What do you think about… choosing your own health or happiness over your professional career?

I’m sure you’ve heard something or read something about the Olympic gymnast who chose not to perform at the Olympics due to fear that she may hurt herself following her “not feeling well enough to compete”. She received substantial backlash from her decision. And she wasn’t the only one. What about Bolt? A significant amount of people argued online that he was a sell-out for having quit while he was ahead. Numerous other famous athletes, performers and actors have done the same and the vast majority of fans, spectators and the like seem not only to not applaud their decisions but openly attack them for choosing themselves over their careers. Why is that?

I’m by no means famous but I experienced a similar negative response, especially from my now former employer, when I decided to choose my family and personal mental health and happiness over my job title. I’m sure a lot of the protest was due to the fact that I then opened a studio of my own thus making me competition (but who really cares!). The fact is that choosing to reduce the number of hours you dedicate to your job in order to live a healthier life is never met with the kind of support that it should. Why is that?

When we’re kids we’re told that we can become anything we want: a princess, a ballerina, an astronaut, a famous athlete. This quickly changes, except for a select few, when we realize we don’t all have the talent, time, determination, motivation, money and countless other things necessary for reaching these types of “childish” dreams. What’s more, the people around us start telling us that we should focus on more “realistic” aspirations. Painting is a good hobby but what the world needs is more accountants. Astronomy is nice but what about becoming a nurse?  Focus on learning a skill or subject that can get you a good, stable job in the future.

Now, I’m a mother. I’m not against the idea of becoming an accountant, nurse or tradesman… but what about doing what’s best for YOU not just your retirement fund? Stress and depression are some of the number one causes of poor health and what’s more stressful and depressing than doing something everyday that give your no personal satisfaction. Why risk your health for a paycheck if that risk isn’t justified by the pleasure you get from the job you’re doing?

What do you think? Please leave your comments in the box below. And remember, we don’t have to agree with each other we just have to be respectful to one another!

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