Everything is temporary
“Everything is temporary.” That is what a friend said to me some time ago when I was complaining about my career situation. While I was hoping for supportive affirmation of my griping at the time, his comment put things in perspective.
Everything is this world is really much more temporary than we are often willing to admit. Career failure may seem like it will last forever, but it won’t. Dead end jobs will themselves come to an end, eventually. But even if your difficult career situation does not change any time soon, defining yourself based on what you do, or do not do, for a living is not such a bright idea after all. It is based on short-term thinking.
In a 24 hour day few people will spend more the 12 hours a day, each day of their life, at their job – very few. A 40 hour work week is fairly standard. But even if you work 80 hours per week on average, 88 hours remain. Factor in holidays, weekends, and then subtract the 25 years or so that you spend growing up, going to school, and in retirement. Does 4 hours/day on the job over a lifetime sound about right to you?
So why do we define ourselves based on something we are not doing most of the time? It is kind of like saying, “I ski therefore I am” and then spending very little time on the slopes.
A career is important. But it is much more important for some of us than it really should be.
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