We tend to think that by the time we finish studying or we qualify, we’ll know everything, be wise and have it all worked out. Truth is… it’s only the beginning! I learn everyday just how much I don’t know and gain insights and understanding all the time.
So, here’s what I learnt last year, I thought I’d share it so you might learn something and save yourself the time it took me!!
Time isn’t money, it’s more important
You can never get the time back. Lose or waste money, and if you’re smart, you can make it back again. Not so with time. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Whether you regret what you did with it or not… it aint coming back!
So? Use it. Not just ‘wisely’, but make sure that what you do with it echoes your values, priorities, future plans etc. Is whatever you’re doing worth the time you’re spending on it? Does it match your objectives?
I found that my time was more important than the money I was making by slaving away for hours to get that money. I was always exhausted, unhappy and felt like I was behind the moment I woke up. Sure, this was expected while I was studying, because I was investing in my future and my qualification. I don’t regret the energy, time, tears and effort I put in. Now I’m qualified… and working the same, if not MORE, than I was when I was studying and serving articles?! When was the work going to pay off!
When I realised that I would be willing to PAY people to leave me alone, so that I would have time to myself… I realised I needed to make a change!
Lifestyle with freedom of time is better than exclusive work focus
I started to feel like I need to ask permission from work to be sick, go on well-earned holidays, or just breathe! Leave forms, responsibilities, the admin, meetings and deadlines never seem to leave space for an actual life.
We feel that success is about titles, status, money, big corporates. I don’t feel like that anymore. Success for me, is now the ability to cover my costs, and feel the freedom of not sitting in traffic, getting up earlier and earlier (NOT a morning person!!!), dealing with politics and admin, and feeling like there’s always SO much more that needs to be done.
Ambition is all well and good… but I realised that I wasn’t prepared to hand all my choices and life over in return for a fancy business card and employment for a company whose name everyone knows.
Earning more can be a trap
When we earn more, we increase our expenses, our lifestyle and financial obligations. In turn, we need to keep earning more to keep the lifestyle, maintain the costs etc… it can become a trap!
Choice is why I put in all the effort!
I’ve wanted to move to Cape Town for years. What stopped me? Work & the money / earning potential. The qualification and experiences allow me the choice to do this. How terrible would I feel if I just never did it because I had an expensive car to pay off, or a high bond on a house, etc. A dream, a ‘what if’ never realised for fear of money. Not enough money.
Now that we’re here, I couldn’t be happier. Sacrificed the ‘stuff’… Sold the house, furniture, gave away clothes, (Shock! Horror!) furniture, books, etc… Stuff… In a exchange for an actual life. I don’t regret it. (Ok, I miss my ice-dispensing fridge! But I look at our awesome sea-view and forget about my crushed ice!)
What I do this year isn’t what’s have to do for the rest of my life.
I thought that I needed to know exactly what I’d be doing in five years, ten years… FOREVER! Now I realise that with the choices my education has given me, I can explore different opportunities. Every year, exposure to new things can change the things that you feel you want to do! Do I really want to lock myself into one thing, even if more amazing experiences come my way?!
Don’t be taken in by the image of success that society portrays.
Movies, society, adverts etc portray success without showing you the sacrifices you make to get those ‘things’. So define your own version of success. Watching your kids grow up? Travelling every year? New cars? Houses? Whatever… just know what it is that will be SUCCESS TO YOU!
My definition of success: Knowing that I genuinely make a difference in my students lives. Knowing that they will one day feel that I added a few stepping stones in their paths to their own success.
My definition doesn’t include fancy cars, houses, loads of money. So I know where to focus my energy.
What am I going to do this year?
What I’m doing is what I NEVER thought I’d be doing. Working for myself! I always thought it was too risky… now I feel the benefits outweigh the risks. (For all the above reasons and more)
We’re working hard at our online courses for UNISA students… BCompt and CTA, providing online tutoring to students. So I get my flexibility, my freedom, and the interaction with the students that I feel is so valuable. I love what we’re building, believe in the products and services we offer, and am excited to wake up each day and explore more possibilities, do more, be more, create more, LIVE MORE!
Want to see what we do?
It’s challenging, exciting, risky and who knows where it will go! I’ll keep you posted at the end of the year!!!
What does this mean for you?
Don’t lose yourself, your heart and values in your education journey. It’s easy to be dragged along in the current of chaos and ambition, but be careful how much time you give to something that doesn’t give you what you need… remember… you can’t get that time back!