I have had an awakening people. It’s been a long time coming, but I’m finally getting there.
I’ve spent a lot of time these last few years worrying about working hard to make as much money as possible in the short term. This worry has caused me to make short term decisions to squeeze as much as I could out of my limited time. All because you never know, this could be my last year to earn as much as possible, to use all the time I’ve got, because who knows everything could change tomorrow and then where will I be? WHERE??
Clearly I have the rationalising skills of a crazy person. But take a look at yourself. How often do you put yourself under the pump in order to secure the present or immediate future. Bills, nice shiny things, impressing people…these can all be the competitors for your valuable productivity.
Well I’ve realised that short term living is not the only way to go through life. And even though most of us live with short term thinking and agendas, this is in fact the dumbest way to live!
You know what. Our value is not the sum total of our past or even our present. Our ultimate value is infinite because it is unwritten. So instead of making this year or next year my focus when approaching my priorities, I’m going to focus on the long term.
For me that means instead of prioritising busy-ness and work that bores or depresses me (but pays), I’m going to focus on what I love (which may not pay). I will focus on what I know will matter most to me at the end of my life. My legacy will not include a detailed breakdown of the number of hours per day that I spent doing uninspired work nor will it include my net worth. It will, however, tell of the beauty I let out into the world. My legacy will be my marriage to my wonderful husband, my work in the community, my love for people, my leadership, my hard decisions, my craft, my great works (both published and unpublished). That’s what matters most.
And so my biggest challenge for you and myself is to stop being afraid to close the door on “opportunities”. Keeping all the options open is playing it safe. Doing everything is playing it safe. Saying no is a risk. Focusing is a risk. I’m still scared and maybe you can relate, because the things that I ache to do are not stable or particularly financially viable.
But I can’t do anything else and that’s a relief in a way. My soul has confirmed what my head (and it’s indecision) could never conclude.
The Art of Nonconformity by Chris Guillebeau is a good book to read if you’re exploring ideas like these. Visit Chris’s blog for resources on chasing dreams and world domination.