Hang in there, you tell yourself. Just two more years and I can retire. In the meantime, you dread showing up for work because you’ve come to hate your job. How can you stay when you want to go away?

So many unhappy scenarios play out when we stay in jobs and work environments that no longer fit. They drain our talents, starve our souls, and make us sick. We suffer, and so do the people we’re around—our family, friends, and coworkers. Even our organization no longer gets the best we have to offer.

There are three things to know about working.
Your job should be something you enjoy, feel successful at, stretch you to new personal and professional growth, and give you a paycheck.
You are in charge of your life, albeit your work life. No one can make you struggle in a job where stress is the byproduct of your days.
You can choose how you want to live, work, and have a life. You really can!

We’ve grown up with a societal norm that says make money and you’ll be happy. Well, you may already know that isn’t true. Money alone does not buy happiness. On the other hand, if you pair earning a salary with working at something you enjoy, you can feel satisfied and have a desire to get up in the morning.

So how do we break down old paradigms within ourselves, and find new ways to have the life and work we want. After all, once you retire, you have an opportunity to begin again. But, why wait. Why not start before you retire? Why not start now?

Here’s a few steps to get you started:

Step One requires changing your mind about how things should be. Remember should is not the operative word to follow here. Choice is a much better word. So, let’s reframe your thinking. What you are doing is your choice, and you can choose to make it different. You can transform it into what you want.

Step Two suggests you open your mind to what can be. Think of the possibilities. What is it you desire in a job: the activity, people, leadership, and your participation. Visualize your job as you want it to be. Combine your dream job and practical reasoning into an excellent result.

Step Three offers you a process to design what you want. Write it down on paper. Key it into your computer. Keep it in your mind. Make it real with goals and a timeline. Look for opportunities connected with your desire. Follow the path that opens before you. Let’s say you like your company, but are tired of your job. Why not talk to Human Resources to see if there is something else in the same company that fits. It’s always a win-win for you and the company when you are both happy and productive.

Step Four is about incorporating new, positive messages in your brain. Your brain believes whatever you tell it, so tell it something good. Keep your language in the present tense as if you are already where you want to be. You will be amazed at the power of a confidently fed brain.