Death = Life
It's amazing how many people don't want to talk about death in the workplace. Funny, I know. Death at the job. Why doesn't anyone want to talk about it? Can't imagine. Of course, I'm being facetious. We all want to avoid the biggest teacher we have in our careers and that's the simple truth that one day all of us are going to die.
When it comes to our careers are we going to get busy dying or living?
So many people don't want to see their careers this way, but it's the exact framework that will spurn all of us to decide TODAY what we're going to do. Stay at a job that pays the bills or take a risk and do what we must to feel alive and free?
I'm not throwing caution to the wind and saying anyone reading this must quit their job tomorrow. If that's not necessary, then I say don't do it. The path of least resistance in our career life is always the one I advocate. So is the path of least resistance staying where we are or taking very, very proactive steps towards the career we want? What is the cost of doing both?
Take a test. Play a game with death. Because one day we're all going to face it. And you never know when it's coming. People die typing on their computers all day. They die watching TV. In their sleep. At the wheel of their cars. At the gym. I'm not being morbid, I'm being honest and saying to anyone reading this, "If you were told you you had one week to live, what would you do?"
Very dramatic, I know, but really - if you were confined to a hospital bed and I told you had one week to live and slowly die in the bed wouldn't you give anything to see the sky again? The trees? Have a taste of fresh air?
If we all know as much as we know now, why does it take such tragedy for us to enjoy what we have right now in front of us? Why can't we appreciate this journey we're on towards this thing we're all intent on basing our deep happiness on?
Because we love our pain, we love the idea of hard work equals riches and we love to be right.
The truth is the truth: the journey is where it's at. But I won't get you to get that by just telling you that. I'll just piss you off. You'll dismiss me or say that's a nice idea, and then (I hope not, but you never, ever know) something may happen to you and you will see, finally, in a shard of light that you had so much and now you don't have as much and you will stop - you will - and you'll realize you've been running around and running around in search for something that's right in front of you.
We all work so hard to have careers that satisfy us, but we don't want careers that satisfy us. We don't. What we want is to feel as we think we're going to feel when we get the careers we want. Why are we so insistent on waiting for that feeling? That rush? That joy? WHY?
Because we're in love with our pain and we love to be right. Time to let it go.
It's a matter of a choice. We can have a magnificent life and we can run straight into the things that scare us the most by taking chances going after the work we want, or we can settle in and work 15 hour days making money and blink and there it will be - a passing of 10 and 15 and 20 years. Happens to the absolute best of us. Me being one of those "best".
I spent many, many years working jobs for all the right reasons. I wanted to be stable, I wanted to stave off the feelings of uncertainty. I wanted to be safe and cozy and well-off. And so I worked year after year pining after a better life but not seeing the benefit of running in the rain. I never believed the sunshine would show if I risked running in the rain.
Now I know the sun was always shining. I simply wasn't seeing it.
Returning to the truth that we're all going to die someday is a very good reminder that we have a limited amount of time on this planet. The clock is ticking. Are we going to love each moment as it comes and be excited for what's coming but not need that something coming to love each moment?
Are we? Are you?