Update: Finding Nirvana

buddy

It has been a while since I posted anything on this blog: two years in fact. There weren’t too many people listening back then and with my continued absence – I suspect it may only be my dear mother who reads this latest post but, conveniently, my objective for writing this blog was never to have scores of readers (although it would be nice) – it was designed to be a tool to help me escape the rat race and create a career of my choosing.

Well, guess what I realised during a truly inspirational week, last week: I did it. I created a career of my choosing, I’m doing it and I’m getting it paid for it. Stick that in your hypothetical pipe and do as you please with it, all those people who doubted the philosophy of Screw Work Let’s Play.

My final epiphany moment and the moment I realised, I was indeed a writer, happened when I became overcome with emotion whilst reading quotes about writing on Pinterest. Oh, there I go again – just writing this sentence, undeniably, resonates with my heart and soul and confirms, without question, my true life calling.

writers

Since making this discovery, I have been in a constant state of unadulterated joy and the more I write, the more my soul connects with the concept of ‘Do what you love and you’ll never work another day in your life’. I’m permanently levitating, above the ground, in that sweet spot they call: Nirvana. Who knew just how satisfying that could be? Nope, not even I when I cautiously, but optimistically, set out to begin this journey of spiritual self-discovery.

Hang on a minute, I didn’t set out to spiritually awaken myself, I set out to exploit the anarchist within and avoid having to take one more step inside a soul-suffocating office or be forced to ignore my natural, circadian rhythm and get up at an ungodly hour but perhaps, most importantly, I chose never to answer to an adult-sized baby in an Armani suit – ever again!

However, it would appear, unequivocally, the two are inter-connected like the jigsaw puzzle of words and conjunctions which continuously dance upon my neurons, joining together to form a picture-perfect, poetic landscape of profoundly satisfying prose.

I won’t ruin the moment by explaining the minutia of how I did it; all I will say, for now, is – I found my bliss!

PS it would appear I knew what I should be doing – 2 years ago!

Image: Buffy’s Write Zone

Six Signs It’s Time to Quit Your Job…

alarm

1. You wake up, every morning, feeling like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day…

groundhogday6

2. …after repeatedly, and vividly, dreaming about seriously injuring your boss or one of your annoying colleagues…

backstab

3. A little, tourettes-style voice inside your head shouts “BULLSHIT!!” every time your boss opens his or her mouth…

Bullshit-stamp-1024x682

4. You’d rather spend 5 days a week inside an isolation room at a psychiatric hospital – at least then people would  stop bothering you…

cell

5. More than 80% of your Twitter feed or Facebook Timeline is you counting down how many miserable hours, minutes and seconds there are left before the weekend…

thank crunchie its friday

Images: megxgrim.tumblr.com, aitchpea.tumblr.com, screened.com, producerposts.com, rawagenda.com

30 Day Play Project

play pic

Following more good advice from John Williams and Selina Barker, in Ignition, I’ve done as they suggest and started a play project…

What is a play project?

Well, I am committing myself to 30 days of, basically, playing at something I enjoy doing and I’ve decided that, for me, playing will involve starting a blog/ web site dedicated to good, clean, healthy living: a subject I’m very passionate about.

I’m sharing it here now, in its very early stages, so I can chart my progress over the 30 days.

Throughout the project I will, mostly, be playing around with writing, research and food photography: all activities which I’m drawn to…

So, without further a do, here it is:

this blog

Read more about Play Projects here.

Image: witanddelight.tumblr.com

New Day, New Page…

#sunrise in Newcastle

A post shared by Francesca Roll (@francescajroll) on

I was, going to write a simple post on how I’d finally managed to select a suitable ‘Playbook’ to use for Ignition but, in the words of Carrie Bradshaw, ‘I got to thinking’ …about the symbolism of a blank page when approaching the subject of career change, then this famous quote popped into my head:

‘At any given moment you have the power to say:

This is NOT how the story is

going to end…’

Blank canvas! #ignition #playbook #SWLP

A post shared by Francesca Roll (@francescajroll) on

I’m very grateful that I possess a deep, eternal optimism which enables me to truly believe and subscribe to the ‘Screw Work Let’s Play’ philosophy. Some may say I have the odds stacked against me:

  • I don’t have a degree and my highest level of qualification is an HEFC Diploma (3 A Levels).
  • I’m over 30.
  • I have a chequered career history with lots of changes in direction, compounded by an 18 month gap whilst undergoing surgery and recovering from an accident.
  • I can’t sing or dance…

Luckily, I don’t agree and refuse to accept an average work-life or any kind of life for that matter. When I consider my options I still see a blank canvas. My only problem, at this stage, is I can’t quite visualise the finished picture.

That’s where my new Playbook comes in. One of the first steps, John William’s recommends, in Ignition and the original book is to get a Playbook: to record all of your thoughts and ideas as you work through the programme. Intended to bring you closer to doing what you love by capturing everything that pops into your head from notes on things you enjoy doing, right through to that multi-million pound idea which comes to you in the middle of the weekly supermarket shop!

So, here it is.

