You don’t really like your job, you just like the idea of liking it

By Anonymous

Chances are, if your job doesn’t involve making the world a better place, it’s a useless job. And it’s time we be honest with ourselves, and this article is for all of us.

Ever since we’ve been in school, our teachers have been encouraging us to “chase our dreams”. All the clichés like “the world is your oyster” and “nothing is impossible” have been thrown around the classrooms, leading us to believe that one day, we’ll grow up to do something that we like, that we’re good at, that the world values, and that pays us fuck loads of money.

The Japanese concept of "Ikigai", not me.

The Japanese concept of "Ikigai", not me.

As I grew up, I quickly gave up my childhood dream of becoming a cop when I realised that the police are the bad guys. I decided that I didn’t want to become a teacher because the pay is shit. And to become a rock star, I actually needed to know how to play an instrument.

I mean, who grew up dreaming of becoming a Marketing Executive?

People pay thousands of dollars to attend talks that claim to teach them how to “maximise their potential” or “unleash the power of their minds”, when all these seminars do is to maximise the monthly income of some motivational liar.

And the whole thing about “liking your job” has been overrated and popularised to become the most important thing in modern society. Well, let’s face it, many of us hate our jobs. Our bosses suck. Our pay sucks. Our customers suck. And the hours suck.

But yet, day after day, we find something to convince ourselves that we like it. “It’s really not that bad.” We’re just sick bastards lying to ourselves, and others. “Oh, the colleagues are really nice,” or “You know, there’s really good work-life balance here.” Because we think that liking our jobs, more so than having an actually good job, is the measure of our own happiness. We’re more in love with the idea that we like our jobs, than the job itself.

A simple question that we can all ask ourselves today is, “If I can get paid a million dollars a month for any job I want to do, what would I be doing?”

If it’s probably not the one you’re having today, then we’re in the same boat.

But that’s not a reason to feel miserable. It’s perfectly fine to be stuck in a job that you hate. It’s perfectly alright to work at McDonald’s your entire life. And it’s perfectly ok to be secretly plotting an ‘accident’ that might cause your bosses to lose their limbs (as long as you don’t really do it).

The whole idea of paying people money to make us do something is an insult to the human spirit. But then again, we don’t really have the balls to just get up and leave and become an inspirational dancer on the streets. No one is really stuck with no other option, but this money is better than no money.

Every morning, when our bodies are jolted awake with our alarms, we are actually abusing our primal instinct of “loud sound = danger = wake up and protect yourself”. Every minute we spend at work is already a minute of losing our dreams to the powers of the system.

You can also try this. Haha. Let us know if it works.

You see, our need for meaning and significance pushes us to convince ourselves that there’s something good in this job. Our bosses, or the system, don’t even need to do that. We have decided to tranquilise ourselves in hope of becoming happier about the need to work, and that’s what the rich and powerful would want us to do.

“But if we don’t do that, wouldn’t life be miserable?”

Well, no. Lying to ourselves is miserable. Having to find happiness in a mundane job is miserable. Life isn’t about a job, and our happiness shouldn’t be dependent on our jobs. Every excuse we find for ourselves liking our jobs, we give the system one more tool to enslave us, making it easier and easier to keep us in the endless loop of working and consuming.

If your job sucks, acknowledge it. That truth empowers us to make changes in our lives, and try to make changes in today’s flawed system. Hang in there, but always think about quitting. Maybe one day we’d find something that we’ve actually dreamt of, and maybe one day we can work in something that makes lives better for life on our planet. We’ve been told our whole lives nonsense such as boys like blue and girls like pink, and now we’re letting tell us that we should like our jobs? Fuck that.

Go to work everyday knowing the truth about why we’re having to go to work. And then let’s make the best out of our everyday.

Knowing the world is in a shitty situation doesn’t stop us from embracing our lives, does it? So knowing that we have shit jobs shouldn’t stop us from enjoying our days either.

They can make us pack boxes, write reports, or even control how much time we spend eating our lunches. But we should never, never let them dictate our minds. Let’s not allow these external circumstances infiltrate our internal state of bliss. Me having a good day or not, should not be dependent on what happens at work. Only I can decide whether I’m happy or not, not my bosses.

So if you think your job sucks, let it suck. But have a great day nonetheless. 

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Kai TeoComment