The other week my wife was driving with our 10 and 7 year olds in her car. The 10 year old, out of nowhere, said “I am living the live I want to live.” Before my wife could say anything in response, my daughter asked her younger brother if he is living the life he wants to live. His response was “No.” That response was followed by the statement “If I was living the life I want to live I would be in Madagascar observing chameleons, lemurs and fossas.” No, I didn’t know what a fossa was either without looking it up (See below). But this conversation got me thinking about my daughter’s question as it relates to adults, business and life.
Work is about fulfillment more than money; at least it should be. This is one things millennials have right – the want to do something that they think matters. Of course what matters to each of us is personal and different, but it still should drive you to seek out work that fulfills you or about which you are passionate. Money helps, but not day to day with a career you don’t enjoy. Don’t envy those who don’t work because they are empty and unsatisfied at the core. Try to have a job and build a career you love, but don’t assume just because you are passionate about it you will get rich.
It’s okay to have a job others consider mediocre to support your life and hobbies if you are doing something you like. If you are not, then you have a mediocre job and likely a mediocre life. Some people don’t have a choice or access to a job or career with upward mobility. They really may hate what they are paid to do for work every day. When you have a choice, it seems obvious that someone will not take what they and others may consider to be a mediocre job unless it will fulfill them or otherwise let them live the life they want to live.
For instance, I know someone who, while actually highly educated and employed, spent the first decade of their career working enough to save money to travel the world, not to advance a career or earn more money. Those of us who were working to build a career at that time couldn’t imagine taking a year off to travel the world and then doing the same thing every few years to travel and be immersed in a foreign culture. But I would be lying if I said I wasn’t jealous when I would get that person’s emails to friends and family during the various lengthy travels and read about great adventures and their time to think and do without constant pull on their attention.
So I think it is a good question to ask yourself: Are you living the life you want to live? I am thinking professionally, but obviously it can be about all or any part of your life. If your answer is no, will you do anything about it?
ps. The fossa is a carnivore that is related to a mongoose and looks like a cross between a puma and a dog. Fossas are nocturnal creatures that hunt almost any animal including insects, reptiles, rodents and lemurs. They also prey on chickens in and around Malagasy villages and are hunted by local people as vermin.
Fossa are active both in trees and on the ground and are excellent climbers using their long tails for balance and retractable claws for climbing straight up and down tree trunks.