Do you often wonder why you dread going to work every day ? I did for a long time, then one day I stumbled upon this quote by EF Schumacher that changed everything for me.
“That soul-destroying, meaningless, mechanical, monotonous, moronic work is an insult to human nature which must necessarily and inevitably produce either escapism or aggression, and that no amount of “bread and circuses” can compensate for the damage done–these are facts which are neither denied nor acknowledged but are met with an unbreakable conspiracy of silence–because to deny them would be too obviously absurd and to acknowledge them would condemn the central preoccupation of modern society as a crime against humanity.”
This simple quote communicates what I had known for such a long time but could not express. That most work does not honour our creative spirit and unique talents. Also what I continually find more disturbing is that modern society has deemed this acceptable.
It is no secret that I have had my fair share of meaningless soul destroying jobs in my life. I am grateful for these jobs because they inspired me to search for my own purpose and work that I would find meaningful.
What still amazes me today is the amount of jobs that exist that refuse to honour the human spirit or our unique talents.
What type of work do humans love to do?
The first question we should be asking is what do humans love to do?
I have listed what I believe are the main activities we fulfil as an act of love and what I also believe what it means to be human.
– We love to create
– We love to connect
– We love to serve
– We love to be free
How many jobs do you know that focus on creating, connecting and serving other individuals and offering you complete freedom in how and where you work?
I think you get the point.
Most jobs are quite the opposite
– They are not creative
– They connect on a superficial level
– While the job may be about service it is service driven by the profit motive
– You must complete the job in an allocated location and time
Yes I have met some very unique individuals who work for some very unique companies that buck this trend of meaningless work however this is very rare.
Also there are still plenty of specialist jobs that are meaningful and rewarding, such us teachers and doctors. There are also still plenty of creative jobs that could be deemed meaningful.
Not all jobs are soul destroying, however as these represent such a small part of the total amount of jobs available I will choose to ignore those types of jobs for this post. If you have a job you love then congratulations your in the minority.
Most jobs have been created for one reason, to create time or profit for the owners/shareholders. (or both)
The sad reality is most jobs have been created for one purpose in mind. That is to create profit for the owner or replacing the owner or owners from working in the business.
Occasionally a business is created for an altruistic purpose. For instance Google is working in the Google Auto piloted car. They are working on it not to make a profit but to eliminate the millions that are killed on our roads every year.
Another example might be a small private company that has been started by the owner for a purpose other than a profit motive. For instance I started my flying schools because I love flying and also wanted more control over my time to work on my own purpose.
Working with a company with a purpose as lofty as this may be the exception however rare.
However the majority of companies and businesses have been created because the owner or founders wanted to create a profit.
If you work for a publicly listed company the outcome is even worse.
The shareholders only motive in most instances is to make a profit and to increase the value of the company over time. Nothing altruistic or spiritual about that.
They did not create these jobs to make your life meaningful and to honour your spirit.
As efficiency and profit is the central motive, most businesses pay what the employee is willing to put up with without quitting.
As the business is always looking for ways to maximise its profit, wages are always coming under pressure.
Would you stay with a friend or a partner if they did not connect with your spirit or bring joy to your life?
Most people would say of course not, then why do we spend so much time doing work that we don’t connect with or that honours our spirit?
Some common reasons why we stay at jobs we dislike are
– Your parents may have worked in meaningless jobs so you accept this as being acceptable.
– School, society family and friends all expect you to go and get a decent job
– The fear of running out of money forces you to find a job quickly and less likely to quit.
– Laziness, comfort and a fear of failing forces you stay in your work that does not honour your spirit.
Living for the weekend!
If you can’t wait for the weekend to arrive then you’re work is not an act of love.
When I had a job I dreaded every thought was committed to thinking about the weekend or how I could escape the drudgery of my work.
Planning for retirement!
One sure sign of an individual who is stuck in a sole destroying job is how much focus they place on planning their retirement. When I was a manager at a large insurance company, I was amazed at how many of my colleagues dreaded their work but stayed because they thought leaving might jeopardize their retirement plan.
What they are basically saying is that I am willing to waste forty years of my life so I might (that’s a big might!) be able to enjoy twenty years of my life.
I am sure we have all heard of individuals who finally retired from the work they did not enjoy only to develop health issues or worse, soon after they retire.
Retirement in my opinion is not a worthwhile goal and only exists because we have such a large proportion of our population dreading the work they are doing.
If you dread the work you are doing and don’t believe you can find meaningful work then looking forward to retirement makes sense.
Belief and the journey!
I believe most individuals know they are wasting their lives doing work that is not suited to their unique purpose.
This knowing grows as they get older. What I have discovered is the older they get and the more they ignore their inner calling the more lost, depressed and often aggressive they become.
Like a lion trapped behind bars we have not been created to be trapped doing meaningless work just to make a living.
Do not accept wasting your life working in a job you dread.
For more ideas and inspiration read my other blogs or purchase my book “The Three Desires – How to discover your Spiritual Purpose. “
Once you have discovered your purpose you will also know if starting a business is the right decision for you.
Your work can be an incredible vehicle for self-expression and service or it can be your jailer, the choice is yours.
You are capable of so much.
Start your journey today!