Being logical is, by definition, thinking, saying or doing something sensible in a given scenario.
For example, it is logical to close your windows if it starts to rain, lest you allow drops into your warm, dry house. It is logical for me to wear sunscreen to the beach because I know from experience that I’m liable to get burned by so much as turning my phone screen on in the dark.
There are logical things to do on a deeper level too, like earn a decent salary and stash savings if you are providing for a family. It is logical, in that case, to secure and keep a full-time job and a dependable vehicle with which you can drive to and from said job. It is logical to suppress certain desires (like that lavish, two-week vacation you’ve been dreaming of taking) in favor of those responsibilities.
But there are also plenty of people (especially my age) who are earning, saving and sacrificing their best years at jobs that don’t excite them because they *might* need that money *eventually* – if and when they start a family or buy a house or retire.
Doesn’t looking ahead to your 60’s or 70’s when you can retire from work and finally spend that fortune you saved seem insane to anyone else? Especially if you spent 50-plus years saving money doing boring jobs to get there?
To me, that logic is flawed. Why spend your entire adult life in a job you hate just because it guarantees you an income and the potential for eventually leaving? I totally understand the concept and do try to save for the future myself, but not at the expense of living a life in which I can pursue traveling, writing, baseball and other things I love.
If you’re already married, having kids, buying a house, etc., ignore me. Don’t put yourself or your family on the streets in pursuit of a more interesting job or a more fulfilling lifestyle. Keep being responsible (though I do think you can continue providing and pursue passions simultaneously…).
Similarly, if you landed a job you find meaning in, keep at it. That’s awesome. You’re very lucky. But if you don’t fall in either one of those categories, what are you doing?
Losing a sure stream of income sucks. Potentially losing your cushy, overpriced city apartment really sucks. Being worried and uncertain and stressed for entirely new reasons than you were previously is annoying. Trust me, I’ve been there.
But, sometimes, it’s best to not be logical.
It made zero sense for me to quit my good job in a good city with good benefits. It was incredibly irresponsible to spend most of my savings on a trip abroad. Moving back to my parents’ house and shunning “real” jobs to fulfill my desire of being a poorly paid, full-time writer was illogical.
Except I wasn’t happy with the work I was doing before I left; I felt like I was doing it because I was “supposed” to.
Except I don’t miss a single penny I spent on my trip; I do miss hikes in Malaysia, road trips in Iceland and cliff jumps in Croatia.
Except I’d rather live with my parents as a 27-year-old than take a job I hate to afford higher rent; especially if it interfered with my writing.
I wouldn’t trade a single portion of my trip for more money, a better car or different roommates. I’d rather scratch and claw my way through as a writer than trade that trip for another desk job. And that mantra of “do what you love, not what you hate” might just be unique to me, but I doubt it.
The point is, sometimes the right choice isn’t the logical one. Once in a while, treating yourself to a long trip, or the pursuit of a job you might actually care about, or personal time dedicated to one of your passions, is much better in both the short term and long term than killing yourself at the rat race because it’s “logical.” Even if it takes sacrifice.
Someday, you’ll stop working and that little nest egg you’ve been sitting on for decades will finally be put to use. Someday, you’ll die and all those decades spent working instead of seeing the world, meeting interesting people or doing something you truly loved will be for naught.
But at least it will have been a logical decision at the time.