Ever felt exhausted absorbing new information the world feeds you everyday? or felt that it’s time to do one thing at a time? or perhaps felt like moving ahead a little slower? If yes, then join the club!
This is pretty common given that we are living in an era of continuous change. With the ‘ever-changing’ dynamic comes a plethora of issues like stress, fatigue, breakdowns, burnouts, fear of missing out and anxiety. Everyone talks about wanting CHANGE but no one talks about ways to embrace change and things that accompany it.
For instance —
We are witnessing disruptive changes across sectors everyday which are powered by smart applications, blockchain technology, AI, Augmented or Virtual reality solutions. Rapid changes in the medicine industry, new startups being founded or funded. On the other hand, the not so disruptive changes like constant social media updates about how “great” things are in people’s lives, new job posts, prodigies writing apps at the age of 9 and so on which do impact us a little.
How did you feel after reading the previous lines? Maybe you felt ‘Yes! We live in exciting times’ but a part of you probably also felt ‘Wait! Where do I fit in? or what am I doing?’. It’s alright to feel both or one more than the other because at the end we are all humans.
Nowadays working round the clock, skipping breakfasts or not having a life outside work is pretty common (Of course this isn’t true for those who consider watching Netflix as ‘having a life’). Basically, everyone wants to grind 24x7 to MAKE it to the top. If working 24x7 was the answer then today an Indian ex-billionaire wouldn’t be on the verge of bankruptcy along with millions of dollars pending in repayments. Yes he too slept for a meagre 4 hours daily and worked very hard but that doesn’t mean he made it. One thing is for sure, we shouldn’t work hard for the sake of it or work two jobs in order to make extra dough. On many occasions that “extra dough” comes at a cost — your health!
The idea of slogging at work to retire at 40 is floating around more than ever. Let’s say you do make a good amount of money and retire before 40. How long do you think it will last? You’ll probably take a year-long vacation or a series of small vacations over two years, splurge money on trivial things for a while, then what next? Personally speaking, I don’t think I’ll remain sane for more than 3 months without any work, 6 at the most. What about you?
No, right? Then why hurry through your younger (golden) years to ensure you wouldn’t have to work after 40. Maybe take it a little slow and gradually build the base so that you are at the least debt free and on your way to financial independence by 40.
As you might know, most of us frequently seek vacations as an answer to this non-stop struggle and stress. While vacation might help you relax, it’s not a sustainable cure. You’ll see co-workers wanting vacations every 2–3 months. While that may sound fun it’s not the case always, in fact that may mean people are constantly burning out. On top of it vacations don’t help your bank balance which in turn leads you to work harder to gather those ‘extra’ dollars.
In a time where relationships last 6 months, jobs are switched every year and technology changes after every couple of years, it’s important for everyone to pause, self-reflect and go at their own pace.
The bottom line is every person works and progresses at their own pace. It is cruel to measure everyone’s success with the same ‘one size fits all’ scale. While one might retire at 40, one would want to happily do so at 60.
Therefore it is important to take a breather once in 6–8 months and self-reflect whether you’re doing what you really want to do or not. If you want to make it easier ask yourselves these questions —
- Did I maintain or add value in relationships, workplace or myself in the last 6 months?
- Did I learn one new thing in the last 6 months?
- Am I going on the right path for myself? (Not the one drawn by society)
- Did I take good care of myself? Eat healthy, get good sleep and exercise maybe?
Asking these questions to yourself will make sure you are not burning out, learning something along the way and taking good care of yourself. If you are able to do this you won’t be facing burnouts at 35 or health issues by 40.
Finally it’s important to acknowledge the fact that “No one can know it all”. Life, if anything is a continuous learning journey.
At times I feel that it would have been interesting to be a part of the older (60–70’s) generation as they worked hard and enjoyed the little things. They enjoyed the best of both worlds. From the era where people gathered together to zero in on the radio to hear sports commentary, to an era where we video stream to catch a glimpse of a sporting event in between trains.
On the contrary, our generation doesn’t even meet in person anymore to talk and have those ‘laugh out loud’ conversations since every conversation happens digitally today.
Unfortunately we can’t change the fact that we are here, can we? What we can do is strike the right balance. Our generation is living in a world of outrageous pace of change. It’s exciting, at the same time it’s important to take a breath and gather yourself before you face a fresh onslaught of changes.
The key is to move at your own pace and live a little.