In case you haven’t noticed, life is short. Like the line in one of my Dad’s favorite movies, Meet Joe Black, the quote goes:
“Sixty-Five years, don’t it go by in a blink”
Boy, ain’t that the truth! As I close in on 50, it is becoming more and more apparent that if I am ultra lucky, this is the midway point of my life. The reality is that I very well have more days behind me than in front of me. That is a sobering thought. So this begs the question: How do you want to spend your time you have left?
I can tell you that I consider myself very lucky to love my day job. Since a major chunk of my time every week is spent at work, this is a very good thing. I feel badly for those who are stuck in a job they can’t stand, feeling like they are “surviving” to the weekend. Some simple math will tell you this is a recipe for about 8 days a month of joy, and the rest is a grind. I can tell you from personal experience, this is not conducive to a happy lifestyle.
If you hate your job, you only have two choices:
Change your attitude
Change your job
There are 168 hours per week, and you spend one quarter of that time working. If you are going to spend 40 hours a week or more doing something that is a grind, you either have to learn to embrace that and start to enjoy the challenge, or get the Hell out of there and work somewhere else. Seriously, life is too short to suffer unnecessarily. There are many things that are outside of your control, but this is not one of them. I get it, there are bills to be paid, so you must have a job. I didn’t say quit your job and start buying lottery tickets. What I am advocating is for you to start taking steps to make things better. If more gratitude about having the job you do is needed, start practicing gratitude ASAP. If getting out of this job requires going back to school, or a move to another city, start planning.
Take Action. This is simple, but it is not easy. This is the part that most people fail on, they never get started. Most of those who do get started make it to their destination, it is those who never take that first step that will be looking back on their life with regret. Ask any older person, they will tell you….REGRET IS A TERRIBLE THING. Many people over age 60 will tell you way more about the things they regret NOT doing far more than they will about the things they have done in their lives. They understand that time to do many of the things they always wanted has passed them by, and there is no getting it back.
I am of the opinion that the world needs as many people as possible who are “firing on all cylinders”. In other words, the more happy people there are, the better a place the world can be. You are far more likely to be kind to others, give back, volunteer, etc. when your life is a happy place. When you have your life in order, you can start to have more consideration for others. You can share, donate time and/or money, and contribute to the greater good way more than if your own life is a constant struggle. Should you be writing the next great American novel, or working on an invention that would change how certain things are done? Things like these don’t get done when you feel like you are oppressed by the weight of your job forty hours a week. It sucks the life out of you, and the contributions you have for the world get muted in a hurry.
The takeaway from today’s blog post is this: Get Happy or Get out. This is true for your job, relationships, whatever it may be. You are in control of far more than you realize, you just need to exercise that control. Your job should not feel like a life sentence. Starting taking action to fix things, whether that is your attitude or your circumstances. You’ll be so much better off, far happier, and in my opinion, you’ll be helping to make the world in general a better place.