HB has a knack for figuring out what she’s good at, what she loves to do, and – most importantly – how to wind up doing it.
HB doesn’t work. Don’t get me wrong, she has a career and she earns money. She just doesn’t work. She’s nailed the old saying, “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
The key here is that HB suffers with a lot less stress than most of us. It took me more than 45 years to figure out what I love and how to make a living at it. HB has spent most of her adult life moving from jobs she loves… to jobs she loves even more.
When you think about it, we should all be doing that. You probably spend close to a third of your life at work. I can’t think of much worse than hating what you do for a living. Talk about stress!
And stress is a great way to age quickly and die young. Stress keeps high-intensity hormones, like cortisol, flowing all the time. It wrecks your sleep, ruins your health, and makes you no fun to be around.
But cortisol isn’t an issue for HB. Take her work, for example.
HB loves marketing. I swear it’s a game to her. The strategies, the analytics… it’s all fun, as far as she’s concerned. But when she wound up in a job where it stopped being fun, she quit.
She was making embarrassing amounts of money, and she quit. She wasn’t enjoying what she was doing, so she moved on. She makes less money working for herself, but she’s happier. And she’ll probably live longer for it.
I don’t know many people who have a longer fuse than HB. Or who can roll with the punches as well. She’s kept her stress levels so low in areas she can control, when she runs into things she can’t, there’s no melt-down.
She also excels in another way that helps her beat stress. She can give herself permission to have fun.
Given the choice between cleaning the house on Saturday and going out for a photo hike, it’s hard for me to choose the fun option. For me, Saturday has always been cleaning day. Period. (Let’s just say I’m a little obsessive-compulsive.)
But HB figured out a long time ago that Saturday morning doesn’t have to be devoted to housecleaning. If cleaning on Sunday afternoon means she can spend Saturday morning out shooting photos with her dad, then she’ll just rearrange her schedule.
So I’m trying to learn to be more like HB. To make choices that make me happy… to be more flexible and take advantage of opportunities… to lower the stress in my life.
I’ve gotten better at it. I’m not there yet, but I have a great motivator. I don’t want HB to outlive me by 50 years and have all the fun.