It’s frustrating we can’t have our professional and personal lives in sync, functioning simultaneously at high levels. But, if given our druthers, most would wisely choose a harmonious, rewarding personal life over a successful professional one.
In the case of dwindling Mom and Pop shops, these couples are the exception and able to have both. It takes a lot of hard work, though, and this kind of job-life arrangement has been in decline for years. Statistics support work and our jobs being the major causes of stress in our lives. I would suggest, however, if our personal lives are in disarray, our professional ones are similarly straining at the seams.
Is it possible to be successful in business and have a miserable personal life? Sure, but again, I suggest this is the minority. While many of us have enjoyed success in our professional lives at one time or another, it was probably linked to our personal lives proceeding well, too. If we’re happy personally, we tend to be doing well and achieving more on the professional side of things.
With all the talk of a stock market correction, or worse, bear market, it has created some angst for couples with respect to their retirement portfolios. Is the market overvalued? Sure it is. With the most recent quarterly earnings statements largely falling flat of expectations, these measurements are yet another indicator of a market nearing its top—current earnings (or lack of) don’t “bear” (pun intended) out stratospheric stock prices.
For those investors in it for the long run, there is the knowledge that with the bulk of their days left to be lived, they will recover from any losses. For those with less days ahead than behind them, it is a reminder that 401ks were never intended to be retirement vehicles in the first place. Traditional pensions, only enjoyed by some state workers and older retirees of multi-national conglomerates grandfathered in to the 401k age, are looked at nostalgically by today’s older workers. These are employees in the workforce long enough to remember retirement plans pre-dating 401ks.
None of this retirement daydreaming can avert the stress that nest eggs wiped out on paper bring to couples and families. Doomsayers have been foretelling the next big crash as something way worse than 2007-2008. The problem I have with most of these prophets of gloom is they have an agenda. They stand to profit from a stock market collapse and/or turbulence. Many of them are precious metal pundits who would see us returning to gold, silver and the bartering ways of medieval times.
Everyday people can’t control what happens with the stock market. All they can do is be diversified with their nest eggs (if they are fortunate enough to even have one). What we can control is how efficiently we do our jobs and how well we interact with those we encounter on both the personal and professional frontiers.
Success breeds success, if not happiness. Perhaps we can more appropriately turn that statement around and find happiness breeds success. The best way to get started on dealing with whatever will come down the road that is dark, ominous and bad, is to stop worrying about things we really can’t influence. Bad stuff is always going to be there, but if we are doing the best we can, treating others how we like to be treated, good stuff will come for us as well; we just have to stay the course.
Additionally, we have to figure out a way to curb our impatience. Things didn’t get to this point overnight. So, let’s work on things outside of and unrelated to our jobs first. We didn’t have real jobs until we became adults. Before our jobs we had families and friends. And we made the best of it. And we were happy, although we were in a hurry to run away from it all as soon as we could because that’s what young people do. We only later recognize how happy and largely carefree those times are.
Crank up to the present day and we should consider what made us happy in the first place before we became adults. Take a look around at kids playing. What do we see? They’re having fun, laughing, smiling and learning, not to mention, appreciating, being happy.
We’re all grown up now and that frightens us. But, kids are still playing all over the world. They don’t have professional lives. They focus on their personal lives until they grow up and have to add the responsibility of a professional life. We adults should remember what came first.