Don't Live to Work; Work to Live! | Briefing v7.0
You shuffle through your bag for your keys. It’s late, well past dinnertime, and you’ve just returned home from yet another exhausting, arduous 12+ hour day of work. You slide off your bag, slip off your shoes, and undo your belt, all of which you’ve been tethered to since you woke up early this morning to shower, get dressed, and promptly rush out the door. If this seems like the norm for you, you may inadvertently ‘live to work.’ We advocate the exact opposite: Work to Live.
If you don’t build your [financial independence] dream, someone else will hire you to build theirs.
When you do all the above to generate revenue for someone else’s profit, you’re renting your time. Time, of course, is our most valuable asset. We control how we use it, and ultimately, how to leverage it for monetization, or create opportunities to monetize. In most cases of wage and salaried employees, one agrees to a limited or maximum upside, an absolute ceiling. Even if you are the best salesman, data scientist, or lawyer in the world, chances are your boss/employer/company owner doesn’t want you to earn more than them; at their own company no less. Even worse, you are most likely financially dependent on an external source beyond your control. Once you understand this paradox, it becomes clear that your best route to financial freedom and equilibrium is to create your own high-value source of revenue and scale over time, thus forging your own destiny while maximizing earning potential.
Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.
It’s easy to get caught up in the rat race. And why wouldn’t it be? Nearly everyone’s doing it. Good job, work long hours, take on additional projects and responsibilities, all in confluence for a chance at climbing the corporate ladder. Others take a chance on themselves (for good reason) and go out on their own, creating a business, putting in long hours; often unpaid for months or even years, for the dream of being a self-employed entrepreneur.
But at what cost? We don’t doubt these people’s work ethic, dedication, or resilience. However, we doubt they’re spending as much of their life enjoying it doing things they like to do than working all the time for the potential to enjoy life some time down the line. In a society impacted by a disproportionate work-life balance with more than one third of U.S. adults get less than 7 hours of sleep per night, divorce rates at nearly 40%, and nearly 20% of U.S. adults suffering from anxiety-related disorders, we suspect that leaving the office a little early and saying no to your boss or a client every once in a while to relax with friends and family, travel, and dive into hobbies would probably make life at least a little better.
Humans are emotional beings, and make many decisions based on fear. Though friends sometimes tease us at MRP and call us robots, we strongly hold that one best makes decisions based on probability and calculated optimism, devoid of emotion. With that being said, despite employers’ legal obligation to provide (sometimes generous) paid and unpaid time off, a troublingly large percentage of the working population has admitted hesitation and fear of using earned paid vacation time (PTO), Sick Days, and Personal Days.
Our take? Use it or lose it. It’s yours, take time for yourself. Both your personal and work lives will improve, and you’ll thank yourself for it. When you return to work rested, allocate your time more precisely in order to accomplish your most urgent and most important tasks with the greatest impact or consequence, set deadlines, and leave on time. Too many people waste hours every day reading and responding to low-value, mostly inconsequential emails, calls, and texts that can be safely disregarded for a day or so until your more pressing matters are completed. You can’t be your best version of yourself at work or at home if you don’t take care of yourself.