The Power of your Perspective
My perspective of work began to change when I realized the difference between what I really wanted and what I thought I wanted.
I started reading Matthew Kelly's book, Off Balance"which helped me understand the reality of my frustration. Like many young professionals in the 9-5 life and those living for the weekends, I would sometimes find myself dreaming of being anywhere but work.
Not only were these day dreams a complete waste of time, but even if they came true, they provided zero satisfaction.
What do I mean? I'll explain.
I was day dreaming about sleeping in late, or being able to run my errands in the middle of the day while no one is at the store, or leaving work early to hangout with my friends and family, or spending this time doing some of the things I love.
Kelly tells a very realistic story of this dream: picture a fisherman who lives in a small coastal village, sleeps late, goes fishing for pleasure, sells his fish to pay for the things he needs, takes siesta with his family in the middle of the day, and in the evenings has a drink with his friends.
Your first impression might be that the fisherman is living the life, but I want you to really think about having that life yourself. Would you take the simple life repeated everyday and working for only what you need instead of building a larger future?
The fisherman's simple life costs about $125 a month. You could have this life if you wanted. Everyone has their own definition of success and I'm confident you could find a way to earn $125 a month and start living this life right now. Day in and day out you will be earning a living off of your hobby or craft and have tons of time to do with what you want.
Will you be satisfied?
I don't think I would. There are so many things I want to do in life that are not included in the fisherman's lifestyle. There are places I want to go and people I want to visit. There are events I want to attend and projects I want to complete.
This story made me realize, my 9-5 is a vehicle to get me to where I want to go. One day at a time, I am working towards my next goal. Now when I day dream, I think of the fisherman's lifestyle. I think of the reasons I showed up to work and want to do my best everyday. I remind myself of what I am working towards and remember the satisfaction I want more than the pleasure of being in a small coastal village, sleeping in late, and running my errands when no one else is around.
Rome wasn't built in a day and nor will my dreams be, but I'll get there, and if you want, so will you.