In October, art director Linds Redding died of esophageal cancer, bringing some of his older blog posts back into the spotlight. One, "A Short Lesson in Perspective," was shared across the Web a month or so after his passing, and it finally crossed my desk this week. If you haven't read it, I highly suggest you do, as it'll give you all the context you need to have about work, life and the alignment of the two. Although you might not do creative work as Redding did, chances are good that you'll recognize passages like this:
It turns out I didn't actually like my old life nearly as much as I thought I did. I know this now because I occasionally catch up with my old colleagues and work-mates. They fall over each other to enthusiastically show me the latest project they're working on. Ask my opinion. Proudly show off their technical prowess (which is not inconsiderable.) I find myself glazing over but politely listen as they brag about who's had the least sleep and the most takaway food. "I haven't seen my wife since January, I can't feel my legs any more and I think I have scurvy but another three weeks and we'll be done. It's got to be done by then The client's going on holiday. What do I think?"
When did sleeplessness and time away from loved ones become something to brag about? Why do so many of us wait until we receive a life-threatening diagnosis to get perspective on what actually matters?
More importantly, what are you doing today to protect your work-life alignment, health and longevity?