Professional Success vs Happiness?

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“…Because we live in the world where it became necessary to chose between professional success and personal happiness.” – the part of sentence I managed to catch my sister said on a phone call last night. I wasn’t sure what the conversation was about, I just knew she was talking to a friend and I somehow overheard the part that my brain decided to pick up on.
Not because I feel I am obliged to chose between the two but because people expect me to and I feel like in that aspect I really do not have to make compromises in my life.

Am I doing something wrong? When it comes to this I feel like I am the only student in the class who is easily solving the equation, which does not mean that I am the cleverest, just usually that i am not doing it correctly, right? Well no, actually.

I noticed that lately I am getting many questions from readers about balancing work and personal happiness. Someone pointed out that all I do is work and that it will cost me many relationships, that I seem like I am always alone and that my life is work work work. I know that its because those are the aspects of my life I chose to show, but I still continue thinking. One person even went a little bit too asking me “Is that money you make going to be enough when you have no one around you but just money?”

The question wakes me up from drifting. Money? What money? I don’t do this job for money! If I would be this blog would be a big platform for adverts, yet on my blog’s layout there isn’t a single advert, I don’t advertise everything and anything, no weight-loss tablets, no hair extensions, no brands I wouldn’t buy. If money would be priority, there would be more of that and less of fashion, words and projects I work on for days.

I try to think about the situations when work stands in between me and happiness. I do what I love I travel for living, see places I would otherwise pay a lot of money to see, and I do stuff I truly enjoy. I work hard but because I chose to. In the last year I said no to many trips and events because Id rather see my boyfriend, or even spend a day with my sister, we call those days “sisterly days”.

Talking about sister, I noticed she isn’t on the phone anymore.
“Did you ever have to choose between personal happiness and work?” I immediately ask.
“funny you are asking…” she replies, but I interrupt – “yes, I overheard bits from the phone conversation, it made me think that there is something wrong with me because at 26 I feel like I never had to choose between work and happiness, even when I hated my jobs I still managed to get the most out of it, like to make friends out of colleagues, or to get happiness from work success”
“Dont confuse happiness you get from working with personal happiness. You need love to be happy, and if you don’t love and aren’t loved you will lack that type of personal satisfaction. You can have as much success as you want but with no love you will lack the happiness” this time my sister interrupted.
“Thats not what I meant. I love what I do and even when I work hard I still manage to have time for my friends, family and boyfriend, I don’t understand why would I have to sacrifice one for the other – that is my question” I say before leaving the room to reflect.

If it wasnt for the job i am doing I wouldn’t have met some of my best friends. It’s a bit of a vicious circle, but one thing is for sure – my personal life is more important. How do I know that? Because even though I had more than 10 different jobs by now I NEVER sacrificed any aspect of personal life for work. I only worked to keep busy and to survive, and I know for fact because I visit my family several times a year,that they are more important than any event, job or activity at the given time. The Sundays with family or the long lazy mornings with my boyfriend are more important than meetings, shootings and other work related events. I soon realise the answer to the question in the title.

Its not really about what we “have to do” its about what we choose to do. You never HAVE TO choose between happiness or success, you do it because you WANT TO. If you want to have babies at 22 and quit your job, you do it because you want babies, and I for sure know that I want family. My mum wanted kids at that early age and still never gave up on her career. She chose to do both. I am lucky to do what I am doing currently and to make a good living out of it, but I know for fact that there isn’t a price for which I would sacrifice family time, or people I love around me. I might be a stupid romantic, but I think its possible to balance it both, you don’t have to move 5000km away from your husband to make good living, no matter what – we do what we chose at that given moment in life and what is more important to us. After all, no matter what situation in life, we are choosing which direction this boat sails.

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“…Jer zivimo u svetu gde je neophodno izabrati izmedju uspeha i licne srece.” – sve je bilo sto sam cula da je moja sestra izgovorila u slusalicu. Pricala je sa drugaricom na telefon vec neko vreme, ali iz nekog razloga moj mozak je samo uhvatio taj deo recenice. Ne zato sto je ovo tema sa kojom se borim, vec iz suprotnog razloga.

Da li ja nesto radim pogresno? Kadaje u pitanju ova tema osecam se kao djak koji bez problema resava jednacinu dok se svi drugi u razredu muce sa njom. e jer sam najpametnija, nego jer sam verovatno naivna misleci da je lagana. Jel tako? Pa mislim da je odgovor negativan ovog puta.

U poslednje vreme me cesto putate kako balansiram posao i privatni zivot. Neko mi je spomenuo da im se cini kako ja sve vreme samo radim i da ce me ovo kostati licnih odnosa, drugima se cini da sam uvek sama i da u zivotu samo radim radim radim. Uglavnom se nasmejem tim komentarima jer znam da je to ono sto ja izaberem da vam pokazem, ali ipak sam nastavila razmisljati. Jedna osoba je otisla predaleko sa komentarom “Da li ce ti novac koji zaradis non stop radeci biti dovoljan kada ne budes imala ikoga osim sebe osim novca?”

