As we look around us we can see many options to fulfill, distract, entertain, or be really, really busy, all the time. Some of us will choose vacant and depleting ways to spend our precious time–to get sucked into addictive behaviors when we are stressed, like drinking too much or retail therapy. I heard a CEO of a start-up company talk about when they finally got funding, her CFO–Chief Financial Officer, a trusted family friend– embezzled millions from her company because he had an online gambling addiction. Some meaningless activities can land us into prison.
We can also see golden hand-cuffs where a job pays too well to quit, and a person feels trapped and miserable. Things that really matter like great health, integrity to one’s self, or job satisfaction become completely insignificant because we can’t step away from the money.
Former Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen speaks to this idea of when we put all of our time and energy towards things that seem important, but in the end won’t bring us ultimate happiness:
“When people who have a high need for achievement have an extra half hour of time or an extra ounce of energy, they’ll unconsciously allocate it to activities that yield the most tangible accomplishments. And our careers provide the most concrete evidence that we’re moving forward. You ship a product, finish a design, complete a presentation, close a sale, teach a class, publish a paper, get paid, get promoted. In contrast, investing time and energy in your relationship with your spouse and children typically doesn’t offer that same immediate sense of achievement. Kids misbehave every day. It’s really not until 20 years down the road that you can put your hands on your hips and say, “I raised a good son or a good daughter.” You can neglect your relationship with your spouse, and on a day-to-day basis, it doesn’t seem as if things are deteriorating. People who are driven to excel have this unconscious propensity to underinvest in their families and overinvest in their careers—even though intimate and loving relationships with their families are the most powerful and enduring source of happiness.”
Think about his statement, “People who are driven to excel have this unconscious propensity to underinvest in their families and over invest in their careers.”
For me, because my connection to God is crucial, and I trust Him, I have to figure out what God wants me to do with my life. Inviting Him into my story, to enlighten and comfort me, I believe, will give me a better chance of choosing what will bring me ultimate happiness.