“All that you have to decide, is what to do with the time that is given to you.” – J. R. R. Tolkien.
The traditional model for living
It has become apparent that the human need for work-life balance is an outdated concept. So many work excessive hours in order to progress are careers, long yearning for a better work-life balance, yet failing to obtain it. We seem to have accepted the idea that we have to live to work in order to achieve success in our careers, but how many of us actually achieve fulfilment?
Yuval Noah Hariri, author of international bestseller_ ‘Sapiens’ and ‘Homo Deus’ has predicted that our traditional model of life will have become obsolete by 2040.
Perhaps we need to stop striving for work-life balance and instead aim for an integrated work-life, where it becomes adaptable to suit the individual’s needs. Or perhaps we need spend our lives doing something we really love, then it will not seem like we have at all. Or perhaps even, we will have multiple careers in our life, continually learning and venturing down new paths based on how the planet and economies evolve over the coming decades.
Is it right then, that many people get settled on a career path in their twenties and just accept it as reality because of the fear of chasing their dreams?
“You can fail at what you don’t want to do so you may as well take the chance at doing what you love.” – Jim Carrey.
Fear of failure
I feel like many of us don’t dare take the risk and go after what it is that we really want because we’re too afraid to lose everything that we have in the process. Regardless of whether we’re working twelve hours a day in a job that doesn’t make us thrive, we’d rather that because we’re afraid to leap into the ‘unknown’.
It is inevitable that when we take a chance on life and go after vision of happiness and fulfilment, we are guaranteed to fail along the way at some point. However, failure is just a pre-condition for success. Let us not fear that. The most notable example of this is likely the infamous, Thomas Edison; his experiments failed over ten-thousand times before he finally engineered the light bulb. What if he had given up after one attempt? Or a thousand attempts? Or even nine thousand attempts?
The point I am trying to make is that yes, we will experience pain at some point. However, if you give up when face with a challenge, that may become your biggest regret. We cannot allow this to be our excuse for settling for a job or career that does not excite us!
Jim Carrey said, “So many of us choose our paths out of fear disguised as practicality. What we really want seems impossibly out of reach and ridiculous to expect so we never dare to ask the universe for it.”
The first question I want to pose thought is: How many people live for the weekend?
Nowadays, so many people wake up on a Monday morning dreading the week ahead; Tuesday expressing how they can’t wait for the weekend; they get to Wednesday and get excited that they’re halfway ‘there’; Thursday commenting that “it’s Friday tomorrow”; and finally on Friday overwhelmed that in just a few hours they’ve arrived back at the couple of days / nights a week they can actually enjoy, having spent the entire working week just going through the motions.
There are 253 weekdays in a year and 104 weekend days. In an average working life of 45 years (for the purpose of this discussion), 11385 weekdays and 4680 weekend days. Imagine spending 11385 days of our lives not enjoying and loving what we’re doing on a daily basis.
That’s a waste of over 31 years of our lives!
Should any of us accept this as a possibility in our lives?
It is certainly not the case for everyone, but it definitely reflects more people’s lives than it should. A lot of people present the counter argument that yes, although they may not enjoy their careers and weekdays, but it’s about achieving work-life balance and that fulltime enjoyment and fulfilment is impossible to achieve. Perhaps your job demands more time than the standard working hours ‘nine-to-five’, perhaps twelve of fifteen hours per day, and perhaps even, six or seven days each week!
Is this sustainable? – Unlikely.
Eventually you will get bored, your energy will diminish, and you may become stuck somewhere that you’re not sure how to get out of.
However, what if there was an alternative way of living?
How valuable is the time we have?
Time as a commodity
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” – Steve Jobs.
People spend so much time worrying about the future and ‘what will be’, but they spend their present wasting away their lives through brutal hangovers, binging on Netflix or endlessly scrolling through social media channels.
Don’t wait for a defining moment to change or to decide what to do with your life – these moments never come. A moment of your life can only be labelled as defining in the future, this is because you cannot foresee the impact it will have on your life at the time.
When our time comes to leave this place, there will be two dates either side of a dash, two dates we never had any control over, but it is up to us as individuals to decide what to do in between.
Don’t leave it until the end, when it’s too late, to realise that your life was mis-spent.
Take time to reset yourself, obtain a vision of how you see yourself living your life and what you want to be doing – then start doing it.
Passion + Vision = Fulfilment
True success is doing something you love for a living.
Imagine waking up on a Monday excited for the week ahead and spending every day loving what you do! Of course, there will be challenges, setbacks and tougher times – that’s life! However, if these moments have meaning along your journey then it will all be worth it!
Let’s make Monday’s our favourite day of the week. Excited to create something spectacular in the week ahead!
One of humanities strongest desires is its need to grow. If we’re passionate about something, then we seem to just cultivate extreme levels of focus on our visions and what we do. This is the dream, finding something we love, something we care about, and making that our work.
If money was of no concern to you then what would you do? – Do that.
We’re blessed to live in a world that we can find a way to create wealth in pretty much anything. Commit yourself to find a way no matter what!
The greatest and most accomplished humans to have ever lived were obsessed with their vision and what they do. It never felt like work, because it was their passion. This is true for athlete’s, scientists, Politian’s, actors, musicians, innovators, millionaires and billionaires; everybody!
Dedicate your life to what you love. Don’t worry what others think of it. Your need for acceptance can make you invisible in the world. Live a life that gives you energy, instead of a life that you need energy to live.
“It’s not a question of whether you will live, but how you will live.” – Neale Donald Walsch.
Our success and accomplishments as individuals are not just determined by financial and career success. There have been some amazing humans in the past and present, who may not have achieved anything in these aspects, but they contributed their time and abilities and efforts into making other people’s lives better. Or even making the world better. And perhaps this is more meaningful?
It is up to you to decide what you want to get out of life and what you want to give. But I believe, the greatest humans amongst us make sacrifices.
If what we do isn’t making someone else’s life better, then perhaps we’re wasting our time here. It’s just about leaving the world, this wonderful place, a little bit better than we found it. That’s our payment for our opportunity here (I believe anyway)!
Direct all of your energy to doing what you love most. And make sure this has a positive influence on the rest of us in the years to come.
Ultimately, what we seek in our lives is happiness. Or more so, everlasting happiness. This is a choice! We choose whether or not we will be happy and the meaning we associate with the events in our lives.
The choices we make and the journey we take will determine our levels of joy and fulfilment. But in an ever-changing world, it is unlikely that we will follow one path of happiness. It’s challenging to keep up with how fast the human race evolves at this point in time. We are very different people to whom we were a decade ago, and it is likely in another decade we will be very different again. We may have a different passion, different lifestyles, different relationships, different careers, different hobbies, and it is almost certain there will be even more things that demand our time.
The reality is, we will not stay the same our entire life! But our reality is created by ourselves. Only we can choose to do what makes us happy, joyful and fulfilled.
It’s not about the years in your life, but the life in your years. Your life is your life, no matter how long you’re here for!
What is the purpose of Life?
Find your why. “He who has a why to live can bear with almost any how.” – Viktor E. Frankl.
Perhaps our purpose in life is simply to create and to experience who we really are. A life on our terms. A life where we thrive and feel fulfilled every day.
The life that you live will be the result of the decisions that you make along the way. Do what you love so that you never have to work.
One of the most profound quotes on living and one that I personally use as a mantra every day is by the great_ Oscar Wilde: “To live is the rarest thing in the world, most people exist, that is all.”