WORK-LIFE BALANCE / FEB. 14, 2015
version 18, draft 18

How Your Job Controls Your Life: What You Should do Instead

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We have been brainwashed into believing the best way to live is to allow someone else to control every aspect of our lives.

You believe you are free? You’re not.

You believe you control your life? You do not.

Somebody else is doing it all for you. That person is your boss.

People ignorantly believe that when they have a job working for someone else, they’ve got it made. Not really!

Who Really Controls you and Decides your Worth?

Somewhere along the path of civilisation the 9-5 system was created. The system is designed to create a slave mentality and make us feel inadequate, while successfully managing to convince us we should be extremely grateful to be a slave. That’s some serious mind-bending.

When working for a boss, you constantly feel the need to prove your worth and value.

  • It begins with the interview. You need to prove why you are the best person for the job, and somebody else determines whether or not you are.
  • Once you land the job, someone else decides what salary you are worth.
  • Once in the job you have to prove that you can do the job and perform exceedingly well to get a slap on the back, a small annual increase and, if you’re lucky, a bonus at the end of year (again, all controlled by someone else).

Somebody else determines what you earn and they therefore determine how you will live - which neighbourhood you live in, what car you drive, where your kids go to school, where you shop and where you vacation or if you can afford to vacation at all – because it all depends on what you earn. You will never go beyond that, no matter how hard you work or how many jobs you traverse. Your salary bracket is set within a specific range and therefore so is your entire life.

You are not at the wheel of your own life; somebody else is driving the bus. That is the reality and how the system has been engineered for hundreds of years.

Money is at the core of the system. We need money. We have rent and bills to pay, food to buy, and desire so many things that money can buy. For this reason, we feel that we need our jobs and so like a hamster in a wheel we go round and round in the system.

This all has a profound psychological effect. Fear creeps in. No job means no money. So we hang on to our jobs and allow someone else to control our lives. We do their bidding and follow their rules (that slave mentality mentioned earlier), but we never feel secure. We desperately hope that we are good enough and that we will not lose our jobs. We crave more validation through performance appraisals and promotions. We proudly want to show our friends and family how well we do in the jobs we hate. A Gallup survey states that around 87% of us are unhappy or feel disconnected in our jobs.

If you think about it, it’s crazy. Yet the whole world has bought into this system.

Why?

It’s part of what’s called social conditioning. We are brainwashed from childhood to believe that we need to find a good job and work in subjugation for a boss for forty years. In return you are offered some money, a few measly days of vacation leave every year, some sick leave (and made to feel guilty if you do take off sick) and a modest retirement package for when you are put out to pasture.

The system then proceeds to suck away eight hours of your day, and that excludes the time you take to commute back and forth to your job. We effectively spend most of our lives sitting in jobs we loathe. This means we are not spending our lives doing what we love and are not living an authentic life.

If you ask me, that’s no way to live.

Were you Meant to Live this Way?

No, you were not. Unfortunately, this will be the way most people live. It’s only when we make a conscious effort to start thinking for ourselves (up to that point we are thinking the way society has indoctrinated us to think) do we start to question our way of life.

A precious few out of billions on the planet do eventually wake up out of the zombie-like state of mind, and neurons start firing rapidly. When that happens, they start to examine and question their way of life. This is good. This is the start of finding a new way of living.

This is when people make drastic decisions like quitting their job and starting a business doing something they are passionate about. This is when their life expands and opens up like a blossoming flower. This is when magic happens.

Breaking Out of the System

We were born to use our talents and gifts to serve the world. We were not put on this earth to stagnate and wither away in mundane, dead-end jobs that lead to depression and burn-out. We were not supposed to be part of a rat race. We were not supposed to sit in traffic jams or crammed into trains and buses to get to a building where we breathe recycled air and suffer through another stressful day in a high pressured job. Is it any wonder we have so many physical and psychological problems plaguing the world today?

In days of old, life was simpler. People worked their land, grew their own fruits and vegetables, had some livestock, ate uncontaminated food and breathed cleaner air. If you had a skill, you used it to either barter and exchange your service for another or for some monetary payment. But, people did things they enjoyed or were naturally good at and were happier and far less stressed.

While I am not advocating that you rush out and buy a farm, I am encouraging you to think about what it is you enjoy – writing, painting, cooking, health and fitness, dancing, counselling, building, electronics or mechanics? Whatever it is that makes your eyes light up and your soul dance. That which you love and could spend hours doing. That is what you should be doing with your life. And that is how you could be making your money and how much you make is controlled by you! Wouldn’t you rather make your money doing something you enjoy rather than something you hate?

If quitting your job and going it on your own is too scary, then make a switch to a job in which you are doing something you enjoy. At least it will make your eight hours a day in the system a lot more pleasant.

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~ Howard Thurman.

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