Come the beginning of September, many of us are suffering from the post-holiday blues.
For the lucky ones, who have spent a blissful period of time away from the stresses and strains of work, the thought of having to return can sometimes weigh heavy on the mind.
Holidays can be a valuable time for reflection, allowing us to step back and take stock of our lives. Usually we are too busy and stressed to allow ourselves the luxury of such soul searching. And chances are that we might have come to the vague conclusion that there is more that we want from life.
For those of us who didn’t manage to take a holiday this summer, we might have had similar thoughts, coupled with a feeling of frustration that we weren’t able to take a break, for whatever reason.
Some years ago, when I was an employee, I really used to get down in the dumps on the last day of my holiday, at the thought of having to get ‘back in harness’. Then 15 years ago when I became self-employed that all changed.
At the time I put the difference in feeling down to the fact that I no longer had to toe the company line and be answerable to my boss for my day to day actions.
I soon realised however that the grass wasn’t necessarily greener on the other side of the hill, and just because I worked for myself it didn’t mean that all the stresses and strains had disappeared.
In fact, quite the reverse, I suddenly found that I had to be a Jack of all trades. I had to be an administrator, a salesman and an accountant, all rolled into one. There was no guaranteed pay check at the end of the month, and if cash was short there was no one to blame except for myself.
In the early years cash was a bit tight, as all my focus (and money) was directed towards building my business. So holidays were at a premium.
When I did manage to get away for a few days, it’s true that I no longer had the post-holiday blues per se, but I had other concerns which more than made up for them.
I soon came to the conclusion that the problem wasn’t whether I worked for myself or another company, the problem for me was finding the right work-life balance.
Finding my own equilibrium wasn’t just a matter of who I worked for, or the number of hours I worked, it was essentially about finding what inspired me in life.
So it’s possible to be in full employment and inspired by your work, or be self-employed, working long hours for little return and left feeling totally uninspired.
The vital ingredient I have found, for true harmony, is to be inspired by whatever you do…And if you are truly inspired, whether, employed or self-employed, I guarantee you that you will never suffer from the post-holiday blues!
My own balance came when I took on some consultancy work, which I loved doing. So I was now working for myself, I had some regular income and I loved my work.
The best way to get the balance right is bound to differ from person to person, whether you be employed, self-employed, seeking work or retired. But the one vital ingredient should be to seek out something that you are passionate about and that brings you inspiration.
Your inspiration may take the form of a project or idea which you would like to get involved with. Your idea might start out slow, it could grow and take your work life in new directions, or it could just remain a fascinating hobby.
And if your ideas could also make you some part-time income to boot, then so much the better.
The last time I felt that life was a bit flat, I decided to start writing. I joined a local Writers Circle, and 12 months later my very first novel was written. OK, it might never win the Booker Prize, but as a project, it was somewhere I could go to in my mind when life around me was a bit mundane.
Your inspiration doesn’t necessarily have to come from writing…it could be anything at all, just as long as the very thought of it gives you a mental lift.
If you are looking for a few inspiring ideas, you might try looking within my Website www.TheProfitBox.co.uk which is choc-a-block with interesting, money making blueprints (with ideas to suit everyone) which could not only inspire, but also help to supplement your income.
Quote: “There is no passion to be found in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living” – Nelson Mandela.
Have a great week,