career advice

8 Things More Important Than Your Job

So there you are. You’re probably sitting at your desk right now reading this, waiting for the clock to reach 5pm.

You can’t wait to get into your car, head home, and start the best part of your day. Unfortunately, this is usually a few short hours before you need to go to bed in order to get up and do it all over again.

But for what?

I understand we all need to work. I’m an advocate for hard work even. But what I don’t like is the notion that we need to work merely to pay our bills.

To me this is insanity. To spend upwards of 90,000 hours of our short lives working in a job that we don’t find the least bit fulfilling, is a tragedy.

But it happens and millions of people live this way.

I’m a firm believer in finding what it is that lights you up inside and finding a way to make it pay you. It’s possible, there is no doubt about that.

Your job doesn’t define you and is far from the most important aspect of your life, yet most people associate their success in life to be directly related to their career.

Does making $350,000 per year make you a success? You might answer yes to this, but what if earning that income came at the cost of sacrificing most of your time with your family?

Ar you still a success if your loved ones never get to spend time with you?

I’m not suggesting you quit your job to be with your family. I understand we all have financial obligations. But what I am saying is that there are many things far more important than your job.

Take the time to truly appreciate them. Starting today.

These are 8 things that are more important than your job:

  • Your family.This is obvious I realize but what are you doing about it? You spend 40 hours each week staring at a computer screen and 10 hours a week spending quality time with your family.Just think about how you spend your weekends.You are tired out from the long week and your grueling commute and have barely enough energy to sit on the couch and turn the television on. Your family needs you. They need you to be present, involved, and engaged.I used to have a client who was insanely wealthy. The type of guy who would go to get his Ferrari serviced only to come home with a brand new one. I worked with him for several years and was saddened by the relationship I saw he had with his two young children.He was totally disengaged, let his nanny do all the work, and rarely saw them. Sure, he had millions of dollars but was a workaholic. Don’t do that. Your family needs you more than you know.
  • Being outside.We live in a world filed with incandescent lighting, flickering computer monitors, and constantly ringing smart phones. Our children don’t even know what it’s like to play outside anymore. All they want to do is hop on their XBOX or iPad.Being outdoors, taking in the sun, breathing fresh air, and seeing the beauty that this world offers is the cure all. You can’t help but feel good when you do this. But the sad fact is that most of us rarely do. We shuffle from home to car to office and then back again. Make it a point to get outdoors for 20 minutes each day.Relax on a park bench. Let the soft breeze flow through your hair. Smell the fresh cut grass. One day we will be too old to truly appreciate all that this beautiful Earth offers. Take advantage while you can.
  • Your health.You may or may not agree with this, but your job is killing you. You are dying a slow death drawn out over the course of 30 or 40 years in the form of mind numbingly boring work.How would you feel if you woke up tomorrow and you couldn’t wait to get out of bed to get to work? Imagine loving what you did for a living and feeling more vibrant that you ever have. Is it possible? Absolutely.Sitting at a desk all day is bad for you. I mean the type of bad that is linked to heart diesese and cancer. If you have a desk job, make sure you take plenty of breaks. Walk around, stretch, and watch what you eat.Just remember, regardless of how “successful” you are in your career, if you’re too ill to enjoy your life, it’s pointless. Take care of yourself first.
  • Your time.Your time is the most valuable resource you have, period. Yet you are spending it like Warren Buffet spend $1. You don’t think twice about wasting an entire week working on things that bore you to tears and have no meaning.It sickens me when I see people waiting in line for 40 minutes to fill their gas tanks because they are going to save $1.25. I always wonder if they really think that their time is worth less than $2 per hour.Time goes by so quickly, it really does. You are going to wake up one day and be 70 years old and wonder where the best years of your lives went. Oh, that’s right-to your job!Start to value your time and spend it wisely. Working in a job that means nothing to you for 20 years is not what I call wise. Find what excites you most in life and do that. Try to do it every day if you can. That’s what life is about.
  • Your purpose. Do you know your purpose here? Most people will never take the time to figure this out. They will spend their lives working in random jobs that may or may not be suitable for them, all just to collect a few dollars to pay their bills.What if you took the time to do some serious self reflection to find what it is that intrinsically drives you to be the best you can be? What excites you? What are you excellent at? Answer these questions and start pursuing something bigger.I’m not going to preach to you that we all have some greater purpose in life, but I do think we all can do remarkable work in different fields. But first, we have to uncover our values and what matters most to us.
  • Your relationships. Jobs come and go but a good friend can (and hopefully does) last forever. But we often forget those who mean the most as we get caught up in the shuffle of daily life. “I’ll call then next week” you say for the 10th time.Well, life will pass quickly and a month turns into a year incredibly fast. Make a commitment to reach out to a friend you have lost touch with. Your quality of life is in direct proportion to the quality of your relationships. Keep them.

Please remember that your job is just one part of your life. If you love your work, then great! But the vast majority of people do not.

How much value do you place on your job? What is most important to you?

Steve Roy is the founder of Ending the Grind, a blog about escaping the daily grind of a 9 to 5 job, pursuing your passions, and living the life you want and deserve. You can download his free book, which will challenge you to take action on getting what you want in life. You can also find him on Twitter at @EndGrind.