Week 120: More Reasons to Plan Ahead

Monday, 20 March 2017

Anyone who doesn’t get disgusted or displeased by his job is a rare creature!  This is where planning ahead, short-term or long-term, can have its payoff.   Having F*** You money begins to look pretty darn good.  Planning ahead might just get you that freedom to walk when you want.  Or keep on walking if someone gives you the boot.

Unfortunately, we are not in that place of having F*** You money . . . fortunately, we are pretty content with our jobs.  Still, there are times when retirement looks better and better.  This past week has been one of them.  Rather than go into the dreary reasons, which are really just manifestations of pettiness, I prefer to focus on how annoyances become gifts.

Let’s back track a bit.  As I have written before, my work hours drain me of any sense of self a lot of the times.  As introverts, time alone with our thoughts is what refreshes both Mr. 182 and me.  Consequently, I often flail around, neither here nor there, but just waiting until Friday morning when the weekend begins.  It seems as if my life – what remains of it – is just going down the drain, day after day.  That’s a pretty grim place to be.

The question has been – and continues to be – how to not feel like I do?  It’s easy to over-do, to compensate for a lack of sense of value in my daily life, but that only leads to greater dissatisfaction.  What finally seems to have helped is reading a book:  Essentialism, by Greg McKeown.

Essentialism focuses on both businesses and individuals.  For the individual, he has you look at your own life and choices.  In a nutshell, McKeown writes about getting rid of things that you don’t need (like emptying your closet) and choosing the things to keep.  He also focuses on how do you know when you have a good goal or mission statement?  How can you measure it?  And finally, he talks about passion.  What are you passionate about?

That question made me think . . . especially after focusing on simplifying my life by not doing things I don’t want to do, or have very little interest in doing.  That’s housecleaning.  And that leaves room for other things, the things I feel passionate about.

So, work becomes a task needing to be done, but not the bloodsucker it can be.  I enjoy the people I work with, and much about what I do . . . but it does not feed the core person I am.  I did decide on my passion:  writing and paper.  It’s big, it’s narrow.  Already, I see a difference inside.  I am more content.  I am more productive.  I feel more alive.

The power of focusing cannot be overstated.  By finding the essential, we create ourselves anew.

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