though, you’ll want to know what the payoff is. To some, it may appear that you’re purchasing a one way ticket to a life of poverty and unemployment. Sure, it sounds like a great way to live, but we all know that the demands of ‘The Real World’ mean that your life could never be this way, right?


Choosing a life rather than a career gives you the most vital resource known to man – ENERGYWith this quality, supporting yourself is easier than you think. You see, there’s a common mistake that most people make when thinking about the world of work and the practicalities of making a living. They feel bound to the career model because they believe the flow of money can only be accessed by WHAT they do i.e. If I work as a doctor/office worker/salesperson/plumber etc . then I will receive a financial reward.

What they don’t realise is that people actually get paid (or get paid the most) for WHY they do something ie: I worked as a tennis coach because I loved seeing kids have fun and helping their games develop – Tennis and Coaching just happened to be a vehicle for this. Whether you’re a person who operates from a WHY or a WHAT (for a more in depth explanation of this phenomenon please follow this link), the point is that money flows in abundance to the people who have a reason (beyond financial reward) for what they do.

This links perfectly to the idea of having a Life rather than a Career. It’s the synergy of being inspired to do something combined with the high energy levels you bring to your work. Ironically, this will place you on pay scale above people stuck in their ordinary careers.   

Find the Hero Within

If having a Life is what you should aim to live, then who should you aim to Be? While the system would point you in the direction of being a powerful member of society with a title like Manager, Director or CEO, to live a truly exciting and fulfilling life, you have to draw your inspiration from a completely different source. Movies are going to be more helpful than careers advisors and childhood fantasies will serve you better than following the footsteps of your peers. It may sound strange, but you’ll need to connect with the Hero you were meant to be.    

Here are 3 steps on how to do it.   

1. The ’cause’ has to be greater than the individual. Think Braveheart. William Wallace valued freedom even at the expense of his life. Therefore, your mission has to be about more than personal gain. Making a difference to the world is a great place to start.

2. Overcome all odds. Few things inspire people more than overturning a stacked deck. To become a hero, you must succeed in spite of everything that is thrown at you. Therefore, don’t look for the easy path. Instead, look for the right path and fight anything in your way.  

3. Speak Up! Hero’s aren’t goody goodies. If something aint’ right then say it, no matter whose nose you put out of joint. Just remember that Hero’s often have to take the heat to create changes that benefit everyone.    

Follow these 3 steps and great things will happen. In a world where people struggle to look at themselves in the mirror, you’ll be one of the rare exceptions who are proud of who they are.