I was recently in London visiting a friend I'd not seen for many years. I arrived early wanting to make the most of the day, even though I was born in the city and had spent the majority of my life there. I took it as an opportunity to visit old haunts and see some sights not seen for a while.
It was early in the morning so the train was full of commuters. Busy, but not uncomfortably for me, as I had a seat. One thing I couldn't get my head around was the number of people standing for an hour or more because they were one of the unfortunate ones who couldn't get a seat on the train. Sure, they had to put up with it because they have to right? The train company doesn't do anything to address this issue, but this type of thing doesn't do anything but make people tired before the day has started and it's sure to contribute to a level of unhappiness. There has to be alternative for these people I thought to myself and then I was reminded that there is because I'm living proof of that 'other' way.
Anyway, I arrived into London Bridge station excited about my day ahead and stepped off the train with a number of people on their way to work. As I made my way down the escalator toward the exit I could see the shiny new shops of a brand new part of London Bridge where you can grab last minute bits before jumping on a train. The first thing I noticed when I arrived was nearly everyone was tuned into some form of a digital device... a smartphone, tablet etc. Some where tuned in even when walking which was causing a huge amount of annoyance to some of the oncoming commuters. Head down, transfixed on their screens and without a care in the world for anything or anyone around them as the latest box-set or episode of catch-up T.V. gripped them.
The second thing I noticed was just how few people actually had smiles on their faces. Okay, many of those people will be on their way to work. Some happy with their jobs, some not so. I could understand this emotion. I too had been in a similar situation not so long back before I made the switch to become a digital entrepreneur. However, not to be put off by such matters I continued on my way headed towards the exit when it suddenly hit me. A mass of people. All rushing around with frowns on their faces trying to get out of the station or onto their trains. Now I'm used to large amounts of people. I've always lived in big cities, but something had changed since my time living in London. It seemed to me that the very essence of being a decent person in such situations was starting to be eroded, if not already gone. I get it. People are busy, they need to get where they are going but are we THAT busy that we've forgotten the human side of our co-existence with our fellow man and woman? Is it too much to ask to just catch ourselves before we regret our behaviour when we reflect upon it later.
Now before you go judging me and crying out 'hippy bull sh#t,' those who know me will tell you that I'm not 'that' guy. For a long time I worked in the high pressured, fast-moving world of financial markets where the 'hippy' bull sh#t just doesn't cut it. But what really struck me is just how impatient and uncaring people are towards each other these days. Bumping and bashing into each other without even a glance or an apology. It seems as though it's par for the course now to 'whack' into someone and just continue on your way without a care in the world. Okay, the huge volume of people in an area the size of London Bridge station certainly doesn't help the situation, and I am sure this adds to the tension, but have we really forgotten that a deep breath, a bit of awareness and some compassion for others can make a massive difference to your day and the days of all other people around us?
I went about my business and whilst visiting various places during the day in London I was hoping on and off of the tube. Not much change there either really apart from even closer proximity to angry and bothered people. I can remember years ago seeing a man running for a tube and when the doors closed and left him on the platform he threw his phone down on the floor in a rage smashing it to bits. All because he'd miss that particular tube. Have you ever experienced the tube in London? If you have you know that for all their faults frequency is not one of them. The most I've ever had to wait for the next tube is about 2 minutes tops. Clearly missing the tube for that guy was not the root of that particular episode of' frustration.
We all have good days and bad, but I'm a firm believer that our internal world creates our external world. There are so many people on this planet rushing around because we 'need' to be a slave to a clock where we exchange our time for money. We have to be on time for work, we have to make that meeting, for work and we have to put in extra hours at work, for work. And for what? To get less time with the ones we love? To get overlooked for that promotion again? To keep getting the same amount of holiday or pay each year? Or maybe for the same amount of lack of fulfilment a lot of people experience on a daily basis due to the job they do. I know that was the case for me. My internal world was creating my external world and my internal world was being created by my the lack of fulfilment I was experiencing in my job. I wasn't happy because of my job, therefore the smallest thing would set me off when in reality it wasn't that much of a big deal.
People rushing around and not considering their fellow humans is just one small part of a bigger puzzle, but for me, the key to solving that puzzle and being happier can be found in what we choose to do for a living. Say that sentence back again to yourself....'What we choose to do for a LIVING.' Living! What part of your time spent at a job do you actually feel alive, like you are truly living and making a difference? I know for me in my ten plus years in the financial markets I can't recall a single day where I felt like I was truly 'living.' I felt I had a J.O.B. Acronym for Just. Over. Broke. Although I earned good money it wasn't about the money for me. It was about the continual cycle of boredom where I would get up to do the same thing EVERY day where I'd have to rush around, commute and only spend time doing what I loved two days each week. If that.
Regardless what you might think reading this article, there is an alternative because I'm living proof of it. It just takes the balls to step outside of your comfort zone and try something different which can help you discover a working life on your terms. The first stage to any change is awareness, but I honestly believe that people go through their working lives not even realising that there is an alternative way to work other than a 9 to 5 traditional job. Many people are accessing this alternative right now, including myself, and it's growing. People in the traditional workspace have created the habit of believing that a traditional job is the only way to make money and support their loved ones. So-much-so that they are oblivious to even looking into an alternative. Why would you even consider an alternative if you are not even aware of your own repetitive habit? You wouldn't. But I am here to show you and awaken you to the chance of accessing freedom to spend with your family or live out your passions whilst making a decent living at the same time.
Fulfillment is possible but you're very fortunate if a job provides you with fulfillment these days. You are unlikely to find it rooted in a traditional 9 to 5 job that's for sure. And, give it 10 more years, a huge number of jobs will have been replaced by AI, artificial intelligence. Then what? Where do all the unskilled people that have been replaced by a machine or computer turn to? Even those that are skilled are not necessarily safe either. Ladies and gents it's time to find an alternative or it's at least time to consider an alternative it before it's too late. Before we loose the human touch.
Find your fulfillment, live in joy and spend time ON the things you love and WITH the ones you love. Life is too short not to do so. Even if it is the longest thing we'll ever do ;)