It is a difficult balance to reach, and a strange one to even have to consider. How much should you work to be able to afford the life you want, and what kind of life do you want?
Will an extra $10 000 a year improve your life? By how much? Or would you be better of forgoing that extra money and using the time you would inevitably have had to invest in a career or business venture to get it, doing the things you love with the people you love?
It is a tough one for sure, because the world we live in is based around the things money can buy you. This is not neccesarily a bad thing, because the world we live in has some super cool stuff in it, stuff which will make your life better if you like playing with those super cool things.
I mean even if we had the option to go back to a more archaic way of living, even if someone said “You know what, forget about money, here is some land, a couple chickens and a horse, have fun”, who the hell would actually want to do that?!
I like having a car, I like watching TV and movies, I like being able to fly my paramotor around the world and surf the internet all day. All of these things require money, which requires work, which requires sacrificing life for money. Money for things. But that is not necessarily bad. It only becomes bad (in my view), when your work dominates your life, when you work more than you need to be happy, when happiness takes a back seat to the money so that “one day” you might be able to do the things you want.
This video of my paramotoring coming soon!
One day may never come, and even if it does, we change so much as people as we progress through our life stages, that the cool things you want to do today, will have vanished into memories tomorrow.
How many 60 year olds want to skydive or scuba dive (I know there are a few of you out there and kudos!)? How many 50 year olds want to travel the world (same for those of you who do, super kudos, go do it!)? We lose the desire to push ourselves into these often difficult situations as we get older, and yet we have put these things off until we get older.
Travel brings about its own challenges, it can be tough, especially long term travel.
Not having a home base, leaving friends and family behind, no steady income, daily challenges from other cultures and foods (as my stomache protests its existance for the fourth day runnning). For the most part, it is a young man’s game. I say that as a relatively young man steadily moving out of that moniker, who is already looking towards a less hectic style of travel to go along with my burgeoning desire to be lethargic.
I am likely the laziest person who actually does stuff you are ever likely to meet, yet somehow I still manage to keep doing stuff, and lots of it.
Work verses life. How much is too much and where do you draw the line on work to have the best life for you? It is a tough one.
Sarah and I met a lovely couple here in La Penita the other day who own an apartment down on the beach. They told us that they come to Mexico whenever they get a chance and absolutely love it. They both have well paying jobs and own a house in Canada which they said they could sell and retire if they wanted to, “but”, they said, “The money is too good to give up.”
To me this sounds crazy. But it pretty much echoes the majority of the worlds working population. Either the money is too good to give up, or the money is not good enough, and so you need to keep working until it is good enough, which it likely never will be.
I wanted to scream at them “Retire and live your lives!!” But I am slowly learning that my opinion is just that, an opinion, and although I can talk about my own life as an alternative option, I cannot and should not try to force it down other peoples throats (no matter how much I want to!).
These guys were by no means the exception to the rule, and there are several people I know floating around in my head who are living a similar way, putting life off for tomorrow while they first get this or that done. Never seeing that the finish line for “this or that” is always moving just a little bit further away.
If you are one of those people, which you likely are because I only know several people in this world, stop, take a moment from your headlong tumble through life, and think about where you are going and why.
My turn to work!
Having said all that, I recently finished building Sarah her new website www.sarahsomewhere.com (thank you, thank you, I know it is pretty spectacular :), and it reminded me that it is about time I jumped back on to the work side of this spectrum for awhile.
the latest design for Sarasomewhere.com
During and after our somewhat stressful time in Guatemala I was not feeling particularly creative, and as such I have not done any real work for quite some time. I have strolled almost exclusively through the life side of the spectrum for about three months, focusing on my powered paragliding and the next stages of our travels with little to no regard for work, and it has been great!
But now the time has come to knuckle down for a bit and produce some life juice (money) so that I can keep dolling out unwanted advice. I fully intend to walk a line which fits with my ethos as to the work verses life balance, but the great thing about our lifestyle, is that I have all the time in the world to focus on any jobs I get without worrying about rent, bills or the multitude of other things which take up so much time in normal life, especially now that we are house sitting!
So if anyone out there wants or knows of someone who needs a website designed, please send them my way, or to my web design website, eyepudding.com. I could use a bit of work so as to be able to continue attempting to entertain you with stories of our less than ordinary life.
The main point of this post though, is to remind people to question why they are making the choices they are making.
Do you really need that extra money? Is it worth the time it takes away from your loved ones? Is it worth the hours which will add up to weeks, to months, to years of your life which could otherwise be spent living? As far as we know, we only go around in this world once, and there is barely enough time to see and do a tenth of what it has to offer. When is enough enough?
If you want some advice from someone who should in no way be giving advice, I would say pick a point, pick a number, halve both and then when you reach them, go and live what life remains to you.
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