People need to work. And I’m not talking about a base need, like keeping a roof over your head and food on your table.
The only reason any of that is necessary is because society requires it. The systems we operate under certainly aren’t necessary or ideal. But they exist.
But people work for a more important reason. They need to work simply because they need to be active.
We aren’t creatures capable of being indefinitely idle. That would literally drive us insane.
People need to stay busy so that they don’t lose their minds. They need to feel a sense of purpose, one that helps them make sense of life and their role in it. Work is necessary because it gives us a reason to live.
We may like avoiding work. But avoiding work isn’t always possible — not if you want a happy and fulfilling life. This doesn’t mean that you should do any sort of work for the sake of keeping busy.
The right job can make your life amazing. On the other hand, the wrong job can make you regret being alive.
If you’re going to spend so much time working, you may as well work towards something that you are passionate about. Of course, finding that job isn’t easy. The most fulfilling jobs are the hardest to get.
What you can do is take the time to figure out what you want to do for a living. Take time to explore. Get to know yourself. Figure out what mark you want to leave on the world. Just keep one thing in mind: If you know it’s time to go, it’s time to go.
Don’t stay at a job if that job doesn’t make you feel the following 6 things:
1. It should make you feel content
Forget about being happy. Happiness is elusive and not worth chasing. Sure, the people you work with should make you laugh.
Going into work should bring a smile to your face and the knowledge that you belong. But no one is ever always happy at work. It’s work, after all. People will always rather do less than more; it’s in our nature.
But you should feel content with what you’re doing for a living. It may not be your ideal job. It may be a stepping stone to something greater. But you should not hate going into work.
Once you feel that way, your life will take a turn for the worse — quickly. You don’t always have to do things you love. Just don’t do things you hate.
2. It should make you feel curious
People underestimate curiosity as a beneficial, even essential, emotion. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it also got that cat off its lazy ass.
Being curious about something means finding it intriguing and interesting. When we don’t find things that strike our curiosity, we become bored.
That brings me to an obvious point: Don’t find boring work. Boredom happens when we have nothing else to do.
Being bored at work is a signal that you should go job hunting. Find a job that makes you eager to learn, and you’ll never go into work hating your day.
3. It should make you feel challenged
Having an easy job can be nice, especially when you come in hungover and running on three hours of sleep. But it can also make you completely miserable.
Having it easy is great until it’s not. It’s nice until you’re looking for more excitement in life and realize that you’re spending eight hours a day going through the motions.
Unless we feel like we’re learning and growing, we begin to feel like we’re stuck in place. Since you’re going to spend such a large part of your life working, you should do your best to find work that makes you push yourself.
The challenges will excite you, and your accomplishments will boost your confidence. This confidence will translate into other areas of your life.
4. It should make you feel rewarded
A rewarding job is the only kind of job worth having. Just be careful about how you measure reward. Sometimes it really isn’t worth the trouble.
Money is great. I love money. You probably love money, too. But we don’t actually love the little green pieces of paper themselves. We love the lifestyle that they allow us.
The problem that you’ll often find is that the jobs that pay the most are also the ones that make you hate your life the most. This is when you need to ask yourself: What’s the point in making a living when “the living” isn’t worth living?
5. It should make you feel motivated
Motivation fuels us. We do everything out of motivation. Every single thing. Motivation gives us reason to move, to do, to make changes, and to keep living.
Without motivation, life feels forced. It lacks momentum. Yes, it’s possible to make your own motivation. But creating a life that reinforces it is crucial to success.
It’s difficult to be your own hype man day in and day out. Your life should make you want to strive for more without needing to convince yourself that you deserve it. Find a job that will do that for you, and beginning the day will take less effort.
6. It should make you feel optimistic
We spend so many hours of our lives working to fit in or simply survive. This can make existence seem so daunting, especially when you’re working at the wrong job.
There is one sure way of knowing that you need to quit your job ASAP. And that’s when you are beginning to feel like you’re losing hope — when you dread waking up for the next day.
Life is all about outlook. Have the right outlook on life, and you will live a pretty happy one.
Have the wrong outlook, and your misery will know no depth. Without hope, we’re simply wishing for it to be over. Is there anything more horrible or heartbreaking than that?