Picture this: You’re offered a job at twice the salary you are currently on. It offers all the financial perks you could dream of. However, it also demands that you work five 12 hour days per week, be available at weekends if required and be prepared to travel at short notice.
You are a family person at heart. Your joy comes from having time with your family and friends. As you look at the new job spec you see how it will impact this valuable part of your life. The question is, what do you do? Do you take the job or turn it down? It would, after all, give your family more financial freedom… but at what price to your (and possibly their) joy?
This is not an uncommon scenario and I have met several people who have had to face similar dilemmas. There is a weighing up process and quite often, with the encouragement of others, a choice is made that doesn’t always fit with their values.
When we make life choices that are not aligned with our values a number of things may occur; resentment, reduced happiness and a sense of discomfort.
Resentment – The resentment is born out of doing something that moves you away from what is truly important to you. If family life is a key part of your being, your joy, when you do things that move you away from it, you start to resent them (the job, the person who offered you the job, the hours you put in, etc) and the benefits start to fade.
Reduced Happiness – As the resentment sets in so do the feelings of dissatisfaction and unfairness of life. The feelings of happiness that being with family brought become a distant memory as you adjust to the new way of being. You may well cope with the change of pace but the impact it has on your ability and willingness to be happy is noticeable.
A sense of Discomfort – In agreeing to do things that are not aligned with your deepest values will ultimately bring discomfort. That might be inner turmoil, negative thoughts, the way you go about the job or how you feel physically; tired, withdrawn, stressed or lifeless. It’s like forcing yourself to wear something that doesn’t fit properly.
The fact is only you know the values that are at the core of you and only you can decide whether you are willing to operate outside of them for whatever gain is being offered to do so. It is never just about the pros and cons of the job, it is about who you are as a person, how important it is for you to live a values centred life.
Understanding what your values are and how important they are to you will help you to make clear decisions. Come up with your top five list of values and then take some time to reflect on whether you are living them in your daily life or, all too often, compromising them.
Ultimately the difference is your happiness, your joy…