Do you have a Job, A Career or a Calling? Are you stuck in the 40-40-40?

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Why be average when you can be spectacular? The average person in North America works 40 hours per week for 40 thousand dollars per year for 40 years. Some people call this the 40-40-40.

We spend such a large portion of our lives working to earn a living, is this time well invested into something greater than ourselves? Or is this time spent purely transactionally where we trade X number of hours for Y number of dollars to buy ourselves a little bit of time and comfort?

Life is really about time and not about money. We spend our time to earn money and we spend our money to buy back our time. If and when we stop to think about this cyclical transaction, we have to ask, are we coming out ahead?

In the last year I have become much more conscious of how I spend my time. I know that money will always come and go. Some days you may have it, others you may not, but time is a truly finite resource. If I am going to spend my time, I want a residual benefit for my non-renewable resource.

When we wake up in the morning and get ready to do our 40-40-40, is it really just a job or are we building something greater? Is it a job, a career or a calling? Are we serving something higher than just our own survival?

People with a job work for a means to an end; They are un-interested in their job outside of the 9-5. They are looking for safe secure employment with good benefits and a nice salary. The job is just a necessity of life, it’s a means of survival and not a vehicle to thrive.

People with a career work for achievement and advancement; They are interested in titles, achievements, certifications, and moving up on the ladder. For these people, work is not just a job, it’s also a place for personal growth, stimulation and enhancement.

People with a calling describe their work as an integral part of their lives and a large part of their identity. For these people, their work is their self-expression. They are artists with an art form and find great satisfaction and meaning in their work.

For myself, I have been unhappiest when I had to “find a job” and have been happiest when I work within my calling. I fit into the obsessive work category with people like Steve Jobs, Donald Trump or Peter Nygard. There have been legendary stories about the work ethic of all of these men. Donald Trump is famous for saying “If you need to take a break, you’re doing the wrong thing”. Peter Nygard apparently had a bedroom in his office so he could work around the clock. Steve Jobs had a fanatical and radical approach to his work and accepted nothing less than perfection.

I believe the famous quote “all wealth is of the heart and mind and not of the pocket”. I always ask myself, what am I creating? I’m working hard today, but which of my creations will outlast me?

Our inventions and creations become our only true wealth in the world because money is fleeting and is declining in value every day. Even money in real estate is held in worthless bricks, sticks and dirt.

Where do you love to spend your time? How can you take your 40-40-40 and create the greatest value for both yourself and the world every day? I guarantee that your best life possible involves working within your calling, doing something you love and maximizing your energy by accessing your passion.

Once you find your calling, the next question is, how do you monetize it? But that’s for another article.

Thanks for reading,
Stefan Aarnio