Work-life balance…hmm, I know nothing about it. That photo is of me intently examining my music log during my Midday radio show on the world famous Z100 New York…around 2004 or so. I’ve been in radio for many years and, although it’s a super fun job, I take it very seriously. That’s how I am about work…very serious. My career has always been important to me. In fact, a little too important…important enough for me to dedicate every waking hour to it…important enough for me to put my personal life on the back burner. So when I recently found myself without a radio job, I didn’t quite know how to proceed with my life…BECAUSE…MY…JOB…IS…MY…LIFE. Lucky for me, I try to go to therapy at least once a week because it helps me stay emotionally & mentally strong. I can safely say that without therapy, my family, my true friends & prayer, I would probably be a basket case right now. But back to the subject of work…
Given my penchant for all work & no play, I was rather taken by a headline I recently read in the Harvard Business Review: “The Unexpected Benefits of Pursuing a Passion Outside of Work.” What’s this you say, Harvard Business Review?! Are you suggesting that our work shouldn’t be our passion?! But wait…haven’t we always been told to find something we love, then make that thing our career because we’ll never feel like we’re working if we love what we do?! So what’s their argument for not making our work our passion? They say that while pursuing our passion is wonderful, we shouldn’t feel obligated or pressured to make our passion our work. Rather, they say it may be best if our passion is not our work at all…because making our passion our work can lead to us tying a large part of our self-worth to something as uncertain as a job or a career. Ya know…I have to say that I agree with the Harvard Business Review on this topic. I place…we in America place…far too much focus on work as our life. Yes…work really hard, but let’s not make it our whole lives. It’s not healthy. Besides, companies most likely won’t value you more just because you dedicate your entire waking hours to your job. Do quality work, but also make sure you have a quality personal life completely outside of work.
Do you agree or disagree? Have you ever made your job your life? Please share your opinion & experiences with me in the comments or on social media. And keep scrolling down for ideas that’ll help you find value outside of work…
Finding our passion outside of work. Work hard AND play hard. Here are some ideas…
*Be one with nature. The day I have to leave San Diego will be a very sad one because that town’s got healing powers, in my opinion. When I sit at the ocean, it gives me so much life. When I go on a long walk or hike on one of San Diego’s hopelessly gorgeous days, I find so much joy. So get outside, breathe in the fresh air & get your life!
*Get in touch with your source…Pray, meditate, sit still.
*Find a good therapist that’s right for you. I’ve gone to a few therapists over the years, but never felt like they were right for me. In fact, I was starting to lose hope that I’d find one that was right for me. But I finally did & she has helped me grow emotionally & mentally by leaps & bounds. There’s so much that life throws at us on a consistent, daily basis…we need to learn the healthy tools that will help us survive & thrive.
*Surround yourself with people who are FOR you. Remove yourself from toxic people & situations. Life’s already hard enough without those people & situations.
*What have you always had an affinity for? Stop saying that you’ll do it someday…do it today! Have you always wanted to sing? You don’t have to be Jennifer Hudson our Bruno Mars…sing anyway! Join a community choir or church choir! Get up during an open mic night & sing your little heart away! Get a karaoke machine, invite friends over & sing your little heart away! Whatever you feel love for, you don’t have to make it your work…you can make it the passion you pursue outside of work. Open up that food truck on the weekends! Take up those guitar lessons! (That last one was for myself, lol)
*Volunteer…you are needed somewhere!
*After work & on the weekends, learn a new trade through online courses, retreats & continuing education classes. I’ve always dabbled in Voice Over work during my radio career, but now I’m more serious about making it a bigger part of my workflow. So I’ve been taking courses on it for a few months & am super excited for the possibilities!
*Because sharing is caring, here are some hobbies that I’ve been wanting to try for years & ya know what, dammit, I’m gonna start trying them! Maybe they’ll give you some great ideas…
-Learn to play the guitar
-Learn Tai Chi
-Learn sign language
-Learn Spanish (I used to know it in high school, but have failed to retain it)
-Learn archery (I AM a Sagittarius, after all)
-Learn French (French & Jamaican are my favorite accents in the world…they just do something for me!)
-Travel somewhere internationally alone (Not sure why this intimidates me, but it does)
-Learn to play Chess
-Go to cooking school (And not just take cooking classes, but take the full cooking school curriculum. Not exactly sure why since I don’t wanna be a chef, lol)
-Learn how to play golf
-Learn how to play tennis
-Learn to swim (That’s right, I still can’t swim, smh)
-Marry a chef (Oh wait, that’s not a hobby, lol)
If my hobby hopes weren’t enough for you, maybe you’ll get some great ideas from these 48 Successful People with Unique Hobbies, courtesy of Mental Floss…
I hope those got your creative juices flowing. Thanks for visiting my blog. Be sure to bookmark me & check back often for new posts. Now get out there & lead a passionate life…outside of work!