You wake up on Monday morning and your thoughts immediately begin to race. The nagging negative, anxious thoughts flood your mind while it still rests on your pillow and sometimes you debate whether you should move or just stay in bed. You think; what lies ahead, what will this week be like, what troubles will I run into, how will I manage the next shit pile pushed my way, and everything else? Humans are plagued by thoughts such as these for a multitude of reasons, but much of the focus here is on one of the major issues most people struggle with; that of not truly enjoying or being fulfilled by what they are doing for work.
Yet people continue showing up everyday going through the motions and continuing to participate in this soulless meaningless job they have. In some ways, this is honorable, and it is good to have that self-discipline in showing up, as sometimes in life we need to do things we don’t necessarily want to do. But, life is also too short and if this everyday work struggle is sucking the soul out of you, changes need to be made, and it starts by looking introspectively and challenging what we’ve been taught about work and life.
In our current society, at least as far as America goes, we end up spending about 40 hours a week working. That is a huge chunk of time cut directly out of your life. It is no wonder people feel anxiety at the start of their days and weeks, having to get up to go to a job they hate, likely with a boss who is a terrible leader or shitty person, in an organization or environment which cuts out individuality so everyone fits a preset corporate company ideal, and on top of that, you are put in groups and forced to work with people who maybe more miserable about the situation than you.
In these types of environments, you will receive promises of raises and higher positions if your performance is up to their standard. This idea of getting that good job, or getting that raise or fancy new title is detrimental as higher salary or more prestige will never truly fill you up. Yet this idea we have toward work and life are pitched to us non-stop and most people settle into this rat race cycle of chasing this draining way of living sold to us.
We truly have been duped by this perspective that the“ideal” or standard is somewhat as follows; go to college, get a good job, start a family, then pretty much work for 40+ years until you have enough money to retire based on your “burn rate”, then and only then, can you take it easy.Another way to put it; go to school, get into a ton of debt doing so, then get a job you could care less for, start a family with another individual who is half-fulfilled by their work, then you two can work your asses off for a corporation or company that could and would fire you at the drop of a time, all to retire when you’re between 60-70 years old. All while you waste away your prime years working for pieces of green paper that were to be your salvation at the end of the road. That doesn’t sound like to great a bargain when you lay it all out on paper.
“Its’ not about the money, it’s about the time”
Playing devil’s advocate to the prior paragraph; yes, there are some amazing jobs and opportunities out there. Yes, there are great bosses and people to work with. And yes, people do find great work life balance with their 40-hour-per-week job. But to put things in a little better perspective, you spend those 40 hours a week at your job, that is 160 hours a month (approx. a week’s worth of time). If we go up to a year, its almost 2000 hours which equates to about 80 days out of your life working at a job you are miserable at or do not enjoy. A wise old man once told me “It’s not about the money, it’s about the time”. This man relayed this simple but great bit of wisdom to me after essentially quitting his high paying job and traveling the world in his mid60’s, after busting his ass working long hours for a large corporation for years.
There is something to be said about that. There is richness in life to be pursued deeper than fancy job titles, high salaries, and green paper. And I guarantee you will be hard-pressed to find anyone on their death bed say “I wish I had been working more.” And this is the premise of this article; breaking out of the everyday struggle to pursuing your passions in life.
So, what can you do? A good first step is to kick yourself in the ass. Ask yourself seriously; If I do not change now, what will my life look like in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years? And you can rest assured you will likely be in the same exact place if you do not make any steps to improve. Let that sink in. You will be in the same job, profession, or field, doing the same things, having the same feelings, thinking the same thoughts, wallowing in the same mental fields of misery if you don’t get up and make moves. How can you expect changes if you literally don’t change anything? And change is hard, no doubt. But going through it is the only way out, and that is what we have to face; that inevitable fear of change.
Concerning change and risk taking when it comes to changing careers (or anything else in life for that matter), we tend to prefer the devil we know as opposed to the one we don’t. We are weary about traveling into the unknown or trying something new because we don’t know what to expect. We would rather hold onto the shit job because we know it’s safe; we have money coming in and a sense of security. And other circumstances keep us tied to these jobs such as mortgages, families and other financial obligations, so up and leaving or quitting a job to start your own business or pursue whatever your passion may be, can seem ever more daunting or do or die.
The key here is to start, no matter how small. Wherever you want to go, start pushing little by little in that direction. No need to quit any job, but you need to start putting in work on that side hustle or on whichever item you want to build. The truth seems to be, that going into the unknown is where opportunity lies and will help you to better your situation and position There is no other way out of this but through, into the unknown.
Each and every person on this earth is passionate about something and has natural gifts of various capacities in different fields. An honorable effort in terms of getting over the everyday struggle is to find out what you are good at and like doing, building that into your career in some aspect. This applies to implementing your passion and gift into a job you have which you may be lucky enough to enjoy (somewhat), or you go out and create a venture or business yourself. In its rawest form, this is the only way.
We humans need to find purpose in our everyday activities in order to feel fulfilled. There is no further excuse in subbing out 8 hours per day and trading that off for that evasive happiness of tomorrow. You need to do it now, because time isn’t going to wait for you. Take back control of your time and your life and move forward with passion and purpose as it should be.
Your life is your life. Do not waste any more of it being miserable or doing things you hate. It is simply not worth it. Get up, put in that work, and get on the path to building up to the person and potentially that is yours. Conquer the everyday struggle.