Innovating Through Artistry

11 Hours A Day or 2/3 of Your Waking Hours

In Emotional Intelligence, Risk on February 6, 2008 at 8:46 am

Many artists have day jobs they take because they say they need the money. Most often, from those who do, I hear about how unhappy and miserable they are in those jobs and how they wish they could earn a living doing something they love.

Most who take these jobs need an hour to get ready before leaving for their job, work eight hours a day, take an hour for lunch and breaks, and need a minimum of an hour to commute to and from home. That’s eleven hours a day focused on a job that checks your soul at the door, you can barely stand, or perhaps even hate, for the money.

I usually tell people who tell me this story that they need to quit their job and find one they at least like or preferably love. I am often told this is completely impractical advice immediately followed by ” I have bills to pay- I can’t do that.” Other comments include “I need a roof over my head and food in my belly, I can’t do that.” I also have heard that single parents, anyone living paycheck to paycheck, or those of us who have debt, cannot use this advice either.

Frankly- I think any of you out there thinking like this are in denial, and I am not talking about the river. Of course there are exceptions, but usually these people are really saying that I would rather be unhappy and keep everything the same then be happy in my job and life.

That’s fine. But don’t complain that the advice doesn’t apply to you. It does. You are choosing to have the lifestyle you are complaining about instead.

If you want to have the ability to change careers and quit jobs you don’t like and try out new things, like becoming a full time artistic entrepreneur, then you might need to make huge life decisions to accommodate that. You might have to get a roommate or find a less expensive place to live, sell your condo or home and use part of the proceeds for start up expenses (of course with a plan in place before you start) or downgrade your lifestyle.

In a heartbeat I would do all of this again if I find myself unhappy and in need of inspiration and happiness. Why? Because I am not going to spend 2/3 my waking hours miserable. I am willing to sacrifice, and make whatever changes are or would be required, to ensure that does not happen. It is possible to be 80-90% happy with your life. None of us lead perfect lives, but happiness is something each one of us can have if we are willing to do whatever it takes and make it a priority.

After all, I traded in my first business- my passionate twenty year venture- for greater happiness. My soon to be ex-husband thought I had lost my mind. He thought so little of my need for happiness. I knew, despite how much financial and emotional turmoil getting out of my marriage and heartache it would all temporarily bring, it was a far better choice and would produce far more significant results to my bottom line- my happiness- for doing so.

All I am really saying is that there is a reason why we are called adults. Adults make big decisions. Things don’t just happen to you. You have the power to decide what your life will be like. You are in the drivers seat and in control of your destiny. Right now you can choose what to do to make 2/3rd’s your waking hours the very best they can be.


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