We’re often taught to choose a career that will make us money.
Hindsight: why aren’t we taught to choose a career that will make us happy?
Simple math shows that we spend around 24% of our week conducting work (40 hour work week) and 33% of our week sleeping. That’s 57% of our week lost to sleep and work, leaving just 43% for whatever we want or need to do throughout the week. When you consider that 8% of the week is spent eating (2 hours a day), 1% of your week is spent cleaning and/or grocery shopping, and another 1% of your week is spent brushing your teeth, going to the bathroom, or any other miscellaneous activity, that leaves you 33% of your week leftover for you to have fun.
Using that number to expand upon your average year, you spend on average 33% of your year doing things you actually want to do. The other 67% is spent doing things that we feel we have no control over: chores, eating, work, sleep, brushing our teeth – WAIT A MINUTE! One of those things is not like the others, one of those things is changeable!
While you can always fiddle with adjustments to your chores, eating, sleep, and general hygiene habits to become more efficient, I’ve gone with an average that is decidedly low. Thus, the only space that could ever really be adjusted to regain a massive amount of time per week – per year – to your lifestyle, is work.
By adjusting the job you have, you go from spending 33% of your year on doing things you personally, actively, want to do, to spending 57% of your year doing things you want to do.
Did you get that?! Planning your career to be something you’ll absolutely love can change your experience of desirable action from 33% to a whopping 57% per year!!! More than half of your year could be spent doing something you love!!!
For some people, this is already their reality. I know people who knew who they wanted to be right out of the womb and they never slowed down. To this day, they’re living the life – working the loving job – they’ve always envisioned for themselves.
As for the rest of us? The rapids of life worked us this way and that and now we find ourselves on unfamiliar territory.
But finding yourself in unfamiliar territory doesn’t have to mean defeat or loss. As with every major life experience, this can be a time for self-exploration and renewal.
For every major setback, switch up, surprise, and circumstance that life’s thrown my way, I can look back and see how I maneuvered with an open mind into new territory with a fresh perspective and an interest in exploring this new terrain. Not everyone has that ability to pivot into power, but that doesn’t mean one shouldn’t try.
After all, the perk to choosing to step into a career you love is to take go from spending 1/3 of your year enjoying your time, to spending more than 1/2 of your year enjoying your time!