Why You’re Thinking About Work Wrong

I can’t speak for all of you when I say this, but I’m likely speaking to enough of you that this is worth saying. You’re thinking about work wrong—your opinions on work are flawed. It’s based on an idea, popular enough in this day and age, that it feels like truth.

If you are a person working a 40-hour job, then you are working a fourth of your week. If you sleep 7 hours a day, as medically advised, then that’s another 50 or so hours. That means that supposed free time is a grand total of 70 hours a week—only, of course, with chores and cooking and obligations outside of the grind, then it’s not much really at all, is it?

Now, this is not meant to induce despair, I don’t mean this as something sad, it simply means shifting something in you if you want a happy life.

If you’re going to do work all the time, then why must it be something to be avoided, dreaded, or forced through with the promise of free time the only carrot among sticks? A lot of people are not fortunate enough to have a job that is exactly the things that they want to do, and some jobs really are as miserable as they say, but it seems there’s a big issue of perception. If most of your life is something you dread, then why are you making it so unpleasant?

Production, especially production for a cause that’s in line with something positive for the world, should be treated as a pleasure. I’m not suggesting grin and bear it; I’m certainly not attempting to excuse the awful things some businesses do—and I think workers deserve more respect and businesses that abuse them should be changed or removed—but, what I am suggesting (well, stating) is that boredom, having nothing to do, being without work, is depression, stagnation, and unhappiness.

Get yourself more to do, and you will do more. Set higher targets and watch as you get closer to solving them.

Why not treat work as something worth tackling with the full force of your mind, body, and intelligence? Where’s the harm in it? I think if this is practiced, not only will work become sweeter but those moments of break, when they do come, will be well-earned. Feel even better.

Ask any mother, a job and a calling that’s got very few moments of free time indeed, how sweet a moment of silence is.

Then ask them if the work is worth doing.

I think you already know how they’ll answer.

The work is worth doing. Good work is worth doing, and should good work dominate our hours, then that’s not horrible—that’s a life full of activity, production, and satisfaction. You don’t owe society, necessarily, but you do owe something to yourself.

Think of work as steps to attaining goals, as steps to further accomplishments. I think you’ll find—if you can manage it—that it’s a lot more of a pleasant experience.