We think lots about how much we make at work. But do you ever stop to think how much your work costs you?

I seem to be having more conversations with people these days where they say something like, “I hate my job, but the money is just too good”.

So they continue on being miserable and stressed for 40-60 hours a week, and all they ever seem to end up with is a slightly bigger house, a slightly nicer vacation each year, and a slightly nicer car.

Yet they’re still miserable. Because they hate what they do, they’re stressed about, and it consumes their mind.

So to get away from it, they go home to their slightly nicer house and binge watch House of Cards on their slightly larger TV.

Only to wake up and do the same thing again the next day.

The problem is that we’ve defined success based on money/things and not on what’s really valuable – quality time for the things we love.

Reframe the question.

How much time do I need for the people I love or the things I really want to do with my life?

Now, this isn’t just about working less to have more hours.

It’s about either having a job that contributes to your growth in things you want, or leaves you in a great headspace at the end of the day to do those things.

When you start defining your life around quality time and not money, you start working towards things that really matter.

I’ve put myself in a bit of a precarious position this past year when I quit my job.

And I would say that I’m working harder and making less money than I did at the job I quit.

But I’m way, way happier.

And not only that, but what I’m doing now is a lot of stuff that I love doing.

I have more flexibility for my family (currently writing this as I wait for my wife to meet me for coffee) and I get to work on projects that help me learn things I want to personally and professionally like photography, video, building better websites, selling, and spending more time on charitable causes.

The big shift was my last job left me mentally in a state of stress where it was a struggle to be present when I was home. And no amount of money was worth that.

I’ve had job offers this past year that would be more secure and pay me a lot of money. But ultimately, they wouldn’t give me as much time as I have now.

And that’s what it’s all about.

So I challenge you!

Stop and think about how much time you need. Sit down with your significant other and talk that through.

Actually define it and put a plan in place of what you would need to do to get there.

If you don’t know how much is enough, you’ll keep working endlessly and never arrive.

And in the end, so what if you have to drive an old, crappy Volvo like me with a burnt out heated seat, cracked windshield that squeals everywhere you go?

If it got you the time you need, you’d be way happier.

photo credit: Parts via photopin (license)

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