When it comes to our communities, one of the most biggest concerns I have, is that people generally seem to think they don't have a choice. They feel trapped in by circumstances. They feel they can't make the changes in their life because life makes it impossible. "I CAN'T do my art because I have to work to get an income", "I HAVE NO CHOICE but to put my child in childcare, even though at the end of the day I’m only $50 better off", "I CAN'T be successful, because no-one will give me any opportunities". These are very real beliefs, with real feelings attached, and real people suffering as a result. So, are the right? Do we really have a choice?
I heard a great talk recently about work/life balance by Nigel Marsh on TED . It points out the obvious, that many people work long hours in jobs they hate to have money to buy things they don't need, to impress people they don't like. Sounds crazy, and it is, yet so many peeps find themselves in this lifestyle. Imagine if we could do things we are really good at, get paid for it, and spend more time with family and friends? Is it possible? It certainly used to be. In fact, only decades ago, a shoemaker HAD to be very good and passionate in their work in order to make a living in a small community. Carpenters needed to make things well and take pride in their work, otherwise houses would fall down, furniture would break, and he would fast run out of business. So what's changed?
Today we're surrounded by lies. These days, many businesses are concerned with covering their arse, because someone may sue them for doing a dodgy job. It's often about people trying to con their way "up the corporate ladder" to get more money to buy more expensive stuff (yes, I’m cynical, I know). It's about women leaving their babies with strangers so they can go back to work, so they can afford to put fuel in their guzzling 4WDs (SUV's) that they bought on credit for very odd reasons. And it's all based on the lie that THIS is success. More money = a better life. Try telling that to the kid, who never sees his dad because he works 6 days a week, always comes home after bedtime, and is grumpy on his day off because he is so wrecked from his job that at home he lives on a knife-edge. Try telling that to the daughter who won’t learn to cook, because her working mother is so exhausted, she can only prepare pre-made dinners. Try telling that to the toddler who gets so used to having to trust everyone as she's bundled about, that she'll happily follow a stranger just because they smiled at her.
I can hear the angry mob brewing. Perhaps it's hard to take because it's true. It's hard to hear it, because most of them believe that life HAS to be this way. No choice = no change. People grow up thinking its normal to hate their job, despise work, get frustrated with their relationship, and have no time for their family. But there are ways. No-one can change it for you. There is no wonder-plan, but if you are real enough about making some serious changes, then you can.
The most important thing about being able to change, is believing you can be empowered enough to do it. Once this idea becomes a BELIEF, you will automatically make choices which reflect that belief. It might start off small, by negotiating one day a week off, for you to spend some quality time pursuing something you love. Happier people work better, have better health, a better to live with, make batter parents, which in turn make better children. Happiness breeds happiness.
If you'd rather be doing something else, shouldn't you do something about it? And if you're not going to do anything about it, you'd be much better off starting to get happy about being where you are.
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