Every Day I Wake Up Unemployed

“Every day I wake up unemployed.”

That’s the way a friend of mine from law school recently described the experience of having his own law practice.

As someone who also has his own law practice, I thought it was a great way to describe the feeling.

That’s exactly how it feels to be an entrepreneur.

But that might be what I love most about it.

On an instinctive level, we all want to feel that we’re living on solid ground. We want money in the bank to make us feel safe. That we know what friends we have and what we’re going to do every day and what shows we’re going to watch on TV every night. But it’s all an illusion. That security, that stability isn’t living.

Life is at its most exultant and most profound when we’re doing the opposite. When we find ourselves in uncharted territory, and we have no idea what to expect. We live more, we feel more, in those first few months of being a parent or working in a new job or branching out to a new social circle.

In those moments when we’re thinking to ourselves, “I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing right now, and I have no idea what’s going to happen next.” That’s when we’re most alive.

A Buddhist might describe it as “becoming comfortable with groundlessness.”

It’s counterintuitive. And it requires us to fight our instincts. But to put ourselves in places where we feel this way, it is simply a way of affirming our desire to live an active life.

I hope to wake up unemployed every day for the rest of my life.