“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.” – Seth Godin
I know this quote will stir up some feelings. However, I want you to dig deeper and think about the true meaning of it, which I’ll get to in a second.
First, though, dreaming about vacations isn't a bad thing – we all do it.
Honestly, I'm always looking forward to the next destination (after all, I do travel full-time). But, if you aren’t traveling full-time, vacations do allow you to explore new places, relax, have fun, and more. And, because of all of that, they really can make life better.
When thinking of the quote, though, I think it’s saying – you should create a life that you don't hate. Honestly, it’s possible that taking vacations are causing you unhappiness, especially if you are taking on more debt to travel.
However, the life this quote mentions is one where you don't have to purchase things to make you happy, a life where you don't dread every single day, a life where you actually look forward to things, and are positive.
A lot this comes from finding what brings you passion and finding a way to pursue it, which is really one of the best ways for you to make life better.
This doesn’t mean that your day job has to be your dream career, but maybe you’re able to find a way to see how your day job can facilitate your dream life, which can be as simple as spending a little more time with loved ones.
Your career should allow you to, at least, pursue your passion in your free time and to be happy with your life.
It should allow you to have happiness outside of work, and going into work shouldn’t stress you out either.
Related content on how to make life better:
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- 10 Daily Challenges To Improve Your Life
- 8 Things To Stop Being Afraid Of So You Can Be Rich, Happy, And Successful
- 9 Ways to Live an Extraordinary Life
Sure, work won't be butterflies and sunshine 24/7. However, it shouldn't cause you to lose hair, sacrifice relationships that you care about, absolutely hate your Monday through Friday, and so on.
I truly know how bad all of this can be – not enjoying each day and living as if everyday was its own job to be done, especially work. This is how I used to live.
I used to be a financial analyst, and I remember being so excited to get that job, but as time went on, I came to dread my job more and more. Monday through Friday were absolutely horrible for me, and the only day I looked forward to was Saturday because Sunday meant work was right around the corner.
For some people, Sundays are great- one more day to catch up with friends and family, relax, etc. But, for me, they were the worst because just the thought of going into work the next day would upset me.
My job was stressful and boring at the same time, there was lots of work with spreadsheets and legal documents, and almost no human contact for 45 hours a week.
While this may have worked for others, I realized that it wasn’t the career choice for me. Imagining that I would be doing these same tasks, over and over, for decades was the worst feeling possible. It filled me with dread and resentment.
And, that just isn’t a way to live.
While my job paid the bills, I wanted to find a way to make life better. My job didn't leave me with a sense of purpose, and I also knew I wasn't the best fit for the position. Not only were the long hours and stress tough, my heart just wasn’t in it.
Luckily, I was also building a business of my own, on the side – one that I really loved. One that allowed me to feel purpose, enjoy my work, and have a good work-life balance.
And, I still look forward to Making Sense of Cents every single day.
While everyone may not want the same thing I did, finding a way to get that feeling blogging gave me will probably be one of the best decisions you can ever make. I believe it’s important to look forward to the majority of the days in your week, not dread the days, weeks, and years ahead of you.
This doesn’t mean you job has to be your passion, but it can be something like finding a passion outside of your job, finding ways to reframe the work you do to see how it really does make your life better, eliminating some of the other stressors in your life, and more.
So, what does a life that you don't need to escape from look like?
A life that you don't need to escape from may include:
- Looking forward to every day, even work days.
- Having hobbies and passions you can enjoy in your free time.
- Feeling purposeful.
- Not retiring at the age of 67 and wondering what you did with your life.
Like I said, vacations aren't bad. Vacations and traveling are great!
However, if you are living your life just so that you can enjoy your limited vacation days, then you may want to reevaluate and change things so that you can be happier.
Is this even realistic?
When I first read the quote at the beginning of this post, I read through the comments and was surprised to see how many negative ones there were. Many people thought that it was a “stupid quote” that only one percenters could relate to.
However, I disagree.
I was recently talking to someone who left a job with a $60,000 salary to become an Uber driver. He said he loved the salary of his old job, but that was it. He said the long hours at his old job combined with the stressful work made him look for another position, and he decided Ubering was it. He said he had never been happier because he was able to spend more time with his family and didn't dread going to work anymore. While he may not Uber forever, he said the happiness he felt now was worth it.
As you can see, you don't need to win the lottery to make life better.
You need to figure out what makes you happy and what makes you unhappy.
For a lot of us, finding the happy is easy, but finding ways to eliminate stress and unhappiness can be more difficult. Really though, it may surprise you how small these solutions may be, such as getting a little more sleep, reading more, eating healthier, and so on. Other times, they might take a little more sacrifice or a leap of faith, especially if you are wanting to grow your emergency fund, pay off debt, make a career change, and so on.
No, it will not always be easy. However, good things hardly ever are!
So, how can a person make life better?
There are many ways to make life better. You don't have to see your current situation as the only possible option. There are ways to change it and to make your life better!
Here are my tips on how to make life better:
Figure out what makes you happy. What are you passionate about? What makes you happy? Should or could you be doing more of that? How? What needs to change to make this possible?
Figure out what makes you unhappy. What brings you stress? What do you dread doing? What exactly makes you unhappy about what you're currently doing?
Save more money. Many people feel stuck on their current career path because of money. If you feel like your job is something that you absolutely despise but you can't leave due to money, then you may want to find ways to change that. This could include finding ways to save more money, seeking out passive income streams, building an emergency fund, saving for retirement, and so on.
Think positively. I say this often because I truly believe it. Thinking positively can greatly improve your outlook on life. Being positive can motivate you, it can help you focus less on regrets, live in the moment, and more.
Sit silently. When was the last time you just sat down in complete silence with no distractions? This is probably a rare occurrence for many of us. Sitting silently can help you reflect on your life and what's going on in the world around you. It can also help you relax, destress, and clear your mind – and these are all things that will make life better.
Stop being afraid of failure. Yes, failure sometimes happens. However, a fear of failure means you are giving up on your goals before you ever try working towards them. Often times, failure teaches you valuable lessons and actually paves the way for later successes. Also, wouldn't you rather know that you tried something instead of always wondering if your idea would have worked?
Don't be afraid of hard work. Great things usually require a lot of work. It wouldn't be much of a goal if it was just handed to you. You might have to work long hours, work your brain like you never have in the past, handle multiple jobs, provide support for your family, take classes and more. Remember, just because it’s hard does not mean you should give up.
What do you think of the quote at the top of this post? Do you think living that mindset will make life better for you? Do you think that a person should enjoy life more than only on their vacation days?
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