We crave the HUSTLE, the WINS, the ADRENALINE rush, the PURPOSE, the VISION, the success VALIDATION of our peers. (Whisper: our peers don’t really spend much time contemplating our success)
The illusion is that SUCCESS has a universal manifestation. If we can just find the right combination of memes that encompass the pre requisites to success and embrace them, then it’s game set and match….except it’s not.
If we were to reframe our ambition around chasing Quality of Life as our #1 success indicator instead of extrinsic key point vanity indicators such as the size of the house, boat, car, and private school for the kids a different life experience emerges. (Intentional provocative reference to the private school)
Can the above indicators of success be retained in the pursuit of life quality? Of course, but are they accurate predictors of Q of L?
Mindset adjustment. Visualise a life where you worked 20% LESS hours.
Imagine you invested this surplus into family time and mental and physical health activities. For instance non-competitive exercise, (i.e.: not replacing career competition with assaults of mountain ranges, triathlons etc.) meditation or some form of de stress activity.
Nothing is practical until you adapt.
A 20% reduction in work hours probably equates initially to only a 10% reduction in income. (Factoring in tax and eliminating the least productive activities in your work life.)
A 10% reduction in non-essential expenditure is easier than you’d imagine.
Your job my not facilitate this new path, but that’s the whole point of creating a life by design. There are other jobs; there are opportunities to negotiate reduced hours or performance payments. There are a myriad of opportunities to change careers or start your own business. Perhaps you could take on a lower paid role that is closer to home and frees up an extra 5-10 hours per week.
Perhaps you can brainstorm how to double, triple, 10x your hourly value and still have the traditional ‘success’ trappings. No one is saying that reducing work time has to equate to a reduction in income.
Trading hours for houses, cars, holidays whilst neglecting family nurture, social engagement, hobbies, personal development has an insidious price.
You kid yourself you’re selling your life to provide for the family. One day you wake up and spouse #1, 2 or 3 has moved on, presumably with a big portion of the spoils.
The kids never really cared about the house, cars or holidays, our childhood memories are more vivid about things that made us laugh, bonding moments, mud, dirt, and vagrancy.
One-day retirement will show up and you’ll find yourself in the company of the latest spouse a virtual stranger. You neglected developing non-work related interests. There was no time for embracing travel, history, languages, hobbies and now you find yourself in an alien world.
You may be one of a rare breed that can work the 60-hour weeks, sleep 8 hours a night without the assistance of sleeping pills. You have a bonded family and social life, a healthy mind and body, with an acute sense of smelling roses, brimming with vitality for every new day.
We don’t know how long our perch will support us before giving way. Quality of Life relates to NOW, goal setting and Vision relates to an anticipated future that may or may not show up, but it can be a lonely road if it’s just your own vision you’re following.
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