I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – seek balance in life. Working until your fingers bleed to get the people in power to notice you so that you can climb the corporate ladder and earn the money necessary to attract a spouse and buy a big house and have kids who you’ll have to work even harder for to put through college so that they can have what you consider a good life – this is unsustainable. Learn early on in your career to balance work and life and pass these traits down to your children. You might think that because you’re young and you have energy to work, that trading this energy for the company is somehow your ticket to happiness. You know, because that’s what you’ve been taught your whole life. It’s not. That’s the lie they sell you in TV commercials that (somehow) we buy into and throw half of our lives away on until we (inevitably) wake up and realize that the pursuit of money and status is a complete fucking waste of time. A waste of life.

Life is what’s happening around you RIGHT NOW. You only have right now to breathe. Not a minute in the future. Not yesterday. Can you stop working? No. Not unless you’re a trust fund baby. Which you’re not. So seek balance and aspire to awareness. You won’t be Donald Trump. You can’t be Richard Branson. They’re hood ornaments for the machine that blinds you to the truth: That time doesn’t wait for you to wake up. If you’re lucky you’ll be a guy who lives in the suburbs with a wife, two kids, and good friends you hang out with on weekends. And you know what? In the end it won’t matter how many people saw you pull extra hours at your desk every day. Work hard, yes. Just be honest with yourself as to why you do it. And make sure to take time to do the opposite of work.

But you won’t. You’ll just douse the sweat from your brow and pump your fists faster than the guy running next to you on his treadmill. Meanwhile, time will continue to tick away. And one day you’ll remember reading this post and you’ll wonder why you didn’t open your eyes sooner.


Jim Mitchem

Why Advertising Rules the World

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.

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