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Career Change And Breaking Generational Patterns

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Ready for a career change but have no idea what else to do – or where to start? Are you stuck in a job that is not you?

If you’re stuck in your career change, here’s how, by abandoning conventional career principles and generational patterns, you will radically increase your chances of finding something you love.

Generational Patterns That Hold You Back From Career Change

Most of us are subconsciously repeat generational patterns we learned from our parents, friends, and the society we grew up in – even if we didn’t want to live that way when we were kids.

In adulthood, we repeat what is known to us, what is a social standard, what we have seen every day in our lives.

As parents, we always want our kids to have a better life than we do. That’s what my grandparents wanted for my parents. My parents want for me, and what I want for my kids. Even if things didn’t work in our life how we wanted, we expect our kids not to repeat the same mistakes. That’s a natural way. That’s how it should be.

But it doesn’t necessarily work that way. 

What we want our children to learn from us and our mistakes, and what they eventually learn, can be two different things.

Tomasz, the job must be done

My father always told me, “Tomasz, the job must be done.” That is how he lived his whole life, six or even seven days a week working, earning money for our family. Eating dinner at home and going to another job to make our life better. 

The biggest lesson from my father is that if you want to achieve something in life, you have to work hard for it. I greatly respect him for teaching me this lesson.

That is what my family was always doing. For generations, we ware working hard every day. Both my grandfathers and their fathers were village men, working hard seven days a week their entire life. That is what my father was doing, and that’s what I have adopted in my life. Even though I didn’t want to live that way when I was a little boy.

Be A Good Student

My mum always told me to be a good student, pay attention to classes at school, and learn from teachers as due to my health issues as a kid, I wont be able to work physically.

But when I grew up, the natural way to work, was physical. 

It’s tricky when I look at this now. Since the age of 19, I was always running my businesses. Except for a short period in my life, counted in months, so it’s not counting as career change, I have never work for someone. 

One of my company employed nearly 600 temporary workers. We did have three vans, big warehouse with few workers, six people in the office, over 40,000 pieces in stock of catering equipment for hire, 25 head waiters. We ware working in top London hotels, including Hilton, Sheraton, Mariott and Radisson Edwardian. In season serving even up to 35 events weekly. 

More often, you could find me at 5 am loading vans, or selecting and packing cutlery for an upcoming event, or even carrying a tray with food at the event and serving guests.

For me, that was the natural way of doing my work. That is what my grandfather, his father and my father ware doing their entire life. It’s nothing wrong with this, except for the fact that I did not want to do it.

Not either, when I was a kid watching my father working this way, and not when I was an adult, and I already have sons watching me. But every morning, I wake up at 5 am, and I was doing what the father should do. I go to work, the same way as my father did his entire life.

And I say again. I did not want to live this way. That did not work for me, I was unhappy the same as my father was, but I could not stop.

Where To Start A Career Change

One of the most challenging parts of starting your own business is deciding what kind of business it should be. We know we will have to work hard for several years to make this business successful, but what kind of venture we should start to make it a thriving business. 

We all want to be successful, nobody starts a business with the intention of failure, but here is the reality:

  • one company is forming every minute in the UK (GOV.UK, 2019)
  • approximately 660,000 new start-ups are registered in the UK every year (Telegraph, 2019)
  • less than half of UK start-ups make it longer than five years (GOV.UK, 2019)
  • 20% of new businesses will close their doors within the first 12 months (Telegraph, 2019)
  • 60% of new companies will finish trade within three years (Telegraph, 2019)

Trust me. I ticked all these statistics in the previous 20 years of my career. 

Somehow, I got stuck between my ambitious to be a great entrepreneur and my needs to work physically.

I did hate that for most of my life. But I have not seen all this time that I repeat patterns which been in my family for generations.

Why Is Career Change So Hard

Similarly, we can transfer other generational behaviours into our life. If you grow up with a parent who did have self-harming behaviours and seen themselves as weak or a failure you can grow up with a similar self-harming attitude towards yourself. 

Dozens of times, I find myself repeating the same unhealthy generational patterns, even when hoping for different results. As habit-driven beings, changing certain self-defeating behaviours can seem virtually impossible at times, no matter how hard we try.

Liza Ingrasci, the CEO of The Hoffman Institute, explains why sometimes we subconsciously do what we don’t want to do:

“Humans are born helpless and dependent on their parents and caregivers for survival. In childhood, to know that we will be taken care of, we bond with them emotionally. To feel love and belonging we indiscriminately absorb their ways of feeling and behaving and make them our own. Out of our need for love, we emotionally bonded with them in whatever experiences they offered up. No matter how much our parents may have loved us, they were by no means perfect; they had their patterned ways of being that they learned in childhood. And, unfortunately, we bonded with them in their counter-productive negativity as well as what was life-affirming. These negative ways of feeling, thinking, and behaving are what we call patterns. Patterns are always inauthentic and result in unwanted consequences.”

