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The Future: A 15-Hour Work Week??

Imagine with me...

You are earning a comfortable amount for the lifestyle that you want to live. You love what you do and feel challenged and excited by it... and you only work 15 hours/week... *insert shocked face emoji

How would you spend your day?

I began thinking about this question after listening to a podcast this week about our obsession with time. The host spoke about an exert from an essay by John Maynard Keynes, a famous Eglish Economist, whose theories and practices helped shaped the macroeconomics and economic policies of governments today. 

John imagined that in about 100 years (2030), we would be more content because we would be working 3-hour shifts or 15-hour weeks.

Well, what did you visualize yourself doing with your free time? (Shoot me an email, I'd love to know and have faith with you.)

I envision going on nature hikes, spending time with my loved ones, cooking my favorite meals, or diving deeper into a topic I'm curious about that week... just to name a few.

Yet, here we are less than a decade away and we are working more than ever.

Now, a dual-income household seems to be a necessity to live comfortably in this day and age. (Have you seen housing (rent/own) costs lately... hmmm) We must work harder, more efficiently, and faster than ever before. Groomed to become more and more mechanical in our pursuit of achievement, prioritizing productivity over all else! (Well I say no more! lol)

Today, professional and personal productivity is synonymous with success and achievement, and that connection is detrimental to our mental, spiritual, and physical health.  

While working in corporate, I often fantasized about retirement and loathing that I was expected to work full-time for 30-40 years and retire at age 65. (Like what?!?!)

That I should look forward to that time because that's when I will own my time but only if

I am able to acquire enough wealth to sustain myself and pray to God that I would never need to use my critical illness insurance.

I often thought of the concepts of time freedom and financial freedom. What would my life look like? What would I do? Where would I go? And do I really want to wait until I'm 65 to find out? Nah...

Being someone who grew up in a low-income housing neighborhood, I often thought about how distant that reality looked compared to my current reality. As if time freedom and financial freedom were reserved for the select few with certain privileges. That was the sort of thinking that I worked to unlearn and redefine.

In order to achieve that kind of success being black, female, and from a low-income family, I had to work twice as hard and fight through the noise of "you're not enough". Exhausting...

I thought that once I achieved that "success" everything will work itself out and I'll "finally' be happy. This thinking is called destination happiness and a killer of joy, flow, rest, and faith!

Here's what I've learned, to live the successful life that I want, I must begin to live that way now through my thought, choices, and actions, or else when I "achieved' the success of time and financial freedom, I would still be unhappy. Destination happiness locks us into the thinking that "I'll be happy when..." but the problem is you are wiring yourself to be happy only with something external and will always be on the hunt for that happiness and validation.

In my version of success, I am enjoying my time not just managing every hour to achieve a goal. I live in the 'now' and use my wisdom for the future. I've used my time and financial freedom to create an abundant life without working myself into a life-alternating illness or death. (Teenhood trauma wounds run deep.. but I digress).

Yet, the truth is, time and financial freedom are for everyone. Attainable and available to anyone who seeks them. The question really is how do you want to live?

Your version of success will look completely different from mine and everyone else, and that's ok! It's supposed to.

Your version of success looks like whatever you need and want to make your life the best that you could live before passing on.

Since last spring, I've embarked on a spiritual journey of understanding rest and how to live a successful life in rest. I want it all, I don't want to wait until I'm 65 to enjoy my life! Life is meant to be enjoyed now, and if you've experienced a death or loss in your lifetime, then you might understand this more. My spiritual journey has been enlightening and jarring to unlearn the striving-in-survivor mode mentality that I held so dear. (It was my identity).

Here's what I found, we must redefine rest and work to begin to enjoy the successful life we seek now, in order to create the holistic and sustainable successful life we want for later.

It's in the thoughts, choices, and behaviors that support your enjoyment of this life, NOW!

It could be as simple as deciding to snooze your alarm and actually enjoy the extra rest, or reading that book for pure fun that you keep thinking you don't have time for, or going for walk, or while you shower - light a candle and take your time. The point is enjoying yourself in some capacity each day, it allows you to begin to rest daily. That rest will allow you to think more clearly, be more creative, and increase your mood & attitude. In turn, increasing your productivity in all your do, not just in your work.

Engaging in activities that you enjoy is truly restorative. They allow your spirit, soul, and body to rest. The truth is rest will only add to your productivity. In those activities, where you are feeling full, joyous, rested, and/ or content your brain is able to make connections between new and old information faster, your intuition is able to speak to you and guide you through the relevant information to take inspired action, and the meaningful conversations that you engage in will assist in solidifying the conclusions you've drawn from said information or give a good perspective to consider. All working together for your good!

You are your life and there is a flow between leisure and work, family and friends, spirituality and self. You are one being not compartmentalized or mechanical. Enjoy being human, it's beautiful and free!

If you are a French speaker and want to listen to that podcast episode I mentioned, you can find it below. Inner French Podcast: L'Obession du Temps

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