Terms and conditions. Something we are all familiar with. We see it in the things that we buy, services we render or consume as well as in our everyday interactions with family and friends. Before you say that that’s not true, think about when we try to get a child to do something, are we not setting up some sort of terms and conditions for the behaviour or action?
In the workplace, we are bound by terms and conditions known as policies and for most of us, we probably only know less than 1% of the whole company policies or manual. How our performance is reviewed and rewarded, how metrics are calculated and awards given are all based on a standard set of terms that are set out and agreed upon. Most of the time, we don’t even think about it, we just go about doing our job until an issue crops up or someone complaints. Each of us could go through our entire lives living based on terms and conditions set by the people around us, place we work as well as self-inflicted terms and conditions which we call expectations. Hence the question, on whose terms are you living your life today?
I was reading an article around freelancers and how they are satisfied with being in control of their time and doing what they enjoy doing without the structure of an organization but face great challenges in meeting financial obligations and the struggles that comes with that. There must be a good balance between freedom of time and pursuing your passion with realities of living in this material world. Does that balance exist? What is the appropriate balance for you?
Whenever I watch sports and most recently tennis, Wimbledon to be exact, I am always amazed with how these athletes take defeat and bounce back up, practice day in and day out, never losing hope that they are able to win or do better. For most of them, they don’t earn the huge paycheck, so what makes them keep on going? Clearly it is not the money. What is it? Undoubtedly they say that it’s because they just love the game or sport. Each of them is clearly living out his/her talent and passion and on his/her terms. Acknowledging all the time that it is not a bed of roses. But then again, life in general is not a bed of roses. What and how we define the bed of roses is the term and condition of the life we live.
Whose terms are you living your life on? What are my dreams that I have not fulfilled? Am I doing what I enjoy doing? Do I know what I would enjoy doing? Do I have the power to change? Do I have the choice to make the move? What do I need to do? What do I need to let go of? What do I need to embrace this change? How do I know if I am ready? How do I know if I need to? Do I even want to?
There is no right or wrong and no good or bad options here. Just what is aligned to your values and purpose. If you are living aligned with your values and purpose, then in all probability you are living on your terms. You are doing what you are supposed to and you should enjoy it to the fullest. I am constantly reminded that life is short and precious so as they say Carpe Diem. Seize the day with both hands and make an impact on those around you. Or as the Vulcan would say “Live long and Prosper”.