Make a living and build a life
One of Winston Churchill’s many quotes said: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
Governments around the world faced the dilemma of saving lives while at the same time preserving livelihoods. This quote reflects that value, but also points to the more personal choice that we face on a day-to-day basis.
The money that we earn and the things that we buy make us our living. What we give to others and use to better the world, gives us a life.
A living is something we do to create the life that we want. Neither would be completely available without the other.
The Covid 19 challenge has impacted on most people’s livelihoods and has sharpened the need to focus on delivering value add in products and services. On the other hand, the past 12 months have reminded us of which group of people are truly essential (Health workers, educators etc) as well as underlining the inestimable value of those in our support structures. (Family, friends, communities)
I would suggest the following broad strategies for both but would like to pause on the making a life component.
For our livelihoods, be intentionally more entrepreneurial. Seek out new opportunities; be agile in leveraging these and consistently be asking how one may add value to the customers you serve.
In the realm of building our lives, I submit the following few thoughts which I trust may be of encouragement.
- Reprioritise your family relationships and institute a regular “gathering” that works for you. In our case, both sets of our children are overseas. That means intentionally arranging Zoom sessions to compensate for the distance/isolation.
A regular 40- minute virtual hug, greet and connect session has gone a long way to fill our need of being connected.
- Budget safe time for friends and your community. All of us face the challenge of adhering to safety protocols whilst enjoying the things that make us human. We have an intrinsic need to belong, and when we honour this, not only are we refreshed, but we refresh others.
- Find a routine that gets you outside in nature. We live in a stunning part of the world, and even with the devasting knock on effects of the pandemic, we can still find purpose and value in activities that connect us with nature and one another. Examples of these are walks on Sea point Boulevard, hikes on trails like the Alphen trail and strolls alongside any beach. (Not on the beach, quite yet!)
As Henry David Thoreau said, “I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees.”