PERSPECTIVES: YOU ARE YOU – NOT YOUR JOB

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“Life is Priceless. Don’t sell it short”.

“PERSPECTIVES” are excerpts from my forthcoming book of the same name, available from Partridge Publications Q3 2015

What are you living? Your legacy or your resume?

This one cost me dearly. Not once. But twice. The third time I walked away.

At age 70 you would have lived around 25,570 sunrises and sunsets.

How many have you seen?

How many more do you expect to see from today?

More importantly – How many are you going to waste?

This week I read a short piece about a mother whose son was asked what he would like to be when he grew up. He responded with WHO he would like to be, not WHAT: “I would like to be kind and brave” he said. WHO = YOU. What = your position, vocation or job. Which you can change a number of times.

WHO is more important than WHAT.

I take my hat off to that child. He already knows who he is. Right now. Not when he grows up. And it matters to be who you are all throughout your Life, not only when you grow up. Children play. They expand. They erase whatever containment lines adults can think up. Adults often draw lines around things. They judge. They contract.

But to return to the title: Twice in my life I lived the corporate life to my own detriment, and near demise. The first time I took on too much after the CEO of our company was jailed for fraud, followed 24 hours later by my manager succumbing to the additional stress of firing 4 people and nearly lost his eye. The responsibility of running a national IT company which supported an international bank fell to me within hours. I over-extended myself, fell ill with a virus one weekend and lost 6 kilos (13 pounds) of weight, resulting in permanent hair loss, weaker eye sight and temporary deafness. There was no Victoria Cross for my effort.

The second time I was rushed to hospital at my own request whilst walking to work one morning after I felt a dizziness and pressure inside my head. My blood pressure was 196 / 131 and the doctor said I was heading for a stroke – working 20-hour days for months on end. Again, there was no Victoria Cross for my effort.

But, I was the problem. I allowed my life to be cluttered. I walked around with a 50+ items To-Do list in my pocket. I worked for a pay-cheque. I forgot who I was: A husband. Son. Friend. Student. Financial provider. Spiritual being. But I let The Corporate Machine chew me up and spit me out – and then forget about me. Today I pay for my high blood pressure pills and glasses. Not The Corporation.

Do not forget who you are. You are You. Not your job.

And You own You.

Work-life balance – a term that rolls off the tongue easily – is now being replaced with work-life effectiveness, which will one day be replaced with another hyphenated term.

Life don’t need hyphens.

The main question to ask yourself is “Am I living my legacy OR my resume?”

I am sure you know which one you live. And I am sure you know which one you SHOULD live.

The To-Do List in my pocket should have had the following six items on it:

  1. Celebrate WHO I am – not WHAT I am.
  2. Live the Life I wanted – not the life I was expected to live.
  3. Live a balanced Live within every 24-hour day cycle.
  4. Appreciate and Love – with capital letters.
  5. Stay connected with those who matter – not your email directory.
  6. Laugh more – the universe is full of humor.

Yes, I changed my To-Do List.

KEY POINTS

  • Life is priceless.
  • WHO is more important than WHAT.
  • Life is not a pay-cheque.
  • Life do not need hyphenated words.
  • You are a multi-faceted person.
  • The correct To-Do List is important.

ACTION STEPS

  • Celebrate WHO you are.
  • Live your legacy.
  • Balance your life.
  • Love and appreciate.
  • Stay connected.
  • Laugh.

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