stressed workers

HOW OUR JOB AFFECTS OUR HAPPINESS

For many people, their workplace is where they spend most of their time so it is inevitable that our job plays a key role in shaping our levels of happiness.

I believe we must do whatever it takes to find and do something that makes us feel excited and fulfilled.

In other words, a job that makes us jump out of bed happily every morning. 

As Mark Twain used to say:

“Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” 

Unfortunately, the more I speak to people, the more I discover that the majority don’t like what they are doing.

Most people don’t have a vision for their future, they only live from day to day, waiting for the weekend.

When I ask them: “Do you like your job”?

The most common answer is: “It’s ok, I work from Monday to Friday in a 9 to 5 job that enables me to pay the bills”.

What a sad reply! I feel very sorry every time I hear it.

That reply suggests that people just lie to themselves, pretending that everything is fine when they actually feel bad.

How can you keep working in a job just because it enables you to make ends meet, when you feel unfulfilled and when you are living a purposeless existence?

Did you know that our job strongly influences all the other areas of our lives?

5 AREAS AFFECTED BY OUR JOB

1) GENERAL WELL-BEING, too much work-stress compromises our immune system, as well as our MENTAL HEALTH, as shown in this large-scale meta-analysis.

2) PERSONAL LIFE AND RELATIONSHIPS, if we are not satisfied with our job we bring this feeling home.

We bring our frustrations, disappointment, anger to the people we love, and, as a result, we ruin our relationships and we run the risk of being left alone.

On the contrary, people who are happy in their jobs often report having great relationships with their spouses as well as their children.

Job satisfaction can definitely boost our relationships and, if you have great relationships, a happy and healthy life is guaranteed.

3) CONFIDENCE and SELF-ESTEEM, if we don’t feel fulfilled in our job or career, our confidence and self-esteem can suffer, as illustrated in this study.

On the contrary, when people feel valued and fulfilled at work, they are more able to go above and beyond what they are asked to do.

This in turn results in a feeling of accomplishment and more confidence. 

In a nutshell, the more satisfied a person is with their job, the higher their confidence and self-esteem are.

4) MOTIVATION is one of the most important factors that lead us to pursue our goals.

According to this case study, there is a significant relationship between job satisfaction and motivation; the value of motivation increases with an increase in the value of job satisfaction and vice-versa.

5) DREAMS, human beings are creatures of habit, and the longer we stay in a job we hate, the harder choosing another path is, even if it means pursuing our dreams.

"A Salary is the Drug They Give You to Forget Your Dreams”. -Kevin O'Leary

The painful truth is that most of us sign up for this kind of life and keep working in a job that doesn’t suit who we are, that is not aligned with our passions.

We do it without even realizing it because we don’t have enough context when we make this important decision in the first place.

Only when we are bogged down with bills and obligations do we realize how unhappy we are, and we feel trapped.

We realize all this when the effects are felt deep inside and when those feelings show up in our personal lives and relationships. 

We would like things to be different.

Do you feel or have you ever felt this way?

Why would anyone sign up for this life?

Those who ignore this feeling and don’t make the necessary change become part of a statistic of people living their one shot on this planet with major regret.

Changing can be painful, but I believe there’s nothing as painful as being stuck in a job that sucks our soul and makes us regret how we have wasted our time on earth.

Nothing changes until something changes! That’s for sure!

There’s nothing worse than staying in a job you are not passionate about, so, just look at your life.

Is your current job affecting the five areas mentioned above?

If so, it’s high time you chose between staying in your current unfulfilling job with all the consequences it brings about or making a change.

Remember: it is not only about yourself but also about the people you love.

Let me ask you:

What would you do if money were no object?

Hopefully, you would do something you like, something you are passionate about, something that makes you feel alive, wouldn’t you?

We are on this earth for such a short period of time, so, doing something that makes our day is a MUST.

A life of regret is not a life!

Having said that, it’s fine if you don't know what your purpose in life is, and what you truly want to do provided you keep searching.

Staying still, and giving in to looking for your Ikigai, i.e. the reason for being alive is unacceptable.

Sometimes we have to do stuff that we don’t like doing to figure out what we truly like, but it’s worth the effort.

Doing something we like and living a purpose-driven life is the foundation of fulfillment, happiness, and ultimately of success in life.

