Work and Happiness

Welcome back everyone to another thought piece by me, ya boy, Joe Van. Today we will be covering work life, and general daily happiness. I first named this piece ‘Work’, but considering most peoples’ work takes up a majority of their life, I had to include happiness. Imagine if humans had the same sleeping cycle as sloths. Imagine if in a given 24 hour day, you slept 15 to 20 hours. Now imagine… if you had nothing but nightmares. Your life would probably suck under those conditions. While most people don’t usually work 15 to 20 hours, 7 days a week, our work does consume more time than when we punch in and punch out. It takes travel time which could add up to hours in a given week, or even every day! And then there’s after work. While it’s a common rule most people know, to not bring your work home with you (mentally), we do it anyways because we can’t help it. We can’t help but vent to our loved ones about the things we had to deal with. So for these reasons and more, our daily happiness is pretty well ruled by our work life.

How does one find happiness in where they work? The workplace market is competitive, making people feel like they should be grateful for even having a job in the first place. This leads to people sucking up however toxic or soulless the workspace is toward them because they have no other choice. However, in order to balance one’s work and life, one must have at the very least, a semi-adequate work life. How many people know of someone in their workplace that has worked there for decades and hates their life. Not only their life, but all their co-workers’ lives too. I feel like every place I’ve ever worked had at least one person like that, and it always made me wonder, ‘why do they keep working here if it makes them miserable?’

I’m not going to pretend like we live in a world where everyone can simply quit their jobs they don’t like and be able to find ones the next day that fill them with joy every time they clock in, but there has to be a limit for these ‘lifers’ that appear so miserable. They’ve clearly been locked into their situations both financially and emotionally. When all it takes is browsing the internet these days to set up interviews for new jobs as seasons bring turnarounds, it really is easier than ever, but I know the feeling of relentless burnout that can come from long, sustained workdays. It makes us physically and emotionally drained, unable to do anything but try to de-stress with the rest of our free time. It can be a cycle that locks you into a track, moving ever forward with the illusion that you can’t do anything about it, but of course, that’s not true.

I’m in no way advocating that everyone needs to reassess their lives just because some weeks can be harder than others, though. Careers take dedication and hard work, and that DOES mean having weeks where you feel like all you’re doing is working without a second to breathe. But if that’s how you’ve felt for MONTHS, or even YEARS, that’s not healthy. That’s not just ‘how it is.’ Your daily happiness is crucial to make your work life sustainable, so if you’ve had one-too-many days weigh on you, making you wonder when it’ll let up, you might have to look into leaving your workplace.

For our society to function, we need workers. We can’t have everybody pursuing the arts for example. We need electricians, doctors, arborists, retail workers, and the rest. The trades in particular is an avenue that has plenty of room for more workers if only more people wanted to work in it. It’s all about balance. Humanity’s future is currently unknown. Many arising technologies hint at several jobs going the way of automation, including long haul trucking, telemarketing, reception, and so on. Could this free up everyone who’s unhappily working retail or trades to pursue their passions? Time will tell, but the important note to end this on is that sure, having a rough week or two is bad, but having a rough MONTH or two, is reason to reassess your situation. You shouldn’t not be happy. What’s the point of that?

Thank you again as always for being here. I appreciate all of your time, wish you nothing by love in your life, and ask you to remember, to keep on thinking. Good bye.


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