A friend of mine replied to my previous post saying : “Although I dont agree that experiencing life and having a boring corporate 9-5 job have to be mutually exclusive. There are boring b***** like me who’d love that 9-5 corporate job and working 80+ hours each week!”
True. I know people like that, but those are not the people I want to get through to. It’s your personal preference if you like that intense working atmosphere, I am all for the concept of high productivity, hard-work and effort. However, I feel that there’s no possible way that you can be productive for the whole 7-8 hours at the office, you will take out time to procrastinate, just to reward yourself for the long working hours. Lifestyle entrepreneurship, for me, is working fewer hours but delivering the best results and doing what truly needs to be done- so that I can utilise the time to do other things- could be Salsa, swimming, cooking, spending more time with loved ones or whatever your hobbies might include. I go to the office, I log in to LinkedIn, read, try skimming through the news, get cups of coffee and tea, walk around and do a lot other stuff than just work. Everyone functions differently, but since this is my personal journey, I’m just trying to present my views and do not expect everyone to want the same things out of life. For the ones, who do want to enhance productivity and find a balance between work and life, without being subject to the 9-5 jobs, I’m going to try hard to appeal to you.
Ask yourself these questions: (I’ve included my answers, you gotta find your own!)
- How can I bring about a sense of purpose in life?
Most of us spend our time following what is ‘normal’ as per our culture and society. Ideally they would want me to spend a few years working, get a Masters degree, get married and have kids. However, if we are all unique, how can we subject our lives to the same norms? As an individual, I want to contribute towards making lives better and be a learner for the rest of my life. I want to keep learning through reading, travelling, meeting new people and gaining knowledge while trying to give back to the society in different ways. For now, I sponsor a child’s education, later I might sponsor lots more but I know for sure that I get immense pleasure in giving. While I do believe that goals can change over years, I think, everyone should have a grand philosophy for life. It could be acquiring wealth, status, love, fame, anything! Choose to live according to your philosophy, otherwise, we’re just astray rats in an endless, very long and probably unsatisfying race.
- How can I achieve peak health and fitness even if I am on a busy schedule?
No matter how busy life gets, how over-worked you are or how many excuses you may think you have- there could be absolutely no reason to avoid looking after yourself. Remember how in an air plane you’re supposed to put the Oxygen mask on yourself first and then others? If you look at life as a journey, you’re in the very same situation- remember, without being equipped with health, there’s no way you can be useful or helpful to others. It’s essential that you take your health seriously, because boy, regardless of all the money you make or how famous you get, when you do get that heart-attack or stroke, the game is over. Make time to look after yourself, get some exercise and rest it out when you need to. For me, exercise clears my head, encourages me to challenge my limits and make me focus better. Squeeze it in your schedule and you won’t have to try as hard squeezing into your pants.
- How can I achieve long-lasting happiness and success?
My happiness lies with the people I value, my work-life balance, and atmosphere of growth. In this book called The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin mentions wrote: ‘the days are long but the years are short,’ no matter how long a day might seem, you’ll get through years relatively quicker. You might be in your 20s now and try please everyone, but soon life will pass you by and you’ll end up at 30, still unhappy. The trick is to know what is crucial to YOUR happiness, and work your way around it. Since my happiness is directly influenced by the people I love, I force myself to follow the technique of negative visualisation. This technique is a 2-3 minutes mind game where I try to imagine the worst case scenario between me and the other person- what if he/she died, or I never saw them again, or if I died? It helps me treasure the people around me more. I leave them hand-written notes, write them letters and tell them how I feel truly- and that has helped me develop closer friends and more meaningful relationships. Sure it makes me more vulnerable, but according to experiments, vulnerability is what brings us true gratification, and I find no harm in being open with the people closest to me. My work- life balance comes with this search of defining and analysing time and again what I truly want to achieve and setting different milestones. I make personal timelines and TODAY lists to enhance real time contribution and prove to myself that I actually am improving. Having said that, progress brings an atmosphere of growth with it. Keep challenging yourself, track your progress and aim higher- I think it’s the excitement of doing these things that is essential to my happiness and success.
Since this post is getting too long, I will pause here, and let you reflect on the three questions above. In the next post, I will answer the two questions below.
- How can I change my current lifestyle and live the life I have always dreamt about?
- How can I make money doing what I am passionate about?
Please feel free to share your opinions and your answers, I really would like to know about what motivates you and how you measure success and happiness.