Ridley: I recently watched a TED talk by Nigel Marsh, author of ‘Fat, Fired and Forty’.
(Some of the TED videos are really fascinating, inspiring and just plan funny. If you ever have a few spare minutes, pop on over to TED and broaden your mind a little!)
This particular one by Nigel though, had the best quote I’ve come across in a while.
“There are thousands and thousands of people out there living lives of quiet, screaming desperation who work long, hard hours, at jobs they hate, to enable them to buy things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like.”
It just made me wonder, how many of these thousands of people would admit that this applies to them and if it did, have they done anything about it? I’m betting most haven’t but why not? I think I personally know of just one person who really likes what they’re doing. Are there other people out there who also give long quiet sighs, tune out their demanding bosses and gaze into the distance, imagining themselves doing something else? People seem to have just settled for what they’ve fallen into, done what was expected of them or simply don’t know what they’d actually be happy with. Even those who are in prestigious jobs like medicine, envied by people who dream of becoming doctors, hate it and would rather be doing something else.
It’s mind boggling really to think that the following scenario could be playing out somewhere in the world at this very minute but pick any two random jobs- there could be a doctor somewhere gazing over at a dancer wishing that he had chosen that route and a dancer looking right back wanting the medics life.
Always remember, you’re currently living someone else’s dream.
As to a work life balance, who has really been able to achieve this properly? For me, last year I definitely would have said I was working all the time with very little ‘life’ entering into the equation-weekends, late nights, early mornings I was in work and I didn’t love it enough to be there all the time. More importantly, I wasn’t moving in the direction I wanted. This year, I’ll be doing things differently. Already I’ve put steps in place to ensure this wouldn’t happen again. At the start of the year, I changed jobs, decreased my hours and ensured the ones I do are more sociable. This has enabled me to focus more on what I actually want to achieve in life, which is write books, of course! Though my other love is art and animation, so I try to fit in a good bit of that into my spare time too!
I’m still working on the balance aspect and ultimately I’d love to keep my own hours, escape the 9-6 rat race, the long commute, to become my own boss and use my hard work to earn money for my family and not for a business belonging to someone else. With so many people unemployed, I know it’s probably a selfish desire, but then again it’s human nature to always want more…
I think everyone would like this though, to do what they love and be their own boss, am I wrong? Who out there wakes up on a Monday morning happy to go to work? And has anyone achieved an excellent work life balance? How? I’d love to hear!