I went to a breakfast in Geelong last week run by Robin Miles. He showed a video clip at the end of the session entitled “What would you do if money were no object?” – it struck a chord with me so I thought I’d share it with you here:
I love the bit about it being better to have a short life doing something you love, than a long life doing something you hate.
It took me a while to take the plunge into being a self-employed consultant, I’m fairly risk averse and the idea of no secure salary each month was pretty unattractive. But when you’re feeling unfulfilled doing a job and you have worked out what motivates you, eventually it comes clear as to the direction you need to take, and the same applied to me. I love project work, being able to work one-on-one with clients and making a difference to them when they’re facing some major challenges. Being a self-employed consultant allows me to do all that, run my own show and get the flexibility I want to enjoy life by the beach.
Figuring out what motivates you is the key – and I think it’s possible to find that in a variety of jobs by bringing in activities that fire you up. I love variety and I used to love working in an accounting firm because I got the variety of client work, staff planning, recruitment, running training courses, all sorts of management roles. Put your hand up to do special projects, travel, do things that scare you once in a while, because you’ll really learn what you like doing.
There’s a great book in the School of Life series called “How to Find Fulfilling Work”. It suggests trying a number of quite different jobs for 12 months each, learning about yourself from the experience, then moving on. Apart from being a real challenge and really interesting, I can see how this would be hugely useful in finding a role that really ticks your boxes in the long run.
The other aspect that a motivating role opens up is your
creativity. If you’re enjoying your work, creativity seems to flow much more easily that if it’s a drudge. I’ve had a few days where generating an idea was like getting blood out of a stone, but generally I’m finding that being in
charge of my own destiny, with less distractions from unnecessary tasks, has freed up time to think. And actually be pretty productive.
I also know some senior management teams that make specific time in their day for recovery, like elite athletes – down time when they have no meetings or calls
and can just reflect. Or rest, or go for a walk. I think that’s another great idea. But I’ll leave the last words to my coffee mug, from the Life Is Good company - it reads “Do what you Like, Like what you Do”.