Today I invite you to watch this 1 minute commercial ... and then let me know what you think:
I first caught this commercial on TV sometime before the holidays. I actually haven't seen it in a few weeks so I'm not sure if it's playing anymore. In any case, the first time I saw this ad, it immediately upset me. Their message here is to tow the line so that one day you might be able to do what you love. WTF?!
The spokesperson starts off the ad by asking people if they could get paid to do something they love, what would they do. The answers range from "yoga instructor" to "baker" to "teacher" to "an activist for causes I believe in". These are all viable, worthwhile professions. Why on God's green earth would you wait until you are 65 or 70 years old to start doing what you love and to pursue your passion and purpose?! And if there are causes that you believe in for heaven's sake, please speak up about them now! Not 40 years down the road. Can you imagine what the world would be like if our most important historical activists waited until they were of retirement age to speak out?! It's actually no surprise to me that this commercial is from a financial company.
The tag line at the end of the ad reads "Let's prepare today to do what we love tomorrow". I can only ask here, 'what if there is no tomorrow?'. What if you spend your whole life in drudgery, desperately hoping that 'one day' will come when you can finally be who you were meant to be, to do what you love to do, and that day never comes??? It may be morbid to think like that but tomorrow is never promised. All you have is the present moment. I know many of us were moved by Meg's story and ran our #megsmiles for her this past weekend, and this tragic event is an all-too-real reminder that life is precious and fleeting. It can be gone in the blink of an eye.
I admit that as a young doe right out of college, I had the same thinking. Get a corporate job, and whittle away the next 35-40 years of my life so that one day I may be able to enjoy the fruits of my labor. After having worked said corporate finance job, I no longer think that way. That is not the way I want to live my life. I want to enjoy life while I am living it, and not look to the future for some kind of redemption or paradise. No one knows what tomorrow will bring, but you control your present. You have this one life - make it worthwhile.
And as an extra little treat into the twisted psyche of some financial professionals - I came across this article this weekend: For the Love of Money. It's a quick, provocative read, and if you have never worked on Wall Street or don't know anyone in the industry, I invite you to peek into the mindset of some of those at the top of the ladder in the industry. I actually worked in the same market as this author (and I often thought, 'what am I doing with my life?'). There was a paragraph in his article that especially hit home with me:
"I made in a single year more than my mom made her whole life. I knew that wasn’t fair; that wasn’t right. Yes, I was sharp, good with numbers. I had marketable talents. But in the end I didn’t really do anything. I was a derivatives trader, and it occurred to me the world would hardly change at all if credit derivatives ceased to exist. Not so nurse practitioners."
In the end, he decided to leave that life behind and pursue things that held more meaning for him. It's what I'm trying to do as well and I hope to make my life, my profession and everything in between be purposeful, fulfilling, joyful and meaningful NOW...not later.
How about you?
Have you seen this commercial before? What did you think about it?