Tortoise For Sale

Tortoise For Sale

9 February 2016

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"Worse Things Happen At Sea"

As a child of the 80s, I used to hear this saying a lot. Unusually, its one that doesn’t get thrown about much anymore. It seems to have got lost somewhere along the way. But for those youngsters reading this blog, the basic premise was that no matter how bad things were, worse things happened at sea.

So now on to a little-known fact about me. I worked on the QE2 for two years in the mid-90s. I was “at sea”. I went through the eye of a hurricane in ’95 (Hurricane Luis for fans of names and/or weather systems). I saw friends come and go. I went through lifeboat evacuations. I saw people being ill due to the weather conditions. I had a grandparent pass away when I was in the middle of the Atlantic.

Having stated all of that, I can confirm that worse things do NOT happen at sea. It’s a lie!

By the way, this is not a recruitment blog. Really, it’s not. Scouts honour.

I recently asked some friends and colleagues to tell me about the worst things that have happened to them. Here are some of the answers that I received (in no particular order):

  • My wife left me (I also had someone say “I left my wife).
  • My mother died.
  • My dog got run over.
  • Someone stole my tortoise (this was my favourite by the way).
  • My house flooded.
  • I got made redundant/ I lost my job.

Basically, life sucks some times. Doesn’t matter if you are at sea or not. It just plain sucks.

Life is also brilliant at other times too.

The difference between a happy person and those who are eternal pessimists is how we manage these times. It’s all about making the maximising the good, whilst minimising the bad. Now, it would be disingenuous of me to tell someone to turn that frown upside down. All of the above are genuine heartbreaking moments, even the tortoise napping.

So what am I on about? How do we maximise the good? Well, how about some maths to explain it. (Clichés and Maths in one blog – can’t wait for to be a nominated for a blogging award this year).

 Now in any given week, we all have 168 hours. On average, we will sleep about 56 of those hours, leaving us with around 112 hours a week. Now let’s take into account work. On average, people get up at 7 am and hit the home sofa at 7 pm. Roughly 12 hours of a weekday taken up by the labours of work. That leaves around 50 hours of “you” time. You can most probably knock off another 10 hours during the week for chores (cooking, shopping, cleaning, ironing, washing etc).

 The maths says that you have about a quarter of your life to do things you want to do, to make a difference. Now half of that will be sat in front of the TV/ computer most likely. And if you have kids, then the taxi services you offer, hoover up even more of your time.  Basically, your life sucks. But worse things happen at sea, allegedly.

So what can you do to maximise the good times? It’s quite simple, really.

Reclaim your work life. If you spend 12 hours a day doing something that ultimately you’re doing to fund the part of the weekend that you enjoy, then you have got the balance completely wrong. You are giving away the best part of 60 hours a week, to enjoy about 20 hours of weekend fun time.

Now, I am not a going to tell you to quit your job and your problems will go away. That’s just plain nuts, unless you have an incredibly wealthy relative, with no loved ones who is on a shaky peg.

My advice is to do something you enjoy, because when you do, it won’t feel like work anymore. Now that might be talking to your bosses about work-life balance, it might be changing career completely (I hear the black market for tortoises is very buoyant).

And of course, it might be just changing employer.

Now I lie from time to time and I said it wasn’t about recruitment. Well, that part was true, although the part about Scouts Honour was a lie as I was never a scout. This isn’t about contacting me for my recruitment services (although you can of course). It was really to highlight how some things are uncontrollable and will make you miserable.  But there are also plenty of misery-inducing things that are completely controllable.

Do it now. Reclaim your work life.

Now, of course, this whole blog could have been summed up with “find a job that makes you happy” and it most probably should have.

But if I had, I wouldn’t be able to subconsciously put up an advert for a tortoise for sale (good condition with partly chipped shell).

Be happy, people.

Written By Adam Davey

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