How To Balance A Life Of Work and Freedom
25 years ago I came up with the crazy dream to some day live with all of my friends in tropical paradise.
Maybe you read the book The Beach? Or saw the movie that came out few years later?
Well the guy that wrote that book had been in the exact same place as me, on the exact same beach, when he had the idea for the book. It was one of those places that made you want to live like that forever.
Sadly it wasn’t a great book. Or a great movie.
But it was half of a good idea.
What was good was the idea of living in paradise with beautiful, loving people.
What was missing from the equation was that being idle on a beautiful beach doing nothing to contribute gets boring. Depressing even.
In the movie they all started killing each other!
My idea now is to find that perfect balance of work and pleasure. Of both living and working here in Australia and in beautiful places around the world.
And importantly to ensure that the work that I do brings me pleasure too.
So my revised dream is to spend a good chunk of the year living or traveling out of the country, taking my work with me.
Which is today’s topic: How to balance work and adventure whilst being ‘location independent’.
My recent trip to Bali answered this question for me.
I took my work with me and to be honest I found it pretty easy to balance work with fun and pleasure.
For starters I love what I do and what I’m creating. I love writing and researching and communicating. I love my laptop!
On the other hand I love having adventures and being immersed in new cultures.
I especially love meeting people from all over the world. Making friends is so much easier when we’re out of our normal environments. Our minds and hearts are much more open.
But reading books on the beach and drinking cocktails by the pool is not a sustainable life.
You need balance.
One thing I noticed in Bali was that my normal tendency to get work done in the morning when my brain is fresh and get out in the afternoon, doesn’t translate as well in a place where the day gets really hot, really quickly.
So I found myself getting out and about early in the day. Then resting in the heat of the day, and putting in a few hours on my laptop mid to late afternoon. Then venturing back out for drinks and dinner.
The main point here is that even if you have no desire to live abroad, or to combine work and travel, there are many ways to bring more freedom into your every day life.
In his book The Four Hour Workweek which got me focussing more on this lifestyle, Time Ferris gives you step by step approaches to negotiating more time out of the office.
Working out of office invariably means less work because research shows that so many desk bound hours are not spent not actually working.
So if you’re at home you can work more effectively giving you more time for yourself.
More and more people are living like this, either part or full time.
Like my friend Lucie who recently convinced the recruiting company she works for to let her move to Port Douglas. She’s now living the dream, working on her own timetable, in tropical paradise. Go Lucie!
There are so many ways this can be done.
It all starts with a strong desire. Which, if you keep that desire simmering, will eventually spark an idea.
Even if you feel locked in – maybe you’re bringing up kids or supporting a partner who can’t change their career right now – committing to finding more balance between work and play will pave the way for more freedom in the future.
So starting now, what will you do today to bring more balance into your life?