A Wrong Equation

Days filled with exciting activities are only a part of living usually taking place on weekends. For most people their weeks consist of going to work and dealing with the mundane. Where do we find glass-full reminders in the nine-to-five grind? Do we need to break away from the routine to have a great life?

For a long time, I imagined that there is another way to build this happy living where a job is a passion project just like repairing heritage military vehicles from my last post. Who wouldn’t want that life for themselves? Thinking that this was the ultimate solution I did the unthinkable. I walked away from a career that I got into because of my love for technology to pursue another passion – coaching. 

Life coaching represented another side of my personality – seeking answers to big philosophical questions, learning and exploring spirituality. The idea that this could be a way of making money seemed like winning a lottery. Big names in the industry proved that this can be done by building their fortunes by helping people.

The reality is that running a business even if its based on your passion has its own risk and downsides. The uncertainty of the future, the need to earn and continuously seeking clients tainted my dream project. What made it even worse was the isolation. You see, when working in the office we build social networks that carry us through the day. A little banter in the morning, coffees and the latest gossip aren’t just a small thing. They are an important part of our being. When engaged socially we feel happy and live longer.

The air doesn’t feel precious until we don’t have enough of it to breathe. Similarly, we become appreciative of things in our life when they are gone. My feeling of gratitude developed further when I started missing those things that I took for granted. Thankfully some changes are reversible. I also learnt that we don’t need to do drastic changes like depriving ourselves of air to enjoy life. We can try to be mindful.

Mindfulness is not meditating on top of the mountain with your legs crossed. It is an awareness of seemingly mundane things that actually matter. That first coffee in the morning, a hug from a friend, having something to do with your days. Listening to your body signals that you are reaching a burning point, taking time out from a heated conversation knowing that you aren’t at your best to respond – these count too.

So yeah that was a long-winded way of saying that I love my job. People that I work with for that they encourage me to develop, and new doors open up in response to my stepping up. Supportive bosses that recognise a good effort and moments of personal growth. The structure it gives me and acts of service that I take pride in.

In a recent presentation on career development, I made a slide on my favourite myths. One of them was – “I will be happy when I get my dream job”. It turned out that the equation was wrong and in fact, the opposite was true. The perfect job is a result of inner happiness. I wish that I learnt it earlier.

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