I have great admiration for those kids who know exactly what they want to be when they grow up. I was never like that. In fact, I hardly even knew what I wanted for lunch that day; let alone what I wanted to be ‘when I was old’.
For me, each day was a new opportunity to float along, keeping an open mind to fresh opportunities and knowing that one day, the penny will drop and my true passion will ignite inside me like an explosion of wonderfulness.
I think I’m still waiting for that day, Happies, but I do know that I’m definitely on the right path and love what I do. Which, incidentally, appears to be almost as rare as finding those children in the playground who not only know what they want for lunch, but who have already planned their UAI score, degree, and career path all by the age of thirteen.
Finding happiness in what you do is a crucial part in finding happiness in life. We spend, on average, 8.5 hours a day in the office, equating to 42.5 hours a week, 170 hours a month, 2,040 hours a year, adding up to 81, 600 hours in your lifetime, assuming you work for 40 years.
Clearly, when you break the numbers down, that’s a long time to be doing something you hate. Or, for a more realistic term, despise. The number of friends, and even family members I have who are unhappy in their career, far outweighs those who love what they do.
It’s so easy to see how this happens, Happies. Especially for people like me, who never really knew what they wanted to do. When faced with the prospects at the terribly young age of sixteen or seventeen, it’s hard to know what will make you happy, and much easier to follow the bright, neon signs that scream ‘Follow the money. Follow the money.’
And here’s where I think I have been saved. It recently occurred to me, when having a chat to my sister, that I have never made a career decision based on money. Sure, the odd pay-rise when going from job to job was a bonus, but when considering my career path in those formative years, I never once looked at following those signs. Gosh, I was so ignorant I didn’t even see them flashing my way.
Instead, I made decisions based on what my instinct was telling me to do. It’s that simple, really. So often, we make small, seemingly reversible decisions based on money, or popular opinion, or parental pressure, only to look back down the path five years later and think, “how on earth did I get here? This is so far from where I want to be I may as well be on Mars.” All that detouring occurs for one simple reason, Happies – you didn’t trust in your instinct, or have clear directions of where you wanted to go.
When I quizzed people who truly loved what they did, the majority never followed the dollar signs. That said, they are now by far the most successful people I know, both financially, and in spirit, purely because they bounce out of bed each morning sharing their passion with the rest of the world.
Believe me, I’ve had my fair share of detours, and while I’m on the right track now, it’s been a long journey with a very, very long way to go. But there’s something to be said about making decisions based on what YOU want to do, figuring out your dreams, writing that road map to find them, and knowing that every decision you make from here on in is taking you somewhere awesome. While those neon signs may falsely flash at the beginning of your journey, know that if you follow your dreams and invest in your passion, your wealth will encompass far more than a bulging bank balance and a crappy corner office. After all, you can’t put a price on true happiness. Or, can you?
Tell me Happies…
Have you always known your correct path?
Do you make decisions on money, or passion?
Have you ever made a decision based on money and realised it doesn’t bring you happiness?