Most of us find that we take absolutely no enjoyment from 80% of our waking lives (or thereabouts). Think about it: if you work a regular job, then that means that you’ll wake up early (7am if you’re lucky), head through crowded streets onto a crowded train and then commute for anything from 30 minutes to an hour. Sure, some people will drive to work or get the bus, but the point still stands.
Once you arrive at your destination – wearing clothes that are formal rather than comfortable or stylish – you’ll then have to sit in front of a desk, answering emails, entering data or designing spreadsheets while feeling creeping dread that you might not finish all the work you need to in time.
Many of us will stay late to make sure work is finished and we might find we get into confrontations with colleagues, team members and clients. Maybe we get reprimanded by the boss.
The worst part of all this is that we’re often not earning the money we should do for all that work and stress. The only way to earn more money is to work harder and take on more responsibility – perhaps becoming a manager otherwise being responsible for other people.
That means more stress, later nights and less time to do the things you actually want to do: like spend time with your family, work on your own projects, travel or even just chill out and watch good movies.
And it’s not even like most of us are passionate about our work! Somewhere along the line we ended up doing work we weren’t passionate about. Somehow, we forgot that the best way to do more of what we love is just to do the things we love more.
Gunning for Retirement
In our defence, there are many things that encourage this line of thinking. One example is the notion that we will at some point retire and then be able to enjoy our free time. Have you ever seen the film The Island? In that film [spoilers!], clones are grown for their body parts but are kept docile thanks to the promise of freedom at the end of their enslaved lives. Of course, there is no magical ‘island’ and captives are wasting their lives.
Sound unsettlingly familiar? That’s because many of us are doing the exact same thing: working towards a final destination and actually wasting the best years of our lives.
We even give money away to our future selves by investing large amounts into a retirement fund. This is despite the fact that we will be far less likely to be able to actually enjoy our freedom or our money at that age. We’re so afraid for our futures and so invested in them, that we forget to live now.
The other way we are kept obedient is by our own materialism. I don’t believe that there is some big conspiracy driving all of this, but the fact remains that most of us work hard to afford material possessions that we arguably do not need. We spend money on computer games, on films, on clothes, on ornaments and we become accustomed to a certain ‘style’ of living. We then need to work harder to afford those things we think we want.
Again, there is irony here. The reality is that most of us would be much happier if we just worked a little less, spent more time with our families and travelled cheaply. Most of us could be happy on a part-time salary if we remembered what to prioritize!
How Running a Home Business Can Change Everything
By the media, by governments and by pure chance, we have become brainwashed into willingly wasting most of our lives working late and feeling stressed. And it has become so ‘normal’ that most of us don’t realize that there are plenty of other options.
You don’t need to go with the flow or follow societal norms. You can start your own home business and earn just as much as you are now – or more – from the comfort of your front room… or from a sunny beach somewhere?
You don’t have to work on spreadsheets all your life: you can create something that you’re truly passionate about and proud of.
And you don’t need to commute another day in your life!
Stop waiting for retirement to be happy and realize that you have all the resources available to you to be happy and successful right now. And hurry because you won’t be young forever. We only get one go around on this Earth and it goes much faster than you could probably imagine – so make the most of it and don’t wait until you’re old and grey to start really living.