Today’s success story comes from a friend with a very similar journey to my own. What I love the most about her story is that it demonstrates that everyone will have a different Sanity Plan, but the end result will be the same:
a sane & manageable life.
Joelene Wolfe is a mom, wife, marketer, and the creator of Happiness Depends. After many years of following someone else’s dream, she took the big leap to finally follow her dream of acting. And now she is helping others take the 1st step toward their dream career on HappinessDepends.com.
We’re all a little kooky at times and that’s totally acceptable. Life would be boring if we weren’t. However being totally insane and unhappy… now that’s not my cup of tea. You see, at one point in my life I was miserable. I was trying to convince myself and everyone around me that I was happy. Let me tell you, that was exhausting and it nearly drove me to insanity.
I spent my entire career working in the corporate world. Somewhere deep down inside, though, I knew that it wasn’t what I wanted to do but I was afraid after so many years to make a change. I mean, that’s usually what holds us back – fear. Right?
I would come home from work and tell my husband that I was dying a little everyday walking into that office.
Even still, I tried to convince myself otherwise. My typical day was filled with feeling anxious, unappreciated, and literally like a fish out of water. There were days that I literally couldn’t breathe. I was not in my element at all.
Here’s the thing… I wasn’t young anymore. I had an established career that I worked at for years and who the heck would take my dream seriously anyway? I left that important little detail out. Didn’t I? So my dream since the wee age of three was to become an actor. Yup, you read that correctly. I also forgot to mention that I was just over forty years old. I guess if we are to dream, we might as well dream big.
I knew that things at my company weren’t going well and a few of us were ultimately laid off. Most people would have buried their heads in the sand but not me. Nope. To the contrary, I heard angelic music playing in my head. I was ready.
So, I decided to put an exit strategy in place – my own personal sanity plan.
It was kind of like one of those action films when there seems to be no hope. Then in the nick of time, the main character goes against all the odds and finds a way out of the situation. Well my story was exactly like that, minus the special effects and camera man, but you get the gist.
Insanity no more! No more being tied to a desk doing something I didn’t love for people who didn’t love me. I seized the moment after many years of procrastinating and shushing my dream. I did not overthink it. I just decided to take that first step.
My 9 step sanity plan was simple really and you can do it too.
- Move forward and never look back – the past is the past
- Only share your plan with your closest people – avoid naysayers
- Force yourself to take an action everyday toward your goal – little steps equal big successes
- Read every positive thinking or inspirational book you can get your hands on – what a difference these make
- Just go with your flow – that feeling inside that can’t be explained but always knows if you are on the right course
- Celebrate the small victories and don’t get hung up on the losses – you are worth it
- Learn to relish every moment doing what you love – living in the now is huge
- Be truly grateful for everything – both the things you have and things that you want
- Envision yourself as the person you plan to be – in all your glory
It really works. Through this process I finally realized that I wasn’t here to live out someone else’s dream. My sanity plan was solely to live out mine.
So I am thrilled to report that I have been acting for over four years. I have been in many commercials, TV shows, films, videos, ads and many other wonderfully crazy gigs. The great kind of crazy! I have met so many amazing people and at the end of the day I am proud of myself. That first baby step led to a life I never thought possible. In fact, if you would have told me 5 years ago that this is where I would be, I would have thought YOU were the insane one. Yet here I am.
So my advice to you is this – if you are in a career that is not in alignment with your heart, don’t get overwhelmed with all the details of how to get there. Just decide on your sanity plan and take one small step every day.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life and don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. Most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.” —Steve Jobs
Take that step. Live your dream. Be happy.
I love hearing inspirational stories about how people find what really works for them.
Do you have a Sanity Plan success story to share? Let me know in the comments or contact me here.