How a 26 year old finally woke up from a 9 to 5 reality and escaped a life of un-fulfillment for peace of mind, financial freedom and flexibility.
A Little about myself
My name is Omar Almajali, a 26 year old living in Dubai who is always questioning the status quo. Before delving deep into my awakening journey, let me give you a brief background about myself.
I’m someone who considers himself as a hard worker and an overachiever, whether that be at work or school. I went to a business school in Boston for my undergrad and did a double concentration in Finance and Economics.
Why Finance? Not so sure if you’d ask me. I wasn’t a big fan of math or numbers, but I guess I went for it because I felt like it was ‘prestigious’ enough to land me that high paying job after college. My thinking was that it’s also a field of work that is highly looked upon by ‘society’. Let’s say at that point I cared a bit too much about how people around me would perceive my credentials or CV.
Looking back now, i realized that this hard work and over-achievement might have been for the wrong reasons. I was striving for success but never really took a moment to reflect on my life and judge whether that success is aligned with my true authentic definition of success.
I was running a race, but on someone else’s track, that surely wasn’t my own.
My first job in Consulting, MISERABLE…But has taught me what not to seek in life.
So here i am a 22 year old fresh graduate, ready to take on the world by a storm, and the first job i land was in strategy consulting. Yikes!
I am genuinely thankful for all that consulting has taught me in terms of skills and knowledge, but what I’m truly thankful for is that this job has clearly showed me what it is that I DON’T WANT in life. That life lesson that I was taught early on in my career was that trading time, health, or happiness for money or ‘experience’ is not worth it. Ever.
Let me give you a brief taste of my personal experience with consulting so that you understand what I’m talking about. To begin with, my workdays averaged somewhere between 10 – 13 hours. Not to mention that I have pulled a couple of all-nighters on some of the projects.
It doesn’t stop there, but 40% my week (20+ hours), was spent in airports and flying for business trips. To add more perspective, that was 1 day of my 2 day weekend gone…just like that!
Also, catering to clients in consulting meant that you were a double slave (1) a slave to your employer and (2) a slave to your client. DOUBLE THE TROUBLE.
Basically, my work life balance was just whacked out, I barely had time to focus on my health. The lack of sleep and travel exhaustion were affecting my morale. That stressful job put me in an extremely negative head-space and I felt like I was losing my self in the process. People around me were noticing that i was no longer the happy positive person they had known.
Thanks consulting…but i’ll pass on that. Almost 3 years into my job and I wanted out!
There must be more to life
Yes I was in a decent job, got the promotion I wanted and was being paid a lot of money. However, that’s not a life I wanted to lead. I used to look at the partners of this firm and feel sorry for them. They barely had time to spend with their wives and kids. Their job was to sell more money; some of them were cheap salesmen in expensive suits. Definitely not where I saw myself in 10 years.
I knew that if I was to stick to consulting or move to any other corporate job then I was not being true to my authentic self. But then I thought what are my options? Start a business? Out of the question. The idea of traditional entrepreneurship and starting a brick and mortar business and handling employees did not appeal to me at all. If anything starting that kind of business means signing up to a life of more stress and no free time whatsoever.
I was itching for more. I knew there was more to life than what i was living or to what I was surrounded with of lifestyle options. With the itching, however, came fear. I was afraid that I had become too picky. But was I?
I was just completely against the idea of a 9 to 5 job or signing a contract to build someone else’s dream. Is that too much to ask for? The last thing i wanted was to waste my twenties on some work that does not excite me or make me grow. I then came to the conclusion that its not even about consulting because no matter how perfect a job was on paper, I was still trading my time for money. MY TIME!
I wanted more from life. I wanted to travel the world without needing to submit annual leave requests. I didn’t want to be geographically constrained. I was searching for a life of fulfillment, one that gives me complete ownership of my time.
I wanted to be free and have the luxury of time to discover my true passions and purpose on this planet. I craved some time for myself and for my personal development.
All that stuff I want in life is great, but every-time I stretch my imagination that reality voice in my head creeps up on me. I would ask myself “how could I achieve all of the above and still be making good money to sustain me? Does this perfect job even exist? Or is it only real in my head?”
When I woke up…
My dreams for the perfect job scared me. I felt that I was shooting for the stars and that I might have been delusional. For a while, I almost gave up to the idea that my 20’s might just about working hard, earning good money, attempting to save, going up the corporate ladder and updating my Linkedin profile.
I tried to stay hopeful and trust my gut about better possibilities out there. I knew something must have been better than waking up to an alarm clock, commuting to a 9-5 job and trading my time for dollars.
I held on to this hope strongly until one Friday morning (August 31st) when everything changed. That morning I was watching one of Tony Robbins’ talks on Youtube when I got cut off by an ad of a young British guy, called Dan, living the so claimed ‘laptop lifestyle’.
Dan was talking about living a life that seemed too good to be true. He was going on about having the flexibility to work anytime from anywhere in the world WHILE making significant income online. It was a monthly six figure income that he was claiming to have been making.
Yes I know, “another get-rich-quick SCAM” was my first thought as well.
But at that point i was more interested in the lifestyle Dan was living than how much money he was making, and therefore i entertained the ad and listened to what he had to say.
Something about this guy’s vibe and authentic story intrigued me. You could tell that he was not a salesperson. He was a normal guy sharing his story with world hoping to help those who are seeking out of the corporate rate race.
I wanted to learn more, and so I decide to click on the ad.
To be honest, at that point, I was even surprised that i had gave in to a Youtube ad, especially that i am typically very skeptic when it comes to online ads, but i thought to myself ‘you’ve got nothing to lose’.
After clicking the ad, I was asked for my email in return of a free video series that was meant to educate me about the means of achieving that ‘laptop lifestyle’ Dan was talking about. I was in too deep by that point, so surely I opt in for the videos.
Over the next few days, I received an email with a link for each video…
….on that last video, I woke up.
Right then and there my hopes of finding a better thing out there became a tangible reality. I was no longer hoping, but instead began seeing a very clear path that i could take in order to achieve that life of fulfillment that i had been dreaming of.
I am here to wake you up.
I discovered that what I had been looking for was not a job or a profession, but a lifestyle. I have therefore made it my life mission to escape the rat race for good and live a life with more meaning and fulfillment.
I am grateful everyday for Dan and for allowing me to see beyond the 9-5. I have therefore took a vow to pay this favor forward by showing others how they could do the same.
Join me on this journey, it’s your turn to wake up.
Read more about my journey and mission to knock you off your hamster wheel here.