Do you feel like you need a vacation? Are the stresses of work day in and day out becoming too much for you? When you are at your job does your mind wander off to a beach like paradise where you can sit back and drink margaritas all day? I’m sure for many of you the answers to these questions is yes. If you constantly are looking forward to vacation, once you get that vacation you should just never come back to your job.
I wrote an article a few weeks ago titled “Your Job or Your Life“, and the main theme of it was to tell people that they should look to find their destiny, and not just a job that pays the bills. This article may sound similar but i felt that i really needed to reiterate my point. I wasn’t trying to say that you should simply just “do what you love” or “follow your passion”. What I meant is that you need to align your career with your talents and strengths. The sad thing is many people think they know what they are good at, and they’re usually wrong. I would suggest taking a Myers-Briggs personality assessment. A company called Gallup created something called the strengths finder test, which helps you to figure out where your talents lie. I think the main reason many people are unhappy with their work is because it doesn’t line up with their talents and strengths.
Think about it. Do you know anyone, or perhaps you yourself, who chose their major of study somewhat arbitrarily during college? I think it’s astounding that some people put more time into planning their weekend outfits than they did picking a career. Do the vast majority of us do diligent research into our own talents and then carefully select the companies that match with our values? Some of us do. Often times however, I see people filling out applications left and right and accepting the first position that comes with a favorable salary, and I think thats a gigantic mistake. You shouldn’t do things just for money, I feel that is the quickest way to misery. Why should you spend 5 days of week doing what you don’t want, just to afford the other 2. I’m not a math genius but 5 for 2 seems like a raw deal to me.
I think many people have come to realize that even when they do get the vacation, it doesn’t make up for the rest of the year. The luxuries their employment affords them may not be worth it either. The most valuable commodities for human beings are time and energy. Time and energy are scarce and limited. Is your time and energy spent at a job you don’t like worth driving the newest vehicle, eating out at the finest restaurants, or wearing the nicest clothes?
Im not saying its bad to have nice things, but what I am saying is that the consumerist attitude is causing people to work themselves into the ground for nothing, for materials that they absolutely do not need. I see a culture in which people trade their true happiness away for the happiness they’ve been sold by advertisers. True happiness comes from being engaged in what you are doing, it comes from being around people you love, it comes from serving a purpose that’s higher than yourself, it doesn’t come from materials.
If you are looking to sit out on the beach all day then you are doing something wrong. Humans aren’t built to just sit around, its not good for us. I guarantee if you found a career that went along with who you are at,your core, it wouldn’t feel like work. Work and free time shouldn’t be separate entities. I believe the good life is the integrated life. This is the type of life where it doesn’t matter what day of the week it is, where you are engaged and energized in your work and equally engaged in your social life. There shouldn’t be a dichotomy between work and fun.
I think my previous article was perceived to be anti work, but I believe working hard is essential to the good life. Working hard at something thats not in the right direction, however, is foolhardy. Are you going,in the right direction? Is the compass of your life pointed to prosperity, destiny, or self actualization? If it isn’t, why aren’t you terrified? You only get one life, dont waste it. Dont listen to what people say you should want. Go after what you want, and even if you never get it, but die trying, itll be more rewarding than spending the next 5 decades complaining about how you need some time off.