I received an excellent question via Twitter after posting about working this holiday week, if at all. It fits well into the questions & assumptions I wrangled with personally when creating my new chapter.
And if you, too, want to Reclaim Your Life – to live like it matters, the question might resonate with you as well. Sharing is caring …
In America at least, there is the common notion of “more is better”. Many folks do not take vacation regularly stating all sorts of reasons why they personally cannot. Working long hours is worn proudly as a badge of courage by some.
For many, working long hours is a current necessity as they struggle to make it all work financially. It’s not easy and I still work on balance versus obligations myself.
Whether you love your current job or not, the reality is that life is a marathon (of sprints) and not just a single sprint. Productivity is NOT a linear function.
“What do you think of the idea of not working less because you love what you do?”
If you’re fortunate enough to have architected your life (such as I have) to at least be starting to do what you truly love, good for you! I know personally that it takes a lot of courage to step out to do things differently, take a risk and move towards what truly drives you, not what you feel obligated to do.
Balance is still needed even if you love what you do. I say this as a recovering perfectionist, workaholic, etc. that has always pushed himself way harder than anyone else can. A strong personal drive like that still needs to be tempered for long-term success and wellness.
The great news is that time FLIES when you’re spending time authentically with work or service that truly reflects you! In order for you to be engaged & passionate long-term, you still need to take pauses, recharge your own batteries and unplug completely. That’s a wise long-term strategy, not laziness.
I’m also a musician, so I’m going to add an analogy here of the musical kind to ponder … Let’s say you love hearing the sound of the oboe during a concerto. Would the music be as interesting to listen to if all instruments played all the same note, essentially non-stop for the entire piece? At the same volume? Would you even be able to pick out the oboe if other instruments were playing as loudly at the same time?
The answer is, no. Each soul is a beautifully crafted instrument with a distinctly unique voice. If our lives are non-stop, if we always go full-bore, we’ll run out of air quickly. We’ll also cease to be able to best sing the parts that make up our unique voice. And that would be sad, indeed.