What Would You Do for Free?
I recently had the pleasure of facilitating a mindfulness retreat for a group of colleagues. One of our discussion questions was “If money was not an issue, what would you do for free?” It’s a valid question and one that I think everyone in their professional journey needs to ask themselves just to make sure that what they say is important is really showcased in the type of work they choose to engage in daily. The answer to this question creates instant work-life balance! Do you ever consider what you would do for free? Are you doing it now? What are you truly passionate about? I am referring to the kind of passion that literally makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning and hit the ground running! What makes you feel alive and what do you need in your life to make you feel good in terms of the work you do? In marketing, we use a marketing audit to help create a realistic profile of the business and the goals we hope to achieve. You might consider a lifestyle audit to assess your own mission, values, and long-term goals.
What if you have no idea what you would do for free? Well, consider this- if you won the mega millions lottery and you would not even think about quitting your job, then that is at least one thing you would do for free. To think of it another way (so you don’t think this has anything to do with your leisure activities and lying on a beach forever), consider what you could get paid to do, but because you have all the money you would ever need, you choose not to accept pay and do it voluntarily. Hmm…altruism at its best. The truth is, if money is the reason that you do what you do, then it will always be (more) money that propels you forward. The more you get, the more you will need, and fleeting happiness and personal fulfillment will be the natural consequences.
In considering what you will do for free, describe what an ideal/perfect day would look like for you from start to finish. Whatever you see in this utopic space, needs to be, in one form or another, part of your present daily routine. Sure, there will be good days to counteract the inevitable bad, but as the saying goes- “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life”; and whatever you would do for free you should do for life because that’s a whole lot of time to just count your coins…IJS.