What if the entire paradigm is wrong?

One of the things I love most about being an entrepreneur is the freedom.

With the children in school from nine until three, the usual routine is to work during those hours so that when they come home, it’s family time.

And mostly that works out great (although all too often, my longed for ‘family time’ turns into ‘playing taxi while one or more of them go to after-school club, netball or choir’ but I digress.)

Occasionally though, I bunk off for the day.

Like yesterday, my husband and I saw ‘Gravity’ and it was brilliant!

Going to the cinema in the middle of the day or going out for a meal, just the two of us, it feels very indulgent but hey, why not?

If I wanted to be tied to my desk for six hours every day, Monday to Friday, school holidays off, I’d go back to being a teacher. There’s far more certainty and it makes long term planning loads easier!

But you know what? I get far more done in two or three super-focussed hours than I ever did in a week as a teacher.

And I’m happier.

And I get to bunk off whenever I want to.

And I don’t have the stress of dealing with other people’s children.

It’s fab!

You were not put on this planet to live to work. You were put here to live and love and thrive.

We’re taught that we should work hard at school, go to university, get a job (hopefully one that doesn’t make us want to poke our own eyeballs out but if it does, just man up, that’s why it’s called work. You’re not meant to enjoy it!) and save all the fun stuff for the weekend (by which time you’re probably too exhausted from the work week to actually chill out and enjoy it but whatever.)

Whether you’re in a job or self-employed or something else entirely, this whole thinking about the way the world works, pervades every inch of society.

I write about the freedom to do what I want, when I want and yet still feel compelled to justify it by explaining that I work later when the children are in bed.

Or I bunk off on a Wednesday but play catch up on Friday. Get the hours in. Don’t slack off.

What if that entire paradigm was wrong?

It’s good to work. Doing work we love can bring a sense of purpose and make a difference to the people around us and the wider world. At a more basic level, it puts food on the table and warms our homes.

But it’s not all there is.

Jesus asked,

“What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”

He was asking that while talking about our relationship with God but let’s expand that idea of soul for a moment and just think …

What good will it be to work so hard and have all the money and security and certainty your little heart desires, and yet forfeit your relationships with the people you love most and your sense of peace and happiness?

This isn’t a downer on money or stuff. Jesus isn’t saying you shouldn’t have things. He isn’t saying you shouldn’t work.

What he is asking is, what’s the point in having all that stuff, if you’re still not in a good place?

You could be the richest person on the planet but if your relationships stink, if all you do is work and work and never take time to look around you at the beauty in each new day, if every day you hurtle around at full speed, never pausing, is that really living?

What might your today look like if you stepped away from your computer and took a walk? (And I’m not talking about a quick once around the block before hitting your to-do list again!)

What if you did something today that you would usually reserve for a weekend?

What if you picked just one work thing to do and literally only did that?

What if you took the entire day off?

What if you started each new day open to the possibility of fun and joy and love and people?

What if you expected that stuff, every day?

Lots of what ifs today. Please don’t add them all to a to-do list. That would be totally missing the point! 😉

What if you took just one, tried it for size, claimed it as your own and then took it for a test drive for the day?

Go on, I dare you! 😉