I talk more about it in my previous articles How We Create Patterns Of Self-Sabotage and Adverse Childhood Experiences And It’s Impact which I highly recommend reading to better understand the topic at hand.

Getting to the bottom of it. If we want our children to fight for a better life than we have, it’s not enough to tell them to do so. We have to go out there and do it ourselves.

The Running Path To A Career Change

Over five years ago, I finally decided to rebuild my life and change my old habitual behaviours. I knew what I don’t want any more in my life. I knew what I want to have, but I didn’t know how to get this.  

One thing was for sure. I will not stop until I learn how to enjoy life and work at the same time. Give an example to my sons, breakthrough patterns which are in my family for generations. Change my working system and start building a business based on passion and purpose.

All years of struggling for success made me realize that I want to run a business by doing something that gives me pleasure, and my sons will value. Something that will allow me to live a great life now, not when it becomes successful, as this may never come.

I did not give up physical work. I made it more valuable and healthier. 

RELATED: Fatherhood Challenges – Why Did I Run 7,000 Miles

Since then, I faced two ultra-endurance challenges. The first one was to make Five Million Steps in 101 days. I spend 3.5 months being extremely active for 7 to 12 hours every day. The challenge took place in Indonesia, on Bali, Nusa Penida and Gili Islands. 

Then on the Malaysian side of Borneo Island where I met the former Prime Minister of Malaysian Government. I spent a few days living with his family, and they invite me to a family wedding. 

Then I continued my challenge at three islands in the Philippines and completed 5 million steps in Taiwan.

Straight from there, I did fly to North Vietnam, and I started running unsupported from Hanoi to Bali. I did run 7,000 miles through the ocean coast of Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.

On the way, I conducted coaching workshops for thousands of students at 20 universities and for local businesses.

Be The Person You Didn’t Have When You Was A Kid

Besides, Red Bull and several other smaller publishers wrote an article about my ultra-running challenges, and I signed a contract with a sponsorship agency. I become an ambassador for the charity Wave Trust, helping to change the future of children.

It all started from the needs to be the person I didn’t have when I was a kid and setting an example for my two sons. An example for which they are still too young to understand. But wisdom will come with age, and I know that they will learn valuable lessons from it.

Do not get me wrong. If you are a father who is inspired and wants to take a similar step, be prepared to work much harder than ever. 

It was an unbelievable experience. I did run through some of the most beautiful places in the world. At 42, for the first time in my life, I was surfing, swimming with dolphins. Climbing a waterfall in places I did not even know about, eat food which I am not sure if I want to know what was inside.

But this has a price. It is called shame and guilt, and it’s damn hard to free yourself from it. The irony is that I felt it because I finally was happy, but I left many unhappy people behind. Friends and family members who criticized me for breaking through patterns they live since they ware born. Patterns which they do not see, the same way as a few years ago I have not seen them. Intimidating me for walking away from the life they still lead.

It was one of the most challenging periods of my life. No one truly knows what I go true during this time. How much effort I put into passing on my feet nearly 12,000 miles in 15,5 months during both challenges. Running only with a small backpack, few personal belonging and old laptop which I used for work.

A Result Of A Career Change That People Cannot See

Not too far ago, I read a great book by Simon Sinek – Find Yor Why, and one sentence stuck to me: 

“People accept the lives they live and do the things they do not because they have to, but because no one ever showed them an alternative.”

And I tell you. You can live your own life as you imagine. If I have done it, anyone can do it. Now my sons know it. Believe it or not, they will follow it. They will know how to build a better life for themselves and the next generation.

Click on the picture below to Sign Up Now for a FREE COURSE: “Learn How To Practice MINDFUL RUNNING On Your Daily Runs.”


About Post Author

Tomasz Drybala

Tomasz Drybala is an ultra-endurance athlete and explorer, life coach, motivational speaker and ambassador. His most significant ultra-running challenges are taking five million steps in 101 days and running 7,000 miles unsupported through Asia. Tom's corporate and university coaching programmes and workshops attracted thousands of people; gaining great feedback from professors, university chancellors, students, employees and business leaders. Through his ambassadorship for the charity Wave Trust in the years 2020 to 2024, Tom collaborates with UNICEF, the World Health Organization, schools, colleges, universities and multi-country local and national governments. Bring together towns, cities and counties that are dedicated to preventing Adverse Childhood Experiences and setting up Trauma-Informed Communities. His ultra-endurance challenges and the practice of running mindfulness and active meditation are the subjects of scientific research by one of London's leading universities. Tom works with people from all walks of life to help them break the habit of self-doubt, build resilience and confidence, and create the lifestyle they want and deserve.
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