On your death bed you will receive total consciousness…
We live in the richest nation in the world, yet there is little evidence with all we have accomplished and accumulated that we are happy. Why is this?
I recently started reading The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel and was struck in Chapter 7 by the following:
“More than your salary. More than the size of your house. More than the prestige of you job. Control over doing what you want, when you want to, with people you want to, is the broadest lifestyle variable that makes people happy.”
This got me thinking about the hundreds of clients that I have worked with over the years and the typical answers I get when I ask two specific questions in our consultation. The first questions, “what do you love about your current [or last] job?” The typical response is delayed and, in most cases, obviously contrived, but seldom is there a passionate answer. I think this is because you can love your work, say finance, sales or marketing, but when you have to perform it on a schedule you can not control, it can feel exactly like doing something you hate – cleaning the gutters for example.
Now we are all familiar and have used the saying, “why do you think the call it work!” Back in the day, when you toiled for 8 hours on the assembly line, work was not very much fun. But the whistle blew, and you had 16 hours to yourself. Today, it different, when you are not sleeping, you are working, traveling, answering texts, thinking about work, your mind is grinding all the time.
The second telling question I ask is, “what is the best job you ever had?” The answer is never the one that they made the most money at, or the job that required the least amount of effort. The best job ever is usually about having control over what you do, deciding how you solve problems, thinking like an owner, being part of a growing exciting business, being part of a team, friendship and having fun doing it.
After Karl Pillemer interview a thousand elderly Americans in 30 Lessons for Living, he wrote:
“No one – not a single person out of a thousand-said that to be happy you should try to work as hard as you can to make money to buy the things you want.
No one – not a single person-said it’s important to be at least as wealthy as the people around you, and if you have more than they do it’s real success.
No one – not a single person-said you should choose your work based on your desired future earning power.”
You know the things they valued most? Easy, just answer the question, “what was the best job you ever had?” It is things like – having control over what you do, deciding how you solve problems, thinking like an owner, being part of a growing exciting business, being part of a team, friendship and having fun are what most people are searching for.
With all that is going on in the country today, maybe you have been furloughed, laid off or are stuck at home doing your job. This could be a great opportunity to spend some time reflecting on the next chapter in your life. After all, with a little bit of capital and some hard work, you can create the best job you ever had. Don’t be like Carl Spackler (https://youtu.be/JKKWnRYefyA )and have to wait until your death bed, let’s talk and you may see some exciting possibilities. So, you have that going for you…which is nice.