#ignition #playbook #SWLP

A post shared by Francesca Roll (@francescajroll) on

I must admit, I experienced some difficulty in choosing my Playbook as John suggests buying a book you really love and enjoy writing in. I like this book but I don’t love it. However, in the name of progress (I have been searching for a book since I first read Screw Work Let’s Play, over 6 months ago!), I have acknowledged this about myself and put it down to the ‘seeker‘ archetype being dominant in my personality – believing there is always something more or something better out there – and I’ve compromised on a book which I am growing to love 🙂 …and herein starts the next chapter!

not-the-end

Image: Happiness is a Lifestyle

M.I.A

mmia
So, I have been missing in action for a little while…

I made, probably, one of the biggest mistakes in blogging and let my busy life get in the way of maintaining and updating my blog. However, as I’m still in the very early days of my blog, I doubt anybody really noticed I was gone. Did you notice?

Anyway, I’m back to start the New Year with renewed vigour and fresh motivation to really see this ‘Screw Work Let’s Play’ thing through to fruition!

feedup
A couple of weeks ago, after much deliberation, I signed up to Ignition, the multimedia career development programme, a follow-up to John William’s original book Screw Work Let’s Play. So, I will continue to tell the story of my career, via this blog, in conjunction with working through the Ignition programme: giving my feedback and real time review of this promising new programme. My decision to purchase Ignition was no doubt helped along by my alphabetti spaghetti picture being featured in it but, considering I was so inspired by the original book; I have high hopes for this follow-up career development tool! 😉

I have mentally decided that my return to blogging is going to involve more activity with shorter more regular blog updates, which will hopefully provide a greater insight into how my journey towards a more fulfilling career is progressing. I have been guilty of wanting to make each and every post a finely crafted piece of literature which makes keeping it fresh and up to date almost impossible: It’s not often I have the time to sit down and produce such an in-depth post. There will be times when I want to talk about a subject in detail and in turn when a subject deserves a more in-depth post but, I will also intersperse these longer posts with shorter insights and updates, as and when they happen.

Although I have been away from the blogosphere, my journey has been continuing and the ‘being away’ itself has been a very interesting learning experience, all of which I think has been a necessary step in moving towards more fulfilling work. For a short period, although I was supposed to be contracting and keeping my life as ‘free’ as possible, I fell into a couple of traps, which I will talk more about later, namely in no particular order:

– the ‘job trap’

– the ‘money trap’

and,

– the ‘lack of confidence in your ability and what you should be charging trap’!

Not to mention,

– the ‘taking my eye off all my other balls trap’!

We live and learn.

Einstein can’t do Mathematics?

Can the Myers-Briggs personality test help guide you towards a fulfilling career?

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessments are used to categorise people into psychological types based on answers to a set of multiple choice questions. Theories about psychological types are based on a book by Carl Jung who suggested that we experience the world using four principal psychological functions: thinking, feeling, sensation and intuition.

I first encountered the Myers-Briggs personality test, as part of an internal performance review, whilst working as Online Marketing Executive for DFDS Seaways. Since then, I’ve completed the test a number of times and each and every time I come out as an ‘INTP’.

  • Introversion (I): INTPs prefer to socialise with a small group of close friends.
  • Intuition (N): INTPs tend to think about the big picture, rather than focusing on every tiny detail.
  • Thinking (T): INTPs are logical and base decisions on objective information rather than subjective feelings.
  • Perceiving (P): INTPs like to keep their options open and feel limited by structure and planning.

Courtesy of About.com

I mentioned personality tests, briefly, in my earlier post about going back to university and I can laugh about it now but, only a couple of months ago I was all set to commit myself to a three year university degree based almost entirely on the results of a personality test! I have to admit that, since my first encounter, I have become a little obsessed with them in their various forms. I have been known to get potential partners to complete the test to find out whether we’re compatible but, I’m pleased to report that, so far, I’ve stopped short of joining some of the online cult-like communities.

A couple of months ago I thought the Myers-Briggs concept was a water-tight strategy for deciding which direction to take my career, especially considering I could really identify with some of the online descriptions of an INTP. However, what I have never really been able to identify with is the list of suggested careers and any reference to being a genius or ‘being found in higher levels of academia’?!

Suggested Careers (Taken from Keirsey)
They store huge amounts of information in their heads and can analyse problems with great insight. They are often drawn to professions where they can be their own bosses, such as optometrist, plastic surgeon, neurologist, or scientist. They may become lawyers, architects, or financial analysts. Many are found in the higher levels of academia in such fields as archaeology, chemistry, philosophy, or mathematics. They may show a strong creative bent as a musician, inventor, or photographer. Some restore antiques or old cars.

Over the last couple of months, since reading Screw Work Let’s Play, I still believe my core personality falls loosely in to the INTP category, however: my IQ is most definitely lower than Einstein’s, he and I grew up in a very different times and our personalities, no doubt, have been influenced by many other different factors.

In contrast, what the process has helped me to understand and really absorb is what doesn’t motivate me which, has enabled me to really focus on my strengths when considering where to take my career. Like most INTP’s, I’m creative, I’m drawn to being my own boss, I’m good at generating ideas and analysing problems.

So, to conclude, I think personality tests such as Myers-Briggs, Wealth Dynamics and some of the many others out there can provide a very useful insight into what drives you at a very basic level but, and it’s a very big BUT, we’re all individuals and the magic formula for ultimate career happiness cannot, sadly, be worked out by a set of standard questions.

Play Wednesday

In an alphabetti spaghetti salute to ‘Play Wednesday’ – making play part of every week – from the book Screw Work Let’s Play, I thought I would share this little creation…

Who would of thought tinned spaghetti could be so much fun?

It’s also been a good opportunity for me to test embedding Instagram images into my blog – it’s the future!