I spent last weekend in Paihia, on the Bay of Islands, 3 hours north of Auckland. (The birthplace of New Zealand, the Waitangi Treaty was first signed in Paihia in February 1840.) Being a long weekend in NZ, the town was a buzz with Kiwi weekenders, holiday makers and backpackers from all corners of the globe.
On Sunday morning I went down to a little cafe on the pier for breakfast. I brought my laptop with me to go through my emails. I overheard the American couple at the table next to me say something like "How sad that he is here on a long weekend and he has to be on his emails..."
This really got me thinking. A week earlier, a colleague and friend (whom I admire) had suggested I need to find better "Work/Life Balance", as if somehow the work I do and the life I live could be separated. This and the comment at breakfast got me down a bit - maybe I did need to look at my priorities, maybe I did need to get a life...
I've been thinking about it all week whilst working with our awesome team in Auckland. I am lucky to do work I love, where I can help make change happen, where I can work with a team that make a difference every day. I'm happy to check my emails over breakfast on a Sunday because I'm passionate about what I do. It's not a sacrifice when you invest time in things you're passionate about. It is only a sacrifice when you waste your time on something that doesn't excite you, in which case, why are you doing it at all?
I've realised that the question the couple should have asked at the cafe (one they'd likely be afraid to answer) is "Isn't it sad that we have to spend 2 days a week avoiding the stuff that we have to do for the other 5 days a week?"
Life is too short - we don't have enough time to be unhappy or to do things we don't want to. Instead of spending your week wishing the weekend would arrive, maybe you ought to create a life that you don't feel the need to constantly escape from. It will not only make you happier, it will also make you way more successful.
We all have a choice. Choose to do what you love, any other choice seems crazy to me.
Would love to hear your thoughts...