Is it possible to spend forty-three years of your life, fifty weeks a year, 86,000 total hours, 8600 plus hours commuting, 1375 hours in travel in a place and be satisfied? More importantly, can you leave behind a legacy that makes yourself and your family proud of the career you have made?
That was a mouthful to swallow. Let me take a step back. How many remember exactly what they did at work yesterday?
Sometimes that is even a hard question.
We work our little butts off making crafts and climbing robes in elementary school and junior high. Then we fight for a reputation in high school and then start right over again redefining ourselves in college. If we are lucky, we get to stay a little longer in graduate studies. Then the big decisions happen. What do I do next?
What do you like, you ask yourself?
- Sleeping in
- Drinking, partying and dancing
- Hanging with the friends
- Ultimate frisbee
- Afternoon naps
- Road Trips
Not the most transferable skill sets. We obviously have a dilemma. How do we translate current state to future state and still find the same level of happiness we had for the first twenty-two years for the next forty-three?
If there was a simple answer, we wouldn’t have all these blogs and articles on career planning and career management and happiness in the workplace, blah, blah, blah.
Throughout history, we have seen very content and satisfied employees that have had roles ranging from extremely complex to overly simple. From Thomas Edison to Fred Flintstone, Einstein to Homer Simpson, one constant is true, finding value in your work and balancing it with the true elements of happiness: Love and family.
Maybe we found our variable. Love and family. So, we have two wandering puzzle pieces: Crazy fun you and responsible consistent you. Both are running for the hills in opposite directions. What if….What if, there was a magnetic glue that could push the two together and then hold it tight. Love and family.
I believe we have solved the greatest mystery of life.
Let’s take five minutes to do a little assignment.
Take these three categories and list five things you love about them and five things you do not love
- Social / Play Life
- Work Life
Next, find the common elements in all three.
Put those common elements on a piece of paper or index cards with the title “Things that make me happy in my social, work and family life. What are yours?”
Now mail these cards to five of your closest friends and family members. No texting, no emailing, no cloud sharing. Mail!!!!! Stamps and all.
Add a post it asking them to find five things that make them happy at work, life and family and then share it with five people.
Besides the fact that this is a great way to communicate and a unique and fun exercise, it will open some eyes.
One of the areas so many of us fail at in life is communication. We hold back and bottle up our feelings in fear of confrontation, loss or disapproval. This is a passive method of letting others know, there is happiness in all we do and sometimes we need to look to others to harness this.
This is an exercise that can be done at work in a team building session as well. Don’t rule that out.
Love and family may be the glue, but communication is the fuel that will lead down the road of a lifetime of happiness.
Don’t forget that.