I read an article today that frustrated me. Perhaps I was so disappointed because I've read so many like it, and feel even more pressure when I receive what I view as unworkable advice. The article was about time management, scheduling and stress. The basic premise of this article was the question: "What if you knew you only had six months to live? How would that impact your daily decisions on what to do or not do?" The article went on to advise that however you would live if you only had six months should be how you are living right now.
Although I'm all for asking people powerful questions, I don't believe this question always works in the real world.
If I only had six months to live, I'd stop flossing my teeth. Right now. I'd never do it again.
If I only had six months to live, I'd forget about having my mammogram this year.
Forget the pap smear too.
See what I mean? It's a bad idea to just stop doing everything you would never do again if you only had six months to live.
Another thing is that people treat you differently when they know you've only got six months to live.
People who have been given a supposed around-the-corner-expiration-date that everyone knows about get a free pass on a lot of stuff. Or, they have people suddenly rise up to help who would honestly never help unless they were dying. People do whatever needs to be done to help dying people because they're...DYING! Like dying now, not dying later.
If anything tragic happens, or even really serious happens to you NOW, you get exceptions made for you. Otherwise, not so much.
Whenever I have a job seeker who has an open heart surgery, or their spouse just suddenly dies or something equally serious/tragic, the company makes an exception for them. The powers that be alter anything from the date they can engage our services to the length of time they can receive coaching, and often make special accommodations for people who have these issues. However, if somebody was just having an overwhelming week, no special favor would be granted.
I agree with my company's policies on this completely. They are very generous. I am simply using this to prove a point. The point is that let's say someone was having an overwhelming week however they had no operation, no heart attack, no major family crisis -- and they just started to act like they only had six months to live. Who wants to meet with a job coach when you can go skip in the sunshine? So, what if, instead of meeting with me, they didn't show up to their meetings and went to go skip in the sunshine? The fact of the matter is, there would be no special favor granted to them. If I said to my boss, "Job Seeker Johnny went to skip in the sunshine because he didn't feel like coming to his meetings the past nine weeks. His time is set to expire this week. Can you extend it?" you would hear my boss's laughter from here to Japan. Johnny would lose his coaching package completely and no special arrangements would be made for him.
If I decided to not do the things I just don't want to do today, I would face whatever penalties we all face in life for not doing them under what people consider "normal circumstances."
Life might actually start to get worse, not better.
I am not sure if this resonates with anyone else but me. It probably will make sense to Kimberly Jones. We have the same Meyer Briggs personality type (the rarest type) and often feel alone. If nothing else she and I can go cry on one another's shoulders when we are feeling stressed but not enough that we're going to die momentarily, thus escaping the free pass given to those who are dying.
I'm dying sometime...I just don't know when.
Does that count?
I don't think it does. When I wake up tomorrow, I'll still be doing the same stuff, some of which is very difficult.
The author went on to say that we shouldn't spend any time doing things that aren't our passion. She said, "get rid of everything you have zero passion for!"
Cleaning in any way shape and form is not my passion.
Answering the phone is not my passion.
Social gatherings are not my passion.
You can start to see, my life may turn into a disaster if I just decide to altogether stop doing things that aren't my passion.
I'm really starting to abhor wisdom that is so freely dispensed along these lines, because it just feels so impossible, at least without repercussions that might be worse than the original problem.