When I first left school and began work, I was articled to a firm of quantity surveyors. That’s a glorified way of saying I was an apprentice.

One day I was working on site with one of the firm’s partners. We stopped for coffee (he paid – I earned £2.50 a week!) and chatted about this and that. He told me he hated quantity surveying. The only reason he stuck it, he said, was for the money. As a partner, he made a very good income which paid for a nice house, big car, holidays, private schooling for his children and so on.

I was dumbstruck. This man was going to spend the bulk of his waking hours for the next 20 to 30 years doing something he hated? In exchange for the power to buy things?

And I realised that I, too, hated quantity surveying. It was dull, dispiriting and dreary. (Apologies if you are a QS and love it!) Was I going to spend the next two or three decades trapped like my boss here? No! And I determined to get out as fast as I could. Which was pretty fast.

Now, we all must do things we dislike from time to time. But eight hours a day? A third of our lives?

If you are stuck in a job you hate, or a relationship that isn’t working – just stop. Quit the job, end the relationship. Start afresh. It may not be easy, or as well paid. What will help reassure you that it is the right thing to do is to look around at your fellow man and listen to what he/she has to say. The majority of people, it seems to me, complain constantly. About their jobs, their partners, their friends.

Ask them why they don’t do something about all this stuff and they will come up with implausible excuses. You, of course, have reasons why you cannot change. But listen to those reasons with an unbiased ear and you will realise that they are really the same implausible excuses that everyone else is offering. It’s easy to see through the words of others, hard to catch yourself out. But it is worth it.

No reward is worth wasting your life for. The only things worth doing are the things you love to do.

So take a good look at your life. And make sure it is the life you love. From tomorrow anyway.