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‘Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.’ – Confucius
Who has ever had a big pile of work dumped on their desk by their manager, whether first thing in the morning or last thing at night, when they already have a list of jobs to do a mile long? Who has ever felt their heart sink as they’ve faced another week at work? Who has spent time and energy doing the best job they can do, but all the while feeling a lack of passion and excitement for the tasks at hand? Who has given up their personal time and interests in order to do all the work that their career has put on their plate?
A large piece of work landed in my inbox this morning. Instead of getting stuck right in, I took a moment and told myself that I needed to write down how I was feeling at that moment, because I must never forget it. Instead of the sinking feeling I’ve experienced before, my heart lifted. Instead of the flutter of panic and a scrambling worry to rehash my timetable, I felt a quiver of excitement and calm confidence that is becoming a more familiar feeling since I’ve created my own business and given myself more choices, including the choice to change careers and organise my time my way. I had been given notice to expect this work, but it hadn’t weighed over me like a storm cloud as I blacked out the time it would take me to do it around the time it would arrive. Rather, I’ve spent the last while looking forward to it.
All of these things tell me that, finally, I’m on the right path. I’ve chosen the right career. It was out there after all and it didn’t matter that I took a different direction at the starting line. As my own boss, I am the slave now only to my own ambitions. I create my own choices. I generate my own work. I need to be just as organised, just as thorough, just as dedicated as when I am working for someone else’s agenda, but now the dance is solely between myself and my client; making each other happy; giving each other something of value. I am doing for a living an extension of what I do for fun – playing with words; communicating meaning; telling a story.
Life is a puzzle and sometimes you can feel boxed in by your perceived lack of choices. You can only see parts of the puzzle, only make certain pieces fit together. If you’re feeling unfulfilled in your life, you need to take a step back and see that there are more choices than you think. Think outside the box. This morning has confirmed that, while once adrift and inert in a sea of choices where only a few were visible to me, it was the right move to take out my telescope, look for more choices, and make the right one rather than remaining in a whirlpool.
I still have a part-time day job while I build up the business, but this is a glimpse of the utopia I’m headed for: an end to Sunday Evening Depression; an end to Living For The Weekend; an end to Waiting For The Next Holiday. An end to seeing money as an end, and instead beginning to see it as positive energy gained through positive energy. Call me crazy, but I think it’s possible to break free from chains and ladders, and enjoy a work-life love affair rather than striving for a work-life balance. Like in any relationship, while balance is great, possessions are nice, and progression is fulfilling – to me, it’s passion that’s most rewarding.