This week a couple of people connected with me to tell me that they were taking up university studies to requalify into new potential new careers. I was happy for them as is always the case when people do something like this for themselves that sets them off on a new path of learning, a new qualification or a new business.
However, at these times it also makes me reflect about my own situation and whether I should be doing the same?
So I start to think to myself:
- If I was to go back to school, what would I qualify in?
- Would I be able to do a PhD in a field of study related to my work?
- Would I be able to spend up to 3 or 4 years ahead of me focussed on one thing?
That’s when I answer my own question to realise:
I have absolutely no burning desire to go back to university or formal education to study anything or qualify in anything new at all.
Then I catch myself with an attack of the guilts:
- Does this mean I’m not driven towards anything?
- Does this mean I’ve reached my comfort level?
- Does this mean I have no aspirations?
It worries me that I have this lack of drive and ambition sometimes especially when in a world around you people are constantly striving for the next degree, the next promotion, the next career, the next book they’re going to write
… when all I want to do is to look forward to a future where I’m free to wander around the world, explore different clubs, activities, interests and hobbies, enjoy wining and dining, perusing markets in different places of the world; wandering through art galleries and museums; attending exhibitions; spending time with my family and friends…
In some way, if I was to undertake any studies it will be linked to whatever interest that has captured my attention at the time – not for the purpose of a qualification; an accreditation nor starting a new business or career.
I just want to experience things in my own flow.
So in a way, I look forward to a future where I’m not actively working towards a goal that could be related to my ‘professional self’ and instead doing activities that make me happy on my own personal health and mental well being.
Some ideas I’ve been playing around have been:
- German language immersion classes living in a German town for 3-6 months
- French language immersion trips to New Caledonia living with host families
- Knit camps and lived-in experiences in the Scottish islands
- Hiring a car and driving around UK and Scotland
- Volunteering as a guide around Melbourne
- Volunteering in local community services for the aged in our area
- Running free education sessions on knitting or tech for community at local libraries
- Volunteering at the library
Yesterday while talking to a colleague about work related matters, he mentioned that he was a qualified sommelier.
You have no idea how excited I got with this news.
Something is inspiring to learn about the ‘alternate’ lives of our colleagues because we get another glimpse into an aspect of their personality that we prefer to know about. It tells us more about them because we then understand that they don’t make their life about work.
Work is a means to an end to some – and that’s okay.
Maybe it’s an age thing. The older I become the more interested I am in learning about people and what inspires them beyond talking about work related matters.
Our professional persona is simply a mask that needs to be ripped off at times to reveal the real person underneath. I’d much rather know THAT person.