To pitanje me probudilo iz sanjarenja. Novac? Koji novac? Ja ne radim ovaj posao samo zbog novca! Kada bi tako bilo, blog bi bio velika platforma za reklame a ako uporedite moj blog sa drugim, kod mene nema ni jedne jedine reklame u pozadini bloga, ne reklamiram bilo sta, nema tableta za mrsavljenje, ekstenzija, nema brendova koje i sama ne bih kupila. Da mi je novac prioritet, ovde ne biste videli toliko mode, reci i projekata koje osmisljam i na kojim radim nedeljama.

Pokusavam da se setim situacija kada je posao stajao izmedju mene i srece. Zaista volim ovo sto radim, posecujem razlicita mesta, ucim, putujem svetom, radim stvari za koje bih inace platila mnogo novca da ih iskusim. Prosle godine sam odbila nekoliko putovanja kako bih otisla kuci, videla momka ili provela da sa sestrom. Te dane nazivamo “sisterly danima”.

Kad smo kod sestre, krajickom oka primetim da vise ne telefonira.
“Da li si ikada morala da biras izmedju licne srece i uspeha?” Odmah je pitam .
“Bas cudno da pitas…”krene da odgovara ali je ja prekidam – “da, cula sam delic razgovora, i naveo me da razmislim o istome. Da li nesto nije u redu sa mnom ako sa 26 godina nikada nisam birala izmedju uspeha i srece, cak i kada sam radila nesto sto ne volim izvukla sam najvise iz toga, kolege sam pretvorila u prijatelje ili srecu izvukla iz uspeha na poslu”
“Nemoj brkati srecu koju ti donosi rad sa licnom srecom. Moras voleti da bi bila srecna, a ako ne volis i nisi voljena ta vrsta licnog uspeha ce ti najvise nedostajati. Mozes imati gomilu poslovnog uspeha a nemati srecu.”ovaj put sestra je prekinula mene.
“To nisam ni mislila. Javolim ono sto radim i cak i kada mnogo radim i dalje imam vremena za prijatelje, porodicu, momka, ne razumem zasto bih morala da zrtvujem jedno za drugo – to je moje pitanje” rekla sam i napustila sobu.

Da ne radim ovo sto radim ne bih upoznala neke od mojih najboljih prijatelja. To je neki zacarani krug, ali jedno je sigurno – privatni zivot mi je mnogo bitniji. Kako znam? Tako sto iako sam radila preko 10 razlicitih poslova u zivotu NIKADA nisam zrtvovala privatni zivot radi poslovnog. Radila sam kako ne bih imala problem sa dokolicom i kako bih zaradila novac a cinjenica je da sam uvek posecivala porodicu nekoliko puta godisnje, oni su bitniji od bilo kog dogadjaja, posla ili aktivnosti. Nedeljni porodicni rucak ili dugacka lenja jutra sa deckom su bitniji od bilo kog sastanka ili eventa. Ubrzo sam shvatila odgovor na pitanje

Nije stvar u tome sto “moramo” da izaberemo, stvari je u tome sto mi “odlucimo” da biramo. Nikada niste primorani da odlucite izmejdu posla i privatnog zivota. To uradite jer tako zelite. Ako zelite da imate decu sa 22 godine i napustite posao, vi to radite jer birate tako, ja znam sigurno da zelim veliku porodicu u zivotu. Moja majka je jako zelela decu sa 22 godine, ali ipak nije napustila karijeru. Odlucila je da dovoljno zeli i jedno i drugo. Srecna sam sto radim nesto od cega mogu lepo da zivim, ali znam da nema te cene za koju bih zrtvovala vreme koje provodim sa mojim najdrazima. Mozda sam glupi romanticar, ali mislim da je moguce imati i jare i pare u ovom slucaju. Ne morate se odseliti 5000km od svog supruga kako biste imali karijeru. Bez obzira na sve – mi biramo u kom pravcu ide ovaj brod.

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23 Comments

  1. Alice
    Nov 30, 2015 / 3:20 pm

    What a great post to read, I think you can be happy doing the work you dreamed of, so balancing is the key!

  2. Marisel
    Nov 30, 2015 / 3:32 pm

    In my case, I love when I work hard and earn enough, as in that case I can provide everything for myself and my family. That’s kinda fulfilling. I do find some time to go for coffee with friends. I hear them now and then complaining about my tight schedule… But, I would definitely be miserable if I had loads of time and less money. I don’t say money can buy happiness. I’m just saying that they somehow go together.

