At a party decades ago, I met an oncologist. I was bitching and whining about my job in the conversation. He said to me, “You are not wrong. I am a cancer doctor. I tell people they are going to die. Not one time in the many times I have had to do that has ANYONE ever said to me, ‘Doc I wish I had worked more.’ They all say they wish they had spent more time with their family and doing things that they loved.”
He said it SO matter of factly. The ring of truth was in his words and in his eyes. Most people told me to stop whining when I would bemoan the drama and burdens of working a day to day salaried job. The doctor’s surprising response has stuck with me. I have lived the whole rest of my life understanding the truth shared with me during a happenstance party conversation.
I have learned to not whine about the choices I have made. I have learned that my job does not define me. I have made many monetary sacrifices to be true to the insight the oncologist shared with me. He told me with such conviction, I could not ignore it. The conviction of one who knows an uncomfortable truth for sure is a powerful thing.
It is uncomfortable, our mortality, but it is a truth. It should inform our decisions about what matters in this time we have here, but it is an uncomfortable thing. Uncomfortable truths should be shared though because they are the insights that give us the strength to make tough decisions.
All those who are currently bowing down to the culture of work and money, I share this truth with you. When the great “accounting” is done, work barely rates a journal entry. Remember this truth, because telling the boss, you are not going to work the overtime can be very very uncomfortable. Make sure you at least have an employable skill, shop it and say, “No.”
If you decline for the right reasons and do so with conviction, then there will be some peace. There will be some PAY-OFF too, because if you did it for the RIGHT reasons, then you invested in people, most likely your family. Those are the “journal entries” which really affect the bottom line.