Something I saw posted on Facebook really got my wheels turning. I do not remember the quote word for word, but it said something like “It’s a shame if you go work for a company for eight hours and then go home and do not work towards your dreams, because you are too tired.” I thought long and hard about this quote and I completely agree with it. People become so consumed into their 40+ hour work weeks that they become too lazy to do anything else. I know that working full time is exhausting. Waking up early every day and repeatedly performing your assigned tasks can be a pain; especially if you do not like your job. But people make time for what they want to make time for. Do not pick going to the club, or hanging out with friends over planning and securing a future for yourself. At the end of the day long term goals should be more of a focus than short term goals such as having a social life, relaxing, etc. My god father always tells me “You can sleep when you die.” It sounds harsh, but that statement is completely accurate. Take advantage of life and opportunities while you can.

A smart friend of mine once told me the importance of not becoming content. He explained to me how so many get stuck at jobs they originally planned on having temporarily. I know there are pros and cons to staying at a job for many years. The biggest con obviously is that you may never end up doing what your initial life goal was or what you went to school for. But not like your degree was a waste. I know that many people receive raises at companies just for having a degree regardless of what the degree is in. A big pro would be seniority. If you are at a company for long you usually have received multiple raises, promotions and benefits. I do not knock people who digress from there original plans. If you could be at a company such as Walmart or Target making 6 figures, by all means go head. But only if you will be happy. My biggest fear in life is being stuck somewhere where I am not happy. Feeling like I have to stay there to make ends meet.

The same friend who spoke to me about settling also spoke to me about the importance of an “individual” hustle. He explained this as having a job or working for a company, but still having some extra work on the side.

There’s something I have started doing which I feel like everyone should partake in. When I get off work, I set up my laptop and start browsing for ways to achieve my goal. No matter how tired I am. I force myself to at least do a couple goal related tasks a day.

I start off going on Craigslist. The gigs section is perfect. It may seem silly to do little random jobs, but you never know what can happen. A gig can lead to an opportunity to network or something more permanent. You never know who you could meet.

Another tool is a website or portfolio. Everyone should have a site or page in order to advertise themselves and their talents. Posting a blog, a picture or links to work could be the difference between someone finding you and offering you an opportunity or all that talent going to waste.

Social media is also another completely effective tool. As unproductive as it may seem, if social media is used correctly, it could be the perfect way to meet others interested in your field. Hash tagging, following well connected people and establishing a following could jump start your career faster than you think.

For all these reasons, I agree that your future is in your hands. Being productive is important and someone’s future will only be as bright as they make it. For someone who used to do the bare minimum and never do anything extra, I feel 150% better working towards my goal and putting in work. In conclusion, get those wheels turning and “Just Do It” like Nike.