Who says people don’t change?
Although I couldn’t tell you the exact date, around 12 months ago something huge happened in my life. It was so big that no one saw it. It took place very quietly – in my head.
It was around 12 months ago that I decided I was going to quit my job. I had absolutely no idea how I was going to do it. And to be honest, for many months there was a voice in my head that told me it was a complete pipe dream.
But no quantity of self-doubt could reset the mental switch that had been flicked in my head. It was like my mind would adjust to the new plan in whatever way was necessary.
And it turned out that the necessity was a complete change in my attitude towards life. That change may well have been the most positive and productive thing that has happened in my adult life.
You see, I grew up wanting to be rich and successful. That was my aim. Work my ass off, make loads of money, be awesome. That was the plan. So I did the whole 60 hour week thing, working over weekends, going weeks at a time without a day off, and so on. And in some masochistic way, I enjoyed it.
But then one day I realized that none of what I was doing was mine. I wasn’t working to advance myself. I was potentially working towards advancing my salary, but let’s get something straight – a salary isn’t really yours. If you get laid off tomorrow, what are the chances of you finding another job paying the same amount? Perhaps you could, but how long will it take to find that job and what will you have to sacrifice to get it?
It took the pretty monumental personal step of quitting a job for life that would have almost certainly made me a very rich man to teach me that having lots of money isn’t the most important thing in life. In fact, I discovered that it’s not even a close contender.
A New Beginning?
Having quit my job, I started this year with the kind of feverish drive that I had once enjoyed at the peak of my employed career. I was back on the 60 hour work week, pouring every last drop of energy I had into my new projects.
But so much can change in such a short space of time. I don’t quite know when it happened, but at some point in the past few weeks I decided that I was in no rush to get rich. I rather like my life at the moment. I like that I can roll out of bed at 9am if I want to, or take the afternoon off to meet a friend. I love that I can take a day off if things just aren’t clicking. Or that I can go on a last minute golfing holiday out of the blue.
None of this is intended as a boast. Because let’s be honest – I’m not making millions, am I? You only have to look at my monthly income reports to see that.
The point is, enjoying life is so much more important than the amount of money you make (tweet this). It may sound obvious, but I think it is a fact that many people (my former self included) completely lose sight of.
For me, the key to happiness and progress in your living is to achieve a good balance between enjoying every single day, and ensuring that you have a secure and affluent future. In my opinion, life itself should come down to that balancing act.
I’ve actually said most of this before – and yet I haven’t been listening to my own advice.
Being Your Own Boss
I was chatting with a friend the other day about my new working life, and I was keen to point out that it is tough being your own boss. You have to provide your own motivation – you have to enforce discipline on yourself. And let’s be honest, it is far easier to be told what to do by an authority figure, to fear consequences, than to put pressure on yourself to perform.
So striking the aforementioned balance between enjoying your days and working for a secure and affluent future is difficult. And to be quite honest with you (as I always am), my balance is probably tipped in favor of enjoying the present at the moment. Not to any potentially disastrous scale, but enough for me to bear it in mind.
What About You?
I’d love to know where you are in your professional life at this time and how you are driven. Do you feel like you have struck a good balance between enjoying the present and working for the future, or do you have work to do? Or do you feel that my philosophy is flawed? Let us know in the comments section!
Creative Commons image courtesy of HikingArtist.com