Have a life beyond work – don’t wait for retirement!

Sitting in the office cafeteria I was eloquently framing a picture of words to explain a friend why I wanted to leave my job. I was speaking with force and conviction about my favourite subject: chasing dreams. I realised, after a while, that he was no more interested in being my audience, but I went on; I didn’t really need an audience. I was doing it to help myself, not him. I wanted to be finally convinced before taking the plunge.

It is a decent, convenient and to some extent well paying job. Things can turn really messy with no financial certainty in life once it is gone. It might leave me a big failure in front of my family, and society. To make the matters worse, I haven’t even drawn any definitive steps I will take to achieve my dreams yet. On the other hand, if I don’t disturb the status quo, I am almost assured of a bright future.

I am aware that there are many people like me out there who dream of doing ‘something different’. Most of them enjoy saying that they will, one day, follow their passions. I have heard some of them detailing out their plans as well. And, the blueprint of their plans have the following common structural points:

  • Work till 40, 45 years of age, earn loads of money by that time – and interestingly, they will just stop there, refusing to accept money thereafter. Seriously?
  • Pursue doctorate in subjects like history, psychology, literature etc. to devote their remaining lives to academics – that’s noble! Only they don’t appear that noble while fighting to take credit away from one another in office.
  • Start a new venture after retirement (at 45) – and risk all the money they have earned and saved thus far. Things at stake at that time would be their children’s careers, their home loans, car loans, vacations etc. Easier said than done. 
  • Focus on health – only by that time, they will have to, if they aren’t doing it today already.
  • Reading and writing – if they didn’t read and write for 45 years, they aren’t really likely to leave their jobs to do that. Hard to digest.

Honestly, barring aside the proverbial exceptions, most of these people either are not passionate enough for anything, or they are too scared to pursue them. If they can’t do it at 30, they will have many more reasons not to do it fifteen years later.

They don’t all need to leave their jobs and take retirements to do what they love. Just have a life beyond office, particularly when you don’t very much like your job. There are people who read books non-stop, write blogs, play Badminton, T.T., Tennis, run half-marathons, publish books, and all that with their day jobs. How can something even be called a passion, if you can’t take an hour everyday to follow it. I urge they call such notions as fantasies. Passionate people take action.

One needs to keep alive ones’ interests. It really doesn’t take much time to do that every day. It only takes a desire. Maybe after fifteen years these small sparks would have acquired enough combustible energy to develop into a flame.

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