Who controls your life?

by Crystal on September 18, 2009

istock-000003390142xsmall.jpgDespite all the evidence that the old ways of working for a living until retirement are on the way out, most of us still live (or try to live) that way.  Giving responsibility for your financial security over to someone, in return for fronting up on a regular basis, has an undeniable attraction.  It’s easy.  We still mostly hate it though, enough that we keep buying lottery tickets, and dreaming of being able to toss it all in.

It’s strange how we’re convinced we can’t do that until we’ve come across such a massive jackpot that we’re insured against ever having to raise money for bills again.  Why is that?

Like most of us, I’d love to have a day come when I wake up without an alarm, roll out of bed to do whatever I feel like, pass the days enjoyably and with never a thought as to where the money is coming from.  Over the past few years, I’ve gradually come to believe that it’s not only possible, but achievable, for me to finance my own life.  But still I don’t take the jump.

It’s still too scary.

We’re raised to want nothing to do with responsibility.  It’s something you have to offload to someone else, at any cost.  Never mind the hidden truth that giving away our responsibility just puts control in someone else’s hands.

One of these days, I’ll find that I’m more motivated to take independence back into my own hands, than I am to live the way I was taught ‘everybody does’.  Security (non-existent in a job, these days) will become less important than the fact that my time is being kept so full working for other people’s goals, that my own dreams are fading into nothingness.  The regular paycheck will seem less and less like an adequate compensation for the loss of most of my waking life.  I’m getting closer to it, but I’m not quite there yet.  And yes, I still buy lottery tickets.  Part of me still wants the easy way out where I can fire the boss without having to worry about how I’d do taking responsibility for myself.

Here’s my take on the pro’s and cons I currently see.  No doubt this will change over time, so I’ll be interested to look back on it and see what’s changed once I have taken that leap.

Pros of working Cons of working
Regular pay Fixed, limited income.  Just about no scope for it to grow.
I like the people I work with Time away from friends/family outside work
I’m good at the job The more I ‘have to’ do it, the less I want to.
I know what I’m doing There’s other stuff I’d love to do, or learn, that doesn’t ‘fit’ the job
It’s a ‘respectable’ position Why do I care how others judge me for my job title anyway?
Recognition from peers & bosses -
Discipline of an imposed Routine Getting up early, especially on the days when I have to be first there. Or on cold, windy, rainy days.  Or when I’m not feeling well.  Heck, most days, really.
Someone else is responsible I have limited control

No doubt there’s other stuff I haven’t thought of, but it seems that aside from the last biggie, there’s not a lot holding the balance in favour of the paid job, is there?

What’s the biggest fear holding you back?

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