The Big Red X: Are You doing the Wrong Thing?

One of my favorite shows on television is The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch. The show’s slogan is “Your Toolkit For Success.” On the show Donny interviews top achievers in various disciplines from athletics to business in effort to give you insight into the tools, the strategies, and the connections you need to start living a richer life.

During an episode of the show he remarked:

“If Sunday night doesn’t feel like Friday night you’re doing the wrong thing.”

-Donny Deutch

How does Sunday night feel to you?

Does it feel like Friday night?

Or does it feel like you can’t wait until next Friday night comes again?

The degree of truth in the above quote from Donny Deutch depends on what Friday night feels like to you.  If Friday night means doing cool things with cool people then I’d agree with Donny.

But unfortunately for many people it doesn’t matter whether it’s Friday night, Wednesday afternoon or Sunday morning. A lot people seem stuck on the treadmill of life and don’t know how to get off. They spend their lives on autopilot every day; an endless battle getting pushed around by the monotonous. They jump from task to task in effort to finally catch up on their never-ending to-do list.

Does this sound all-too familiar?

If you’re spending your days on that treadmill, existing day-to-day doing things you hate with people you don’t like, then read Steve Jobs’ advice[1] below and make it part of your morning routine:

“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today? And whenever the answer has been “no” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important thing I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life, because almost everything–all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

On the other hand, if you truly love spending your time doing what you’re doing then hats off to you for creating the life you want.  After all isn’t that the essence of life – doing what you want, when you want with who you want?

If you’ve read my post, Something’s Missing: Is it Your Life, do you think all those people with luxurious yachts and huge mansions, were they doing the wrong thing?

Do you think Sunday night felt like Friday night to them?

If all their time was being spent doing what they loved, then why the need for all these other lifeless luxuries?

I’m not suggesting that having the luxury and material lavishness of yachts is bad. I ask, on the other hand, shouldn’t they at the very least be enjoyed? Isn’t that why they were purchased in the first place?

Could it be that all these people who owned the big boats and even bigger houses were working, trying to pay for them? This couldn’t be right; not possibly. Rich people, the wealthiest of the wealthy, with possessions this grand, don’t work. They don’t have to. They have more money than they know what to do with.

Surprisingly enough, after some research I discovered my initial reaction was valid.

Sure, there were many successful and genuinely wealthy people with money to burn. However, there were more people living beyond their means buying stuff they never enjoyed with money they didn’t have. They were always working, constantly struggling to pay for it and playing their part in what many are calling worst economic crisis they have ever seen.

Further research into the county courts confirmed this. The extremely high number of foreclosures and repossessions were devastating, especially in an area so welcoming to the life of luxury.

To compound the matter even further over 50%[2] of people who work hate what they were doing for a living. This echoes the careerbuilder.com[3] survey that said more than 4 out of 5 people in the U.S. are not working in their dream job.

I can recall speaking at an event a couple of years ago with a little over a thousand people in the room. On a whim I asked this question to the audience, “How many people would quit their job yesterday if they could?” The results astounded me. In a room full of above average achievers more than 70% had their hands up.

So let me get this right. The majority of people spend most of their time working at a job that they don’t like; to try and pay for things they want but rarely use or have time to enjoy. Are you one of those people?

And we wonder why we’re experiencing so much turmoil and economic uncertainty.

If you’ve recently made a change to start doing what you love, comment below and share with us what you did.


[1] Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, Stanford Commencement address delivered on June 12, 2005

[2] Inc.com survey

[3] CareerBuilder.com reference

(Photo: nfarley)

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