Wednesday, September 17, 2014

"You won't die wishing you'd worked more"

Reading down facebook, clicking on every god damn thing because I'm tired, ended up reading
(warning: might make you sad, either because it's actually sad, or because some lady's dying words have been turned into Huffington Post clickbait)

Here's the thing: I'm working more than I used to. You won't die wishing you worked more for more money or power or glory. You might die wishing you worked more so you could get to that job you actually enjoy, instead of taking the easy road and working a boring-but-9-to-5 job your whole life.

Everyone says it's all about who is in your life, the family, and friends, and yes, it is. (I have to say that, or you'll think I'm a sociopath, but it's true.) But it's also all about what is in your life; the things you do, work and otherwise. Assuming we don't go sit on clouds or burn in fires after we die, the point of our life is to make the most of life here on earth, and if you spend it all doing something you don't love, or at least like, you'll have a lot of blah time in there. It's multiplicative: happiness = who * what. Which is why everyone says "it's all about the people"; if the "who" goes to zero, you're left with nothing. But if the "what" goes to zero, you're also left with nothing - a bunch of great connections and a slog filing TPS reports all day. (okay, it's not so bad, because you have the life outside work, but it's still a big loss.)

Well, look. I agree with the sentiment: don't work like crazy for external goals. (come on, you know me.) I just get tired of the phrase "you won't die wishing you'd worked more", because it's saccharine and because it paints with too broad a stroke. (kind of like "we should use our smartphones less." or "the government is too big.")

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