Work is just a part of our life, not vice versa. So live life full time, work work, part time. – Vikrnm
Don’t let this quote put you of, this is by know means a blog about being lazy and trying to do the bare minimum to get by. Everyone knows and accepts that the majority of people in this world must work to live a comfortable life, to provide for their families and so on. But it seems that so many of us are getting in to soul destroying routines, working longer and longer hours, doing work that we do not enjoy and living to work instead of working to live. My hope is that when reading this, if there is a need for change you will realize this and act on it.
When you reach 80 years old and look back on life, are you going to look back with regret and think that there was more to discover and be apart of? Or are you going to be satisfied and enjoy running through the many memories in your mind that you have created over the years. I personally want to be able to look back and really feel like I lived life to its absolute most potential. There is so much to do, see, taste, listen to, learn and live that it is a struggle to fulfil your desires in the best of circumstances, even more so if you have a ratio top heavy on the work side of the work life balance scale or dread the thought of work every morning.
The average life expectancy in the U.K currently sits at 80 years old; much to my surprise Monaco has the highest life expectancy at 89 years old! I wonder if there tax laws have anything to do with this? I digress, within the U.K this gives you 29,200 days of this beautiful game we call life to play with, assuming you are reading this from the U.K.
Shall we break this down?
29,200 (days) x 24 (hours) = 700,800 (hours).
Lets say your sleeping pattern is pretty regimental and you are a fan of the sheets, sleeping 8 hours a night.
29,200 x (days) x 8 (hours) = 233,600 (hours).
Take away your total time asleep 233,600 away from your total amount of hours in life 700,800; you are left with 467,200 hours.
This is a large chunk but I think we can all agree this is time well spent. I don’t know about you but when I see my life put in to hours it seems like a relatively low number, this is a nice reminder and helps me to appreciate every minute of every day. Lets continue, if you work 9-5, 5 days a week, which is a pretty standard routine for western cultures, this means you are working 40hour weeks.
Lets be generous and say you only work 40 years from 25 to 65 this gives a total of 83,200 hours, take this away from what’s left and you have 384,000 hours remaining. Just over half of your time remaining, and that was being quite over generous with regards to working hours, many people will start much earlier and finish much later in there lives whilst also working more hours.
83,200 hours spent doing something that doesn’t make you want to bounce out of bed in the morning is an injustice to yourself!
What can we do about this then if we are unhappy in the work place or maybe not even unhappy just unfulfilled and in need to be more aligned with your core values in life?
Is there a way that you could work smarter? This isn’t an insult; we tend to get so caught up in what we are doing that we can’t see a way out. Sometimes we just need to take a step back to gain some clarity in our mind so over busy and accustom to routine. Smarter, more efficient work could result in fewer hours spent in the office. This free time could then be used to invest in to following an interest in another area of life that could result in a career change or business start up. A technique to help you work smarter that you may want to research is called ‘Pareto’s Law’, the 80/20 principle.
Maybe you have been putting of a career change, as you don’t feel fulfilled in your current workplace? If this is the case, lets not waste another day, get a plan of action and execute it. You may only stay there because you feel ‘certainty’ in your current workplace, there is no certainty in life, and once you realize this you will find it easier to take the jump. Be smart, cut down on expenses for a few months and accumulate some savings so that you have time to make the transition to your chosen area of work with less stress about your finances. You may think you can’t do this because you ‘need’ the money, but my bet is you don’t really need as much as you think you do. Think about it.
The possibilities are endless and we cant address every unique circumstance however whatever your situation, be honest with yourself, are you doing this job because you must or because you lack the courage to change and crave certainty?
There are many people working there dream job and living the life they want to live, some may look at them and call them lucky, I would argue that luck is nothing other than when preparation meets opportunity. These humans have the same amount of hours in the day as you and I, the same biochemistry. What an amazing situation to be in, one where work and life are in a fine balance and may even cross paths as your life and work are so aligned with what you love in life. You must take control of your own future, are you a passenger on a ship being taken along for the ride or are you the captain, sailing to your destination?