It’s Just Another Day, and How Great It Is!
Years ago I remember a mentor telling me that I would not do many of the things I had planned in my life. One of these was to start my own non-profit for a cause related to children growing up in poverty in the United States. That had been my experience and I wanted to help other kids have an easier life throughout their childhoods, for a variety of reasons close to my heart.
When I asked him to explain why he believed I would not be able to achieve this goal, he corrected me.
“It’s not that you won’t be able to do this, it’s that once you are able to you won’t be willing to put in the time and commitment necessary to make it a success. You’ll reach the point that every day is just another day and that will move your business forward in a satisfying way.”
I believed what he was telling me to be a worse fate than not having the money to accomplish my goal. The idea that I would turn my back on children in need felt like shirking my responsibility to them. Surely, I would be more than willing to give everything it would take in terms of my time and money and curating additional resources to make the lives of poor children better.
A few years passed, I was then earning seven figures a year and once again my thoughts turned to starting an organization that would serve those children in need I related to so well from my own personal experiences. I thought and thought and didn’t take much action.
I didn’t do it. Even though I was earning enough income and had joined or become a Board member for several non-profit organizations, as well as having spoken to an attorney and my CPA about setting up a 501c3, I did not take any action to create my own non-profit. And my experiences in working with other charitable groups had taught me much about the process. I could even list the steps it would take to set up a 501c3 in my state of California by heart:
* Determine the name of the corporation
* Draft and file the articles of incorporation
* Appoint the board of directors
* Draft the bylaws and conflict of interest policy
* Take the initial board actions
* Obtain an employer identification number (EIN)
* File the initial registration form with the California Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts
* File the Statement of Information with the California Secretary of State
* Apply for federal tax exemption with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
* Apply for California tax exemption with the California Franchise Tax Board
He had been right all along. How could this possibly be? I thought out loud.
As I relive this experience so many years later I’m reminded of a song written by Paul McCartney and released as his first single after the Beatles broke up in 1969. It’s titled It’s Just Another Day and these are the first two verses:
Every day she takes a morning bath she wets her hair
Wraps a towel around her as she’s heading for the bedroom chair
It’s just another day.
Slipping into stockings, stepping into shoes
Dipping in the pocket of her raincoat
It’s just another day.
At the office where the papers grow she takes a break
Drinks another coffee and she finds it hard to stay awake
It’s just another day.
And so it had become for me; every day was just another day and that was working for me. Not too boring and not too much excitement. But was this the lifestyle I had intended to design for myself or was there something more that I was missing?
I went back to Paul McCartney’s song lyrics. It’s a sad story of a woman whose personal and work life has become one of drudgery and monotony. Every day is just another day to her and she is simply going through the motions without experiencing any joy or personal growth. This wasn’t my life, but I did crave something more than a commonplace existence.
After much introspection I came to the conclusion that the only times in my life where each morning brought only another day were ones where I was not as happy as I wanted to be and certainly not living up to anything close to my full potential. Starting my business online in 2006 and becoming a mentor to others two years later proved to me that I had goals and a purpose much bigger than myself. And once I published my first book in 2010 I was on my way to a life of service and gratitude that allows me to focus on my core values and beliefs each day.
Three Stages of Life and Business Fulfillment
So I think of this process as the three stages of life and business fulfillment. I will attempt to explain them and you will come to your own conclusions as to how you envision your current life and what you want in your future.
Stage One: Every day is just another day in that you don’t feel like you have much choice in what you are doing and how you are spending your time. You are happy enough and content to have the life you have created and may believe this will be your reality for years to come. This was my situation throughout most of the twenty years I worked as a classroom teacher and had my real estate business on the side. Again, I was not unhappy but I knew there was more out there for me and that I was choosing not to go after a different life experience.
Yes, I was grateful to be earning enough income to own my own home (I live in southern California where real estate is more expensive than the national average) and to be able to help my elderly mother who was attempting to make ends meet with a small monthly pension.
Stage Two: Every day is just another day and you find yourself yearning for more. Much more. This was me at some point, specifically in 2005 when I woke up one spring day feeling like I was ready for a new life. I wanted more — to travel, to have time and money to volunteer to support causes I cared about, and to no longer feel like I was always just three or four paychecks away from being broke. Within a year I had resigned my teaching position and passed my best real estate clients on to people whom I believed could better serve them. I started a simple blog in the fall of 2005 and by the spring of 2006 I had earned my first income on the internet. By that summer I was up and running and making great changes in my life.
Stage Three: Every day is just another day where you can change the world! You have thoughts and ideas as to how you will change your life and the lives of others around you. You feel strong and empowered and can’t wait to share what you’re accomplishing with others. You are reaching your full potential with every action you take and you finally realize your potential is unlimited.
What stage are you in right now? What will you do to move upward and onward towards the life you want and deserve?
I’m Connie Ragen Green, never satisfied to live just another day. I am in an ongoing pursuit of joy, wisdom, mindset shifts, and charitable behavior towards those in need.