Sick and Tired….Escaping the Golden Handcuffs

Golden HandcuffsThe term Golden Handcuffs is often used to describe a financial incentive that keeps an employee from leaving a company. The employee is locked into such a sweet high paying position that they simply can’t afford to leave.

However, this term can be applied to your position in life as well.

Escalating Expenses

When most people get high paying jobs and start earning a lot of money, the first thing that they will do is increase their standard of living to match their new wage. The new flat screen television, the recent model car, the larger house, and the expensive hobbies all start rolling in.

With an increase in salary comes a brand new lifestyle. After all, no matter how much money you are earning, it is the easiest thing in the world to spend it all.

However, what happens when you are sitting on your brand new leather couch, sipping wine from your designer stemware, and you realize that you don’t actually like your job? In fact, you hate it and you wish you could be doing anything else.

You wish you could be able to start your own business, go travelling, or follow your passion to a more rewarding career.

Trapped in a Lifestyle

Unfortunately, if you are spending everything that you are earning (and even going into debt) you are literally trapped in your high paying position. You would love to quit and try something different, but you know that other options out there will not be as high paying as your current position.

With your high mortgage payments, car lease, utility costs, and paying off that new TV you would be bankrupt within a week if you dared to give the job the slip. Any major job change would require stripping your lavish life down and getting rid of all of the luxuries you and your family have become accustomed to.

Avoid the Trap

So how do you avoid this nightmarish scenario? Don’t let yourself get trapped by the Golden Handcuffs in the first place. The trick is to avoid inflating your living expenses to match your income, and always living well within your means. To put it simply: Always spend less than you earn.

It seems simple, but so many people in modern society have been handcuffed. Don’t let yourself become trapped!

If you had taken the high paying job, but stayed in your smaller home with your old car (which works just fine) as well as held off on buying items you could not afford, you would be able to easily make a career switch later on without having any impact on your lifestyle.

In fact, you would probably have money in savings that you could use to travel, start up a business, or pursue your dreams.

Isn’t freedom sweet?


I’ve Gotta Get Outta Here! Will it Hurt Your Career to Go Traveling for a While?

Perhaps you dream of renting a tiny cheap apartment in the Marais district of Paris and spending your days strolling along the Seine, sippingParis France Eiffel Tower coffee in quaint cafes, and reading poetry in the Jardin de Luxembourg?

Or maybe you have always wanted to go hiking in Peru, and watch the sunrise over the holy ancient ruins of Macchu Picu?

Do you fancy the idea of living for a season in a small beachside town on Australia’s Gold Coast, learning to surf and staying up to watch the stars? Or perhaps you want to trace the genealogy of your ancestors back to a tiny village in England?

However, whenever you think of taking a month or two or several to pursue one of these experiences, you ultimately freeze up with dread at the thought of quitting your job and having to find another one when you return.

Ultimately, many people will give up their dreams of traveling the earth and discovering its many wonders because they are afraid that taking six months or a year off from work will permanently damage their career prospects.

They fear that if they wander off the career path for too long, their goals will not be achievable when they return. They are terrified that the empty gap of unemployment or unrelated work abroad will stain their resume and banish them from future jobs forever.

The answer is: It won’t.

If you are good at what you do and have a good work ethic, you will always be able to find work in the career field you choose once you return from your worldly adventures. In fact, traveling will actually be an asset to your resume for many reasons!

Why Travelling Looks Great on a Resume

  • Going abroad requires planning, organization, and confidence, and the fact that you have been on an adventure of your own overseas will demonstrate this to a potential employer.
  • Doing something interesting with your travels, such as volunteering, working abroad, or visiting somewhere out of the ordinary, will make you stand out from the other applicants and provide an interesting conversation starter in an interview.
  • Experience interacting with other cultures can be a huge advantage in many jobs, especially when you are dealing with the public.
  • If you go on a working holiday or international internship, you can demonstrate that you have experience working in your field in another country, demonstrating adaptability.

The truth is that if traveling is your true dream and passion, it is absolutely worth it to go for it! You don’t need to worry about your career, because you can always pick up where you left off when you return, with a whole new set of skills and experiences from your travels to draw on that will make you better at what you do. Don’t let your job get in the way of following your dreams!

What about you?  Have you ever taken an extended trip?  How did it impact your career and your life?

Ten Strange Facts You Didn’t Know About Sleep and Dreams

The human brain is fascinating and bizarre, and even the most advanced scientists still don’t understand exactly how it works. One of the strangest phenomena that the brain produces is dreams. What are these sleeping hallucinations and why do we have them? There are many theories as to why we dream, but no one really fully understands the science of sleep and dreaming.

Here are ten of the strangest facts about sleeping and dreaming:What is a dream?

  1. Within five minutes of waking up, you have already forgotten 50% of your dream. Within 10 minutes of awakening, you will have forgotten 90%.
  2. People who have been blind since birth do not see images in their dreams, but they do dream about smells, sounds, sensations, and emotions.
  3. Your mind does not invent characters for your dreams, as any human face in your dreams is someone that you have already seen before. You might not consciously remember seeing them, as they might have been just a face in the crowd, but your mind stores in your subconscious.
  4. The most common emotion reported to be experienced in a dream is anxiety.
  5. Not being allowed to dream can make you crazy. A study showed that people who were woken up and not allowed to experience the Rapid Eye Movement stage of sleep when dreams occur, experienced a vast array of psychological symptoms within only three days including irritability, loss of concentration, and hallucinations. As soon as they were allowed to dream again, their brains compensated by increasing the percentage of REM sleep within their sleep cycle.
  6. The outside world can enter your dreams. While you are sleeping your senses are still alert and outside stimuli will have an effect on what you are dreaming. Have you ever had an outside noise incorporate itself into your dream, or dream that you are drinking water and then wake up to find that you are very thirsty?
  7. Statistics show that 1% or less of the adult population is prone to sleepwalking.
  8. There have been many famous reports of dreams predicting the future. A few days before he died, Abraham Lincoln was said to tell his wife about a dream that he had. He was looking at a coffin surrounded by hundreds of people mourning. A soldier beside him in the dream told him that the president had been assassinated.
  9. The dreaming stage of sleep, known as “REM” stage, is beneficial in helping us learn. When we dream, the cerebral cortex is stimulated and protein is increased in the brain, helping us to increase our mental power and develop new neural pathways in the brain.
  10. The most common negative dreams include falling, being chased by something, being at school, and having your teeth fall out.