Let me use the following story to show you different approaches to your job.

THE THREE STONEMASONS 

three stonemasons working stone

Once upon a time, a pilgrim who was heading towards a monastery came across a stone quarry where three stonemasons were shaping rough pieces of rock. 

They were all sweaty, full of dust, and visibly fatigued.

The curious pilgrim approached the first stonemason and asked him: “What are you doing”?

The man, visibly irritated, replied: “Are you kidding me? Can you not see what I am doing? I'm breaking stones! 

It's hard, I have pain all over my body, I'm thirsty, I'm hot, I work as a slave, I cannot wait to finish this working day and go to my place, so please, leave me alone”.

The pilgrim then approached the second stonemason and asked the same question: “What are you doing”?

Responding with a deep sigh the Stonebraker said: “I work this block of stone which I will use to build a wall. 

It's a very tiring job, it’s not my dream job, but at least it allows me to look after my family”.

The pilgrim finally approached the third stonemason and asked him the same question: “What are you doing”?

The man with a sense of pride and a smile on his face replied: “I have a purpose, I am building a cathedral.

cathedral

People will gather in it and celebrate the love of God ”!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

In this enlightening story, the three stonemasons are doing the same job.

However, the meaning they assign to it is completely different, and so are their emotional states.

The first one is visibly pissed off and hates his job to the extent that he only waits to get home.

He can just see his task, i.e. working the stone. 

Likewise, the second stonemason doesn’t do his dream job, but at least he has a goal, i.e. building a wall and providing for his family.

The third stonemason, instead, is happy.

Why is he happy?

Because he has a vision, a purpose that goes above and beyond his own interest and contribution.

He’s building a cathedral that many other people will enjoy. 

How do you see yourself? Are you like the first, the second, or the third stonemason?

I used to feel unfulfilled in my job, and that’s why I decided to make a change.

I didn’t really know what I wanted to do and so I remember wondering:

Why do I do my job? Is it just to be able to pay the bills or because there is a deeper meaning behind it like for the third stonemason? 

What would I like to get out of my dream job?

FREEDOM was the answer that came up.

I wanted to be able to work from anywhere in the world and schedule my own work timetable and not have to follow someone else’s orders.

I couldn’t bear having only a two weeks' holiday a year.

What’s more, I couldn’t see myself working for 40 years for somebody else.

This led me to start investing in myself to acquire new skills and start my venture online.

myself using a laptop in the garden

I am so happy that I took the plunge because the more I keep moving forward, the more clarity I am getting.

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t quit my traditional job to become a digital entrepreneur overnight.

I have set a transitional plan.

In other words, I am still working in my traditional job while paving the way to be able to work exclusively online.

If I had never decided to invest in my education I would never have discovered that working online would be my path.

What’s more, I would never have come to know how easy finding something you are passionate about is in the online world.

I used to look at my traditional job like the first stonemason; I hated it, which in turn made me feel miserable.

I was always angry and I used to complain all the time, blaming external circumstances for how miserable I used to feel.

Nowadays, instead, I look at my present job as an assistant butler from a different point of view.  

myself-working-as-an-assistan-butler-at-All-Souls-College

I have a different approach to it.

I am grateful for my job even if it’s not my dream job, and do you know why? Because it’s the mean that finances my dream and vision.

I can’t wait to use my free time to keep building my online business and helping other like-minded people, like you, to get started online themselves.

Finding something you can be passionate about, as well as paving your way for a life with more time, freedom and fulfillment is possible and way easier than you may think.

Just imagine, waking up every day enthusiastic to do something you love; what would it be like?

How would your general health and relationships improve?

Like me, you can also look at your current job as a springboard towards your dream job.

Remember: Our lives are mainly affected by the way we think things are.

Different approaches to things lead us to feel in different ways, which leads us to take different actions that have different outcomes.

You can either be resourceful or inefficient, playing the role of a victim or taking ownership of your life.

It’s your choice now.

If you are happy in your job, good for you, if you don’t feel fulfilled and happy, what’s holding you back from making a change in your life?

You are the only one who can make it.

Why don’t you consider setting a transitional plan in the same way as I did?

Why don’t you permit yourself to find something that you can truly love?

We all should pursue something meaningful, and the sooner we start, the sooner we feel fulfilled. 

Christian Caliendo
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