I had followed the traditional career path. I received a Bachelor of Science from MIT, a Master of Science from Stanford University, and had a job lined up before graduation. I was paying back student loans, starting a new life for myself, and everything felt on track.
As time passed, job stress crept up on me and began taking its toll. A nagging voice inside of me kept saying that it doesn't have to be like this but I dismissed it, rationalizing that I was much better off than most people and shouldn't be complaining.
I dedicated my free time to doing whatever was the opposite of sitting in a cubicle. My weekends were spent trying a variety of adventure sports and while I enjoyed these activities they only temporarily relieved my stress. I found myself spending significant amounts of money to offset my cubicle life, which was still winning the tug-of-war. The nagging voice in my head got even louder.
I began shifting my free time toward taking career tests, doing volunteer work, and taking classes in whatever interested me in the hopes of finding a way to become happier. I tried yoga classes and even sought out answers on mountain tops, but still remained stuck because my approach was backwards - from the outside-in.
By limiting my domain of options to an external list I was treating my life like a multiple choice test rather than a blank canvas.
Then fear set in. Was reinvention possible? Could I pursue joyful and meaningful life in a money-oriented culture? All my energy was being used to maximize short-term revenue at tech companies. Would I still be doing this when I'm 65? Not sure what to do differently, I continued to press forward until this happened:
Exceeding my limit was the jolt I needed to step out of mainstream thinking.
I finally decided to listen to that nagging voice inside of me.
With some training from the Martha Beck Institute I learned how to direct my life from the inside-out. I found myself on a path that felt meaningful and sustainable, with confidence and joy as a by-product. Skills I used to think wouldn't be useful "on the outside", naturally came into play; they were just repurposed for what I wanted to create. That's how I began using data for JOY.
It's now my mission to help others connect with their inner voice and start creating lives they love.
What I know for sure is that if you're directing your life from the inside-out, not only will you thrive but so will those around you - you'll be a better partner, parent, friend, and earthling.