Monday, November 10

Promising Yellow: Ambition is over-rated!

What do you want to achieve in life? A high-paying job? A big house or fancy car? Status and power? Lots of promotions? Why?

Throughout university I had a lot of 'just for now' jobs that I knew weren't going anywhere; theme park, theatre usher, waitress. But once I started walking my chosen career path I missed those 'going nowhere' jobs and realised that they were the happiest memories I have of the workplace.

Tell someone you're waitress or run fairground games at a theme park and they carry no status; you "can't" be a 35 year old waitress or ticket taker can you? You have to keep up with your friends! You need to have a big house and fancy car!


I've realised that my life is here to be lived not worked. What will it matter to earn loads of money if I never have the time to enjoy it? Who cares how expensive my suit is when I'll have to spend 10 hours a day wearing it and yawning?

TV/movies constantly show people prancing about in high powered jobs wearing expensive watches in New York or London. But in real life who wants sit in a dark office, alone, reading through spreadsheets at 6, 7, 8 o clock in the evening?  I've lived that life and in reality you're tired, lonely, uncomfortable, sitting in the dark with stress- mountain on your shoulders. Even at home it's still there - do I really want to spend my evening making handouts?

Hell, no.

I loved waitressing big parties and weddings. I loved working in the theme park, I loved taking tickets at the theatre. These jobs had no responsibility or stress. I had loads of work colleagues who were always ready to laugh, customers who were there to relax and at the end of the day, when my shift was over, I went home and work disappeared.

There's a great little anecdote from John Lennon's schooldays; the teacher asked Lennon what he wanted to be when he grew up, he said "to be happy," She said "you've misunderstood the assignment" He replied "you've misunderstood life."

My ambitions are not work-related; earn enough money to take care of myself with enough free hours to enjoy myself. I want to be relaxed, worry-free, volunteer, travel, take photographs, take a class, write, draw, bake, walk, play with my dog and enjoy being in love.

If your job makes you happy, no matter what it is, who cares about the social status? Whether you're working on conservation in Africa, writing a best-seller or simply getting ready for an evening of waitressing then going home to write a blog post about fashion.
Different things make different people happy and I'm not telling you you're wrong for having high career-related ambitions. You may love the hustle and bustle of a city job or you may just love the social status, be sure. Don't pursue a career that makes you unhappy just because it sounds more impressive when you tell people. You have to live that life, not them.

It's hard to know what you want to do, or where to start, but this quote from some random movie on a Sunday afternoon changed my life;

Nobody ever lay on their death-bed and said "I wish I'd spent more time at the office."

Stay happy and strong
Ciao for now

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