I’m convinced most people have no idea what they really want. I sure as hell didn’t.
When I first moved to Manly last year, I was living the life. I had just moved in to my dream apartment with my soul sister, we were both working from home and our lives were like something out of an insta story. We’d go for coffee in the mornings, spend hours on the beach during the day, go for long lunches and spend the afternoon watching the sun go down over the water with a wine in hand.
I should have been having the time of my life and while I was so incredibly grateful, I still felt uneasy. I realised there was something missing and it’s lead me to the conclusion that most of us are barking up the wrong tree when it comes to what we want from our lives.
You don’t get your life back by having more hours in the day—you get your life back by spending the hours you do have, well.
Ash Ambirge, The Middle Finger Project
I used to think the goal was to have as much ‘free time’ as possible to spend with friends, travelling and ‘doing nothing’. And yet now I have the option to spend my day on picnics and acai dates – those things means nothing without the work I do in between.
We dream about spending every day lying on a beach with a cocktail in hand, but there’s only so many drinks we can down before the restlessness kicks in. What we’re really craving is to make a meaningful contribution to the world. We’re drained at the moment not because we’re doing too much work, but because we’re doing the wrong work. We don’t want more holidays, we want to experience freedom and joy we think a holiday will bring, and we do that by unleashing our unique gifts on the world.
I read Tim Ferris’ 4 Hour Work Week a few years ago and while I appreciate the sentiment of automating your income so you have oodles of time on your hands, I just kept thinking, what else could you possibly want to do? What’s a more satisfying feeling than knowing you’re using your unique gifts to alleviate suffering or add value to the life of another human being? What could possibly be a better use of your time?
We all have this fire deep within us, a longing to make a difference in the world that no amount of partying or Netflix binges will satisfy. We feel the most alive when we’re using our creativity, connecting and collaborating with others and growing in the process.
These days I’m working on striking a balance between ‘doing the work’ and ‘living the life’. I realised that lying on the beach is so much more rewarding after a morning of creating epic content and going out with girlfriends for a glass of wine is so much more fun after a day of coaching the next generation of conscious game-changers.
It’s not about ‘earning’ my down time, but knowing where my priorities lie and what’s really going to bring me the most joy. Sometimes you just need to read a book by the pool, or zone out with an episode of Friends, but those things feel so much better when they’re the byproduct instead of the goal.