A Secret Among the Self-Actualized

Even for the ones with the jobs so many others wish they had- the actors, the entrepreneurs, the authors, the working artists, the travel journalists, the spiritual guides, the 4-hour-work-week day traders, the tropical-island scuba instructors, the yogis, the CEOs, the coaches, and all of those people who proclaim love for their work… The truth is they’d still prefer to not be working.

Even the best job in the world can’t deliver absolute openness.

No one, not even the most self-actualized among us, desire obligation more than free time. It’s like being in a gorgeous building. No matter how vast the rooms or ornate the ceiling detail or wonderfully cool the air conditioning, eventually you want to get outside where there are no walls, to walk in the woods or lay on a hill and look up at the sky.

But the light doesn’t last long out there either.

However memorable the sunset, the weather cools down, the bugs come out and, eventually, it gets dark, so you return to your building. Now, whether it’s a beach house or a shack is irrelevant. It’s serving some sort of purpose in your life. But don’t try to figure that out, just know that it’s true and instead of comparing your work life to your leisure life, try to seek solace in the coming and going between the two.

Work… free… work… free… If you look for it, there’s a balance in this back-and-forth. There has to be. That equilibrium can sustain you. And it will lead you to appreciate the weight on both sides of the scale.