I had coffee with a friend this morning who shared the agonizing difficulties in staying with a job that used to bring joy and now only brings frustration and disappointment. She acknowledged fear has been playing a big part in her staying with a job that is draining the life out of her. She’s tolerating working with the “devil she knows” verses the fear of uncertainly if she left. She realizes she is giving her organization tremendous power over her life. As she was describing her situation a quote from Carl Sandburg came to mind, “Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.”
Weighing the cost of her job vs. the benefits of a paycheck, she seemed to grasp at a deeper level that her boss was spending her coins for her. He doesn’t have the same priorities as she does for her life. It’s time for her to take her coin purse back and determine how she wants to spend and invest her life.
As a business consultant and coach, I hear such stories literally every day. Might this be true for you? Whether it’s due to the economy, the lack of a plan or being in a rut so deep you can’t see your way out of it, I encourage you to stop giving other people and organizations the power over your health, happiness and relationships. The fact is, life is overwhelming. The opportunities we have and the expectations we hold for ourselves requires constant recalibrating. You know it’s smart to manage your financial investments; what about your life investment of time?
So, are you pleased with how you are spending your time? Who and what are you giving your energy too? You may need a partner or friend to walk along side you; figure out whether your time investments are worth the cost. If you spend, invest and save wisely, no matter the length of your life, you will be pleased with how you controlled your coins.
My friend said one of her greatest fears is that she would find herself sitting at home with nothing to do. I promised to help her figure out how to productively fill her days if she ever finds herself in that position. I doubt that day will ever come; there are too many wonderful ways for her to make a contribution to the world. I think she’ll say, “I should have left sooner!”