I have recently had the opportunity to read an inspiring book on lifestyle design and the future of work called, Juggle: Rethink Work, Reclaim Your Life. Author Ian Sanders has some great ideas about the some of the biggest career and lifestyle design issues we are all facing. The book is loaded practical examples about how to live a “portfolio lifestyle” including quotes and interviews with Gary Vaynerchuk and Saatchi & Saatchi CEO, Kevin Roberts.
“You can choose to become a Juggler, to throw the rules out of the window, to create a life where you mix stuff you do for love and stuff you do for money. A life where you re-define success not by a salary package alone buy by freedom, enjoyment, flexibility and lifestyle. Where work is an extension of You, reflecting your personality, your talents and desires; where you juggle different projects to be stimulated as well as to earn a living.”
Think PassionS NOT Passion
Many of us are looking for our true calling in life. If only we could find that one thing that we are so excited about, work would be become joy. With endless career options available, it is hard to narrow it down to one single choice. Ian Sanders has a better way to look at it. We all have a plurality of interests and goals, rather than shutting off different parts of our lives we can really have it all. Ian provides many examples, including his own, of people with multiple callings. Not only is it possible to pursue several interests simultaneously, it may also make financial sense:
“That plurality is not just driven by our tastes and passions. There are also good economic reasons to have broad talents. A business with multiple products generating multiple revenue streams or an executive with strengths in more than one area have the potential to be more recession proof.”
“Forget Work/Life Balance, it’s more Work/Play Integration”
We are all seeking some type of balance in our lives. Family is everything but we also need to earn a living and our careers can be a great outlet for personal development and growth if we choose wisely. Ian Sanders argues that balance is not the answer; a more effective approach is work/life integration.
“There’s no neat divide between home and work. When you’re working, you still think of personal stuff, and when you’re not at work – in the shower, in the car, doing the shopping – that’s when you’ll have clarity for problem solving or thoughts for topping up your to-do list.”
“Whether it’s the shower, the run or having a coffee- that’s when we have ideas, sparks of inspiration, consistently and effectively. And that’s how -for me – work and play are interlinked, not neatly separated.”
“Work is not a place you go, it’s what you do, it’s part of your DNA.”
A lot of us seem to be hung up defining work by where it is done; you can work in a cubicle, work at home, work as a nomad, work from abroad. Why should work be defined by place? Here are some great quotes:
“Work is no longer somewhere we clock in and out of; it’s a mindset that we dip in and out of.”
“It’s not where you did it, or what hours you worked. It’s just about results.”
“We are nomadic, working from airplanes, trains, wherever. There are no rules and no walls to where and how we work.”
Are you Real?
Another key point in Juggling is about celebrating who we really are. Authenticity is everything. It is okay to be an accountant by day and play in a punk rock band at night. If those are your passions, than why not do both? When anyone can go a quick Google search and find out everything about us, it is no longer possible to segment or hide the different parts of our lives. We are everything we do.
“Juggling is having the confidence to carve out your own areas and proclaim ‘this is who I am’ regardless of perception and conforming to convention.”
The Juggler’s Manifesto
(From the end of the book. Included with permission.)
1. FORGET SPECIALISM, discover the value of being across more than one discipline. Sticking to just one thing limits your potential; place no limits on what you do and become more fulfilled.
2. BE PASSIONATE about all you do; let your passions and desires inform and shape your work life.
3. BE ADEPT AT GEAR-SHIFTING, from segueing from the huge to the tiny, from work to play.
4. MAKE TIME FOR PLAY. Being a successful Juggler is about working hard but also mixing up work and play, and using playtime as your inspiration and stimulation.
5. BE A CHAMELEON, FLEXIBLE AND ADAPTABLE. Rethink all you do, be happy to change the rules again and again. Don’t stay entrenched in rigid ideas of how things should be done.
6. THE BEST PLAN IS A NON-PLAN. Success in the knowledge economy is about making it up as you go along.
7. USE YOUR INSTINCT (every time) in making decisions, in deciding what to do and what not to do.
8. RE-DEFINE PERSONAL SUCCESS not by a salary package alone but by more important currency such as, did you get to see your kids’s sports day, do you work with a decent bunch of people, did you take enough holiday this year?
9. GO BEYOND A JOB TITLE and carve out a unique You-role. Do it your way, be authentic. Take control.
10. DEVELOP A PERSONAL BRAND to unite and communicate your strengths.
11. WORK HARD BUT WORK SMART. Whilst success relies on you working hard it’s also about doing what you love; and when you do what you love, it doesn’t feel so much like work.
12. HAVE LOTS OF SELF-BELIEVE AND SELF-CONFIDENCE. Have a positive outlook, be an optimist. Don’t whinge!
13. BE A PIONEER, with no fear of the unknown. Be happy to learn new stuff, embrace new ideas.
14. HAVE PURPOSE IN ALL YOU DO. Focus on making a difference and leaving a legacy.
I highly recommend this book to anyone struggling to find meaning in their work and seeking a more fulfilling life. Ian Sanders shows how we can have a plurality of rewarding careers AND a great family life at the same time.