I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather be tired, than resentful. Resentment is a demon that will eat you whole, over time. If you want to know the best skill you can acquire for a healthy life, it would be to learn the art of “letting go”.
The last time I was this tired, I was working a full-time tech job, and a full-time teaching position in a high school program for adults. Both jobs were a necessity, but they were also done out of passion. I’ve always loved Education, and Tech. Now, as a consultant, I’m lucky enough to be able to balance my hours as needed to complete my work, and to rest. But, even with that flexibility, I have to admit that balancing a professorship and a tech consultancy is exhausting. Even if you love the things that you do, it can be taxing. It demands a certain amount of stamina that, in my case, is diminishing with age. I once dreamed of being a big CEO of a bustling tech firm. Now, I dream of the day when I can just work as a consultant for four hours a day.
I’ve never been angry with rich people. Frankly, I don’t understand all the resentment. It takes too much work, and too much responsibility to become filthy rich. Then, when you’re an ‘owner’, you’re an owner all the time. You don’t get to turn that off. You’re liable for so many things, and at every point of the way, someone’s trying to stab you in the back, someone’s stealing from you, and the higher up you go, the more betrayal you end up facing. No, I don’t envy the rich. They have a whole other set of problems that I’m happy to not have to deal with.
Instead, I crave richness of experience, and of time. When I think about my future, I frequently find myself fluttering between building a product and selling it, or just remaining an expert-for-hire. I have the luxury to take the time to decide. And even then, decisions are always in flux. One of the greatest fallacies that I see in the business these days is that you have to pick a path, and stick with it.
But that’s simply not true. You can always undecide a decision. You can change things up, you can turn it around, you can ask “what if?”. It’s when we cease to be playful with life itself that things get too serious. And when things get too serious, we find ourselves with a life that isn’t enriching anymore. We become like some of the wounded rich folks I’ve known: full of liabilities, responsibilities, and… resentment.