The alarm wrenches you out of what is another five-hour sleep. You rub your eyes, debating whether to go to work or tell people that you’ve been kidnapped. There it is: the second alarm goes off just in time to bring you back from that stray thought. Going to work it is, so you do. You go through all the motions like you have never known anything else. You give your best and then some more because you know what you want from your life. So, it’s back to another fifteen hour day; an unhealthy-as-eff lunch and a five-hour sleep stretch.
When we were kids, they told us that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Unfortunately, as our generation grew up, we forgot what that meant.
Take a look at any millennial, and you will find a long bucket list of things to do and places to visit. That is often where the wishlist ends, though. The next morning, it’s back to work, making money and ensuring that we have a comfortable life. But what kind of life is that?
The standard answer would be, “A few years of hard work now will be a lifetime of comfort later.” If this were a thesis, that would be the problem statement.
Our generation – the millennials, as they call us – was conditioned for comfort. Our parents were the ones who lived through recessions and wars – by the time we exploded onto the scene, technology was mainstream and memes/textspeak/R U Dere? was cool. So, when we entered the job market, we were pretty sure of the kind of life we wanted. Don’t get me wrong: there’s nothing wrong with that.
In fact, in the face of that coveted promotion or raise, working overtime and compromising your social life seems totally worth it.
Except, is it really?
Remember the days when you wanted to be a painter, an artist or a writer? Back in the day, when you were a star academic performer and a dancer? Or in college, when you were a gold medallist and a sports star? So why is that guitar collecting dust in a corner of your room? Why is it that the only paintings you make now are out of the shapes of clouds in the sky?
You’re not a robot. You deserve some time to yourself.
Newsflash, guys: you are actual human beings, who are very well entitled to some downtime, so no one’s going to blame you for having an interest outside of work. I’m all for pushing your limits and giving your best, but there is a line between dedication and workaholism. In fact, take a look at the bigger picture here: do you really want to look back on this phase of your life twenty years from now and remember only a cycle of eat, sleep, work and repeat?
Not having any interests outside of work actually makes you well, kinda boring.
Remember that guitarist guy in college who was the life of every party? Remember how you wished you had some additional skills like him? Well, you can. Hobbies don’t just give you a way to pass your time, but they actually make you more likable and interesting. In fact, certain hobbies, like learning an instrument or a language increase brain activity, thus making you smarter. Pretty neat bargain, right?
Hobbies are also big with employers. Well, kinda.
Remember what I said about not being a robot? It goes the other way round too. Today, organizations are not looking for drones. They look for individuals with well-rounded personalities who show drive and ambition while at the same time exhibiting a distinct, unique vibe. A hobby goes a long way to prove that.
TL;DR? Don’t be a drone, #BeEverythingYouLove. That’s exactly the thought resonating in Peter England‘s new campaign, which is based on the idea that an exciting life is about many things going on at the same time. Today, success isn’t measured on the basis of how you excel in the workplace, but the world you carve out for yourself outside of it as well. Millennials aren’t bogged down only by work but strive towards a multi-dimensional personality. It doesn’t matter what you do, but that you enjoy it. Start by watching the video below, #LiveManyLives and live them to the fullest.