As a culture we believe in paying dues. We do it in our education and in our careers, in our financial lives and even relationships. Put in the hard work, the time, the grind; you’ll get ahead one day. If it’s sucky for long enough, it will become not sucky someday, right?
The proverbial dangling carrot keeps us toiling away toward someday. Maybe for some that’s a valuable approach. After all, it’s all experience, and it’s all learning.
But if any dues are ever paid, I believe it needs to be first and foremost to ourselves.
Pay your dues to you.
After you put yourself through the ringer enough in life, eventually, hopefully, you’ll get to the point when it’s time to move on up. When you self-promote to the next level. You give yourself a raise, metaphorically speaking.
In your new position of authority over your life, you begin to place your well-being, happiness, and heart at the top tier. You walk away from the doors to cages, even the glittery ones you’re told you “should” go after because of the great opportunity for security or perceived success.
When you give yourself permission to do this, to take the risk of bliss instead of settling for safety or comfort, you set yourself free from your dues.
And that is when the doors truly worth walking through will open.