Why Were You Put On This Earth?
Your very existence is a statistical improbability — don’t waste it
I had coffee with a friend at work today. There’s nothing particularly out of the ordinary about that. We caught up, discussed weekend plans, moaned about work, etc. All of the usual stuff that coworkers talk about.
And then following a brief moment of silence, I asked her a question I’d never asked before.
‘What would you do if you didn’t work here?’
I wasn’t expecting an immediate response, but I got one:
‘I’d open my own coffee shop.’
Not a flicker of doubt or uncertainty crossed her face as she said it. Since then, I’ve asked some other people the same question. Each one gave me a different answer. But what every answer had in common was that they were given with absolute conviction.
It got me thinking. We’re taught from an early age that a successful life is one where you go to school in order to get good grades so that you can get a good job and earn a good salary. Then you get to work forty hours a week for the next forty years to allow you to pay the mortgage on the house you never get to spend time in because you’re spending most of your time at work.
There must be more to life than that, right? Shouldn’t it be more than the endless cycle of ‘Eat, Work, Sleep, Repeat?’ Shouldn’t we be raising our children to know that it’s more important to spend your life being happy than to earn more money than anyone else?
Would you want a $1,000,000 a year salary, if it meant that you’d spend every day feeling miserable? Would it be worth it, if you came home every night feeling stressed and unfulfilled? But hey, I drove home in a Lamborghini, it can’t be that bad, can it?
Isn’t a successful life one where you wake up every morning feeling happy, as opposed to one where success is predicated by how many ‘000’s there are on your paycheck?
I’m not saying that we should all quit our jobs. If you’ve got a roof to keep over your head and a family to provide for, you can’t just give up your stable income without some sort of financial backup plan to fall back on. But you can test the water.
On January 27th, 2020, I made my first $5 as a freelance writer. In less than a month since then, I’ve made over $300. I’ve worked into the night to try and land new clients, I’ve sacrificed the time I could have been sleeping, or binge-watching the second season of YOU on Netflix. Is the money I’ve earned enough for me to live on? No. But that’s money I’ve earned a few hours a week, and I can’t help but think that I could earn a decent living if I dedicated full-time hours to it.
Find what makes you happy. Find your reason to get out of bed every morning, the thing you know with every fibre of your being that you could not be without.
Whether you want to start selling your artwork or your baking, maybe you want to turn your newly discovered love of sewing into a business opportunity. Hell, start a baking/sewing podcast for all I care! Whatever it is, if you want it badly enough and it lights a fire inside you, just do it.
We all have dreams, and we all have the right to chase those dreams. Do you know that the odds of becoming a human being are practically zero? So why are we happy to spend our improbable existence working to pay the bills we’ve created for ourselves?
It’s time I started focusing on my dreams.
One day I will work for myself as a full-time writer.
I don’t know if it will be in six months or six years, but it will happen. Writing is who I am, and it’s what makes me happy. And I’m terrified of getting to eighty-years old and looking back on my life with regret for not doing the things that made me happy.
None of us were put on this Earth to spend our lives working to make somebody else’s dreams come true.
“The wealthiest place on the planet is the graveyard, because in the graveyard we will find inventions that we were never ever exposed to, ideas, dreams that never became a reality, hopes and aspirations that were never acted upon.” — Les Brown
Jon Peters is a 28-year-old writer from the UK, who was recently told by his daughter that he is a better singer than Lewis Capaldi. Just sayin’. If you made it this far down the page, it’s great to have you here, thanks for reading. You can get to my profile super quickly by clicking here, here, or here, or you can continue reading my ramblings by clicking the links below.