No one on their deathbed ever said they wished they’d spent more time at work.
Yet, many spend years, decades even, at a job just to figure this out near their deathbed.
They place so much importance on their work, their job becomes a big part of their self-worth.
They’re proud of their work, and they’re good at it. They climb the corporate ladder. They travel three or four days a week for important meetings. They’ve been told that if they play their cards right, they could be a director at the company one day.
They spend as much time with their family as they can, but they work an awful lot. It’s like their job is almost everything to them. The job is not only a part of their self-worth, it has become a measure of their self-worth.
And this is all fine and dandy…while things are going up. But what happens when the boat rocks, even just a little? Competition is the sandpaper of corporate America, constantly moving, changing and re-shaping things. Just as a job seems to be going well, things can change…
Companies merge, conduct buyouts and takeovers. They eliminate jobs and restructure, and restructure again and then again. They also fall behind to other faster, more nimble companies, who themselves will fall prey to faster more nimble companies in the future. To put this into perspective, of the firms that were on the Fortune 500 list in 1955, only 12% are still on that very list today. A capitalistic economy eats its young.
We live in a world that glorifies spending most of our adult lives at a job as something of a “badge of honor”. If you’re sleeping instead of working, you’re not a team player and you have no understanding what it means to be passionate about what you do, so goes the corporate edict.
But measuring your success in how much sleep you miss, how much emotional turmoil you experience, or how much of yourself you give up for your jobs is not only wrong—it’s unhealthy. Sure, you should be passionate about your job and do good work, but at what cost?
The work environment can create the worst of circumstances at times – having to deal with bad bosses, stupid office politics, disorganization, personal conflicts and the uncertainty of whether you’ll even have a job next week. Even dream jobs can, and mostly likely will, turn into nightmares over time. Therefore, tying your feelings of self-worth to a company is like holding onto a hurricane.
I think most people join the working world at a young age with the idea that they’ll have a fulfilling career in the future. They believe that a job will be their purpose and give them meaning. Then they get discouraged when they find out it won’t. That’s because a job was never meant to be a purpose in life. If you look back on all the jobs you’ve had since the one you’re at right now, I would bet that almost all of them dissolved into just a means to an end. Otherwise, why wouldn’t you still be there?
So if a job is not the answer, what’s the purpose of a job? It’s a tool, a tool to help you get to where you’re truly going. Nothing more. Just like in running, moving your feet is not the purpose. It’s just the tool you must use to get you to your purpose. A job is the wheel, not the destination.
It’s clear to me that in the worst of job circumstances, it is all the more important to have a calling, a main life purpose, something that you must be. You see, purpose is the energy that fuels the pursuit of your goals. It gives you the energy to overcome any job obstacles placed in your way and enables you to push on until you realize your dream.
Perhaps you’ve also asked yourself at one point or another what the point of it all is. Why are you here? What’s life really about? To get paychecks and pay bills?
Why study 15 years of our lives, work 80,000 hours, and then reproduce so the next generation can do it all over again if we don’t even know why we’re doing it?
There’s got to be a greater purpose, right?
Yet, very few people instinctively know what they want to do with their life.
I assume that you’re reading this blog because you want to be financially free. And if you’ve read any of my other articles, you also know that being financially free is also just a means to an end. That’s right, financial freedom gives you the opportunity to figure out your greater purpose…and then to go live it.
Before you can tell your life what you want to do with it, you must have the opportunity to listen to what your life is telling you about who you are. You generally don’t get that at a job.
So, what is your purpose?
Is it to open that school for underprivileged kids in a third world country?
Is it to be more present in the lives of your own children, so that you (and not society) can mold them into who you want them to be?
Is it to paint masterpieces, those images that are deep in your soul?
Is it to finally have control over your own free will, that most important aspect of life that’s given to all, but unreachable by most?
Ask yourself this question, once you become financially free, where will it take you? That’s the priority my friends, not a job.
Be free. Nothing else is worth it.
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P.S.S. What’s this got to do with you? If you don’t take action, absolutely nothing. But remember this – most people fail to achieve what they want in life simply because they never start. If you’re ready to escape the rat race and live life on your terms, don’t wait. There’s nothing for sale on this blog. I just provide actionable advice for free. What do you have to lose? Start today.
Ready for more tips on how to achieve the free life? Check-out more articles from the blog archives below: