When I got my first professional position, I worked a lot of hours in the name of success. I’d moved for that opportunity, far away from my friends and family, but that was fine: I didn’t really have time for a life. My main goal was excelling at work! There was no time for love and friendship, in this unbalanced existence.
After a while, I realized something: I was successful, certainly, and I made good money. But I was not happy. I was in fact feeling lonely. All I ever did was work. I decided it was better to work in a way that would make me happy. I cut back on work and started spending time outdoors, making friends and participating in sports. My life changed completely. Where my evenings consisted of commuting from work, some fast food and lots of TV, I now had new friends, interesting hobbies and I was in the best shape of my life. I also lost 20 pound from eating better and exercising.
Think about it: You will spend more of your adult life on your job than on anything else, except possibly sleep. Your work will take up more of your time than your family, friends and hobbies combined. Won’t it be nicer if that time is spent at a job that actually makes you happy?
Thomas Hobbes said life is “nasty, brutish and short” and concluded that work is hell but we must endure it because we’re all sinners. We get our reward once we’re dead.
Maybe it’s time to put that particular view of work behind us.
Some people have the ability to have a lousy day at work and to then go home and be happy as if nothing has happened. I can’t do this. When I have a rough day at work, it ruins the rest of my evening.
It is easy to accept a job that makes you unhappy, because the way it changes you can sneak up on you very gradually. Think about it – did you use to be happy, outgoing and energetic, and lost that somewhere? The explanation could be found at work and many people find that having a job that makes them happy gives them energy and zest for life.
Stay tuned for part 2 of this article…