Jobs, jobs, jobs. We’re so focused on them. The energy that’s not spent on the job is placed towards making sure we still have one tomorrow, at least on the national level. And yet this is not always true.
America’s middle class is experiencing something of an existential crisis, between job placement difficulties with college grads and the new boom of entrepreneurship. The conversation on jobs is an ever-evolving one, as are our viewpoints, definitions and desires for them.
“We just want our kids to have good jobs,” or so we say. We want our kids to experience more security, comfort and opportunity than we or our grandparents ever tasted. We want to offer up freedom, pleasure and plenty to our children, ensuring their futures are brighter than our dreams ever could be.
Is there something wrong with this picture?
If we want our offspring to have better opportunities than us, more fulfilling work, and a more harmonious world as a result, doesn’t that mean we need to be more open to things we haven’t been as open to in the past?
The answer is yes. If we keep doing the same things, we’ll keep getting the same results. Or worse, we’ll start digging ourselves into a hole.
How does a company, business, people group or nation stay on top of trying times and tumultuous social waters? They have to embrace change and take challenges for what they are. They have to acknowledge that the only path towards growth and prosperity comes with the cost of pain and struggle at the forefront.
Without the trying times, we can’t ever know what comfort actually feels like. Without having put in our best work each day, coming home to relax and unwind doesn’t actually hold any significance. Without the work beforehand, the rest is just a tease of what genuine fulfillment actually looks and feels like.
Therefore, we must look beyond what a simple “job” can do. We cannot compartmentalize our lives. As soon as we try to do this, we are jeopardizing other parts of our lives, whether we realize it or not. A person that simply tries to put in their hours without looking at the bigger picture is facing a number of other obstacles they have neglected to address.
You can have a “regular” 40-hour workweek if you really want it, but you still have to care about what you’re doing enough at the end of the day to call it fulfilling. And, chances are, if your work is improving the lives of other people, it will feel very fulfilling already.
You’re meant to feel great when you wake up and be able to look forward to your work, not the other way around. Mondays ought to energize and refresh, not bog down and demoralize. It’s not to say that every day will be a joyride, and it won’t. But if you’re constantly sludging through the mire of anti-fulfillment, disappointment and mindless activity, somewhere you fell off center and need to get yourself back on track.