Greetings All —
I am the type of person who derives meaning from the mundane, so imagine how life’s bigger moments make my mind churn. My uncle died recently and, through all the sadness, my prevailing thought is how well he lived. If you knew Uncle Dom, you knew what he was about and what he liked to do. Simple. I admire that so. This newsletter is for him.
What are you doing after work?
Your answer to that question says an awful lot about your life and how you’ve chosen to live it. Time and again people sign up for life coaching because they want to make a career change. They don’t like going to work every day. They’re not stimulated. They’re working for someone who is less than communicative. Yada, yada, yada.
Then, as our coaching sessions go by week after week, and we put equal focus on what’s happening in their lives AFTER work and on weekends, they experience a subtle shift. We wind up talking about building out what I call a “non-work” life. Sometimes the focus is on creative pursuits, sometimes it’s about nurturing relationships, other times it’s about finding solitary time for reflection and rejuvenation.
Almost magically my clients begin to realize the rut that brought them to life coaching wasn’t all about the job. Suddenly the work is the financial means that makes all the rest possible. “All the rest” might consist of taking an invigorating run, signing up for an acting class, building in time for spiritual practice, getting to know an elderly relative, one-on-one time with a child, getting a facial. You name it, I’ve probably heard it.
This is life, folks. This is the real stuff. If you happen to love what you do for a living, if you’re good at it, if it challenges you, what a bonus. But sometimes circumstances don’t allow for sweeping career changes right away, and so then what? As one client wisely said to me, expecting your quality of life to primarily come from your job is an awful lot of pressure to put on a job.
The idea is to focus on other components, to have no regrets, to stop putting off the things that interest you most, to get to know yourself, to live meaningfully. You could come home and watch yet more reality TV, or you could head over to that Spanish class you’ve finally decided to take. Which will bring you more satisfaction?
A guy I know is a real estate agent by day and a musician by night. He plays guitar and writes songs and enjoys the heck out of it. I went to see him perform the other night and it was great to watch someone who is clearly tapping into his essence when he gets on a stage.
What are you doing after work?
The answer to that speaks volumes.
Just in case I’ve spurred you to take an immediate step to enhance your non-work life, why not consider a writing getaway? Fellow writer James Nave is the co-director of The Writing Salon, which has an impressive 2007 lineup of locations — Spain, Ireland and France abroad, as well as Taos and Charleston in the U.S. Go to www.thewritingsalon.net for more information and make a reservation!