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Everywhere around us are social constructs that tell us how we should, or shouldn’t live our lives. They are the unspoken laws of life that most of us abide by and do not question. They tell you to work 40+ hours a week, wait until later in life to retire, buy a big house and a nice car, and place all other aspects of your life secondary to work.
It’s easy to follow in suit because all those around you abide by the same rules and resulting lifestyle. Here in the US, and I presume elsewhere in the world, society is built to support and encourage these rules. Most employers require the de facto eight hour workday, offer a few weeks vacation per year, and hire only those whom have had gapless employment history. Society associates company growth as success, which encourages employees to be in a constant strive for advancement. A race to the top is needed to help us pay for the new house and new car which help society know we are succeeding.
The purpose of this blog post is to bring to light that we have a choice; we should not take life as it is given to us. Despite what society implies- does a regular Mexican fisherman live a less fulfilling or purposeful life than a corporate executive that creates and sells a multi-million dollar fishing corporation? The answer of course is no. No life is inherently more valuable than another regardless of how one lives it. In the end, the Mexican fisherman, the executive, and all of us are on this earth for short moment in history- and we should live it unobstructed by expectations of how it should be lived
Working ten hours a day, striving to get the top of a company, waiting until we retire to take extended trips, and not pursuing our passions is a choice we make. It may be the right choice for some of us, but a choice none the less. Creating a lifestyle that affords you short work weeks, freedom to travel, quality time with family and ability to pursue your passions is a choice that can be made. Such a life is not going to show up on a silver platter; creating your ideal life takes time and has many challenges. It requires us to decide on the life we want, research ways to get us there, and to push hard and continuously until we get there. It requires us to think and make decisions that are unpopular.
Living the regular life is no walk in the park either; it requires a lot of hard work. My whole thing is if you’re going to work hard at something, make sure it’s moving you closer to the life that you want to live, whatever that may be. Like the actor Jim Carrey learned from his father who was laid off from his hard accounting job, “if you can fail at what you don’t want [to do], you might as well take a chance at doing what you love”.
I’ll end this post with one more quote from Jim Carrey that I think really sums all this up “so many of us chose our path out of fear, disguised as practicality. What we really want seems impossibly out of reach and ridiculous to expect, so we never dare to ask the universe for it. I’m saying– I’m the proof that you can ask the universe for it.”