The Proximity Principle

I got an email from my local library today, reminding me that the book I had borrowed was due in 2 days! If I hadn't gotten that email, I probably wouldn't have done any reading today.

It worked out that these last 2 days fell on a weekend. Since my husband, Nick, was home, we could share the responsibility of keeping our children alive, and I snuck in snippets of reading while I cooked dinner, and while I sat by the fireplace in the living room where the girls were playing.

And this evening I actually finished the book! That's a true accomplishment for me - I was never one for reading as a kid. Even now, each book has to speak to me in a special way, and be decently simple to follow, or I lose interest. Thank goodness there is a great library system in the Seattle area, because nearly half of the books I begin I never finish! I hate to think of the money that would be wasted if I had to buy every single book I had the inclination to start reading.

I'm sitting on the floor in my living right now, next to a cozy little fire that Nick has been tending all evening, just for me. What a sweetheart. I just closed this hardcover book about an hour ago, and I feel accomplished and motivated! And scared. And encouraged. And nervous. And empowered.

This book is called The Proximity Principle, by Ken Coleman. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it! I have been listening to Ken's podcast, The Ken Coleman Show, and it has become one of my favorites in recent weeks. I usually pop in some headphones and listen to it while I clean the kitchen after dinner. Funny how this can turn one of the most obnoxious chores into one of the most coveted times of day! (Nick gets the kids ready for bed while I do this, which absolutely works in my favor, if you ask me!)

Ken's mission with his radio show and podcast is to help people find happiness and purpose in their work. Specifically, how to identify your sweet spot - the place where your passion and your talents come together - and how to get there. And The Proximity Principle is all about the practical steps of how to get to where you want to go, so that you can love the work that you do.

My mind has been full of potential and possibilities, as well as fears and self-imposed limitations, regarding my own future work these past couple of years. Or, in truth, since I was a teenager. Haven't we all thought about these things at some point in our lives?

But this past year especially I have been thinking and searching, because I don't intend to stay at home with my children full-time for a very extended period of time. But, what will I do when it's time to move on?

The dread that fills my heart when I imagine job-hunting and choosing the right work is a real weight on my shoulders. How easily I can become incredibly unhappy if I choose the wrong thing! How easy it is to settle into the uncomfortable comfort of working a job you hate, "working for the weekend," because, well, doesn't everyone do that?

You see, I've always loved Mondays. And I mean, love them! But an overwhelming amount of people really hate Mondays. Why? I believe it may have to do with something one woman said to me in a Facebook comment, specifically relating to my adoration of Mondays: "You don't have to get up and go to work on Mondays, do you?" It was a very telling comment.

I recently heard an astounding statistic - which I cannot reference with precision, so I will not claim its technical accuracy - that about 70% of people in this country hate their jobs. That is an overwhelming number! Is it true? I'm not sure. But I imagine it probably close. It certainly matches the experiences I have had with the world around me.

The Proximity Principle is written specifically for those who feel stuck where they are and want to make a change! And this is me right now! I really don't love being home with kids, which, by the way, is literally my job. Remember that whole, "you don't have to get up and go to work" thing? Not actually true. On Mondays, my husband is no longer sharing the responsibilities of keeping these children alive and (hopefully) happy, and it becomes my job. And I really don't enjoy it very much, no matter how much I love those kids! My job also comes with terrible pay, which isn't very cool.

Funny how we moms often forget that we're doing work that people actually get paid a lot of money for, and somehow think we "don't have a job."

It's not my intention to stay in this stay-at-home-mom job for a very long time. It's working for right now, and I'm enjoying the freedom to think and plan during this stage. Not everyone has that opportunity, so I want to relish it and use it! And The Proximity Principle has been absolutely inspiring to me in this time! I still don't know exactly what I will be doing in the future, but I certainly feel like I have a place to start now.

If you're also in a place where you feel stuck and want to make a change, I would highly encourage you to give this book a read! It is very practical, insightful, encouraging, and challenging. If you don't want to be challenged, and don't want to feel a fire in your belly, telling you that you were made for more and that more is possible, then don't read it. You'll hate this book if that's the case.