  3. Nov 30, 2015 / 3:56 pm

    great post. I truly think as a modern fay women ou can “have it all” I love my career but also just had a baby at 29 and am still figuring it all out.. but it’s working. I love that I can still afford to shop and go on vacation so for me, it works! love your blog! xo
    Jamie
    http://www.jamieeverafter.com

  4. J.N.
    Nov 30, 2015 / 3:56 pm

    Ne moras mnogo da brines!
    Zelim da budem policajac..Postoje toliko policajaca,detektiva koji su danonocno posveceni poslu…
    Izdvojeni su od desavanja!!!!!!
    ALi nisu oni uskraceni za prijatelje,srecu ili ljubav porodice..
    Zbog OCEKIVANJA DRUGIH,i nekih princia koji drugi namecu,koje drustvo nalaze gubimo sebe..
    Ako ces sa 40 godina biti ponosna na to sto si radila i sto si sve ostavila nesto sto se ceni,okej je to sve…

    Ali NIKAKO ne mozes da se tesis sa time sto si par dana PROSLE GODINE odvojila i odbila par sastanaka….Za one koje volis,i ako od njih posebno ocekujees da ti se nadju u nevolji,koje mozda do sad nisi osetila ali veruj mi desice se nesto..E za te osobe moras odbiti malo vise od par putovanja i sastanaka…Moras se malo potruditi…Par nedelja radis,par nedelja izdbojis za sve!!! :-) I love youuu

    • Jovana
      Nov 30, 2015 / 5:41 pm

      pa vidis da je napisala da su joj ljudi bitniji od posla, a ne samo prosle godine par sastanaka., mislim da si nesto pobrkala

  5. Nov 30, 2015 / 4:02 pm

    Great post – it really brings me to think about my time and time management again. Your sisters sentence is so deep…
    Brini

  6. Nov 30, 2015 / 5:08 pm

    Very inspiring post! I think you are so right, it is possible to manage work and personal free time if you choose it so and plan it for yourself!

    love, Kat
    http://katharinaberghofer.com

  7. Nov 30, 2015 / 5:46 pm

    Wonderful post. You are so right, we choose what direction to go. I believe you don’t have to sacrifice happiness for success and think it is possible to have both. May have struggles here and there but it is super possible.

  8. Suncica
    Nov 30, 2015 / 8:02 pm

    You wrote this post so deeply. It made me think about my choices. My schedule is pretty busy ’cause I’m ambitious – school, athletics, swimming etc, but I can balance it with time spent with family and friends in & out of my city. My mum puts a lot of effort too, but we always stole a bit of time for drinking coffee/tee while we’re sharing feelings & thoughts. My dad also works a lot, but we’re his priority though. Yes, you can be successful while you’re finding the time for people close to you, just organize your time clever.

  9. Nov 30, 2015 / 8:20 pm

    I enjoyed reading this♥ It is really lovely that we get to decide what path our lives take ♥

    summerdaisy.net

  10. Nov 30, 2015 / 10:41 pm

    Beautiful article Tamara , love how you describe everything correctly and I couldn’t agree more is always good to balance them both .

    Love,

    Virgit

  11. Dec 1, 2015 / 3:07 am

    Love your voice in your writing and you made an extremely valid point. We get to choose our happiness and there is different waves of happiness for different people. You couldn’t have explained it better Tamara!

  12. Dec 1, 2015 / 6:12 am

    This is such a thoughtful post! It’s a tough call but if you can find balance happiness with the professional success, you are an inspiration to us all!

    Love, Liz

  13. Dec 1, 2015 / 9:47 am

    Such a thought provoking, well written post. It’s sad that people send you these kind of messages/emails. You are right to show only what you want your followers to see. I have always admired your work ethic, something that’s instilled in you & it’s clear you came from good foundations with your family unit.
    Hugs Adele xoxo

  14. Dec 2, 2015 / 12:10 am

    Really wonderfully well written. What stands out to me the most is how you spoke of getting the most out of a job by finding happiness in work. We tend to differentiate work from our personal lives, believing that one cannot possible mesh with the other. But why? Why can’t we be happy working, while still balancing our personal lives and relationships with others? We shouldn’t do things for the sake of others. Our lives are our own, and we are accountable for our choices. We should do things that make us happy. I really admire your outlook on life, how it’s not an ultimatum between happiness and success.
    I really liked reading your post. Thank you for sharing this!

    ~Andrea Tiffany~
    http://aglimpseofglam.blogspot.com

  15. Allegra
    Dec 2, 2015 / 8:52 pm

    I agree with you, but because of this, my boyfriend will leave me. I am almost all the time tired of work and school and studying and every time I have free time – I go to sleep. I am very sensitive when I have lack of sleep + stress, I’m moody and my skin gets full of acnas. I love what I do, but there is almost always lack of time for me because I want things to be perfect and neat. But, my relationship suffer. He understands that what I do and it is important for me cause in these things I feel success and personal growth. We are living together which is awesome, but somehow we did not managed to find balance and time for us. I was so happy when we started living together, for me that is totally different than having a boyfriend who lives separate from me. Your post is good and I get what you mean, but it is hard for some people. Yesterday was thinking I need to slow down because I’m like competing with myself, no, there are deadlines and grading as always, nothing gonna get away!

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