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Why Are You Doing Your Day Job?

If there was a way to measure the dissatisfaction that people experience as a result of their day jobs, I think it would show an increase as time has passed by. For example, dissatisfaction in the 60s and 70s would be lesser than what it is now.

One of the main reasons behind this is that, courtesy technology, the rate at which information is available to an individual has gradually increased.

Tools like social media channels and smartphones have dramatically added to the information exposure that one faces in everyday life.

While many consider this a bane, I feel it’s actually a great thing. It has enabled people to get exposed to the experiences of other people, and learn from it. Of course, the majority of the information out there is not needed, but if you’re good at separating the wheat from the chaff, then it can be immensely helpful.

And I feel this availability of information is making people realize that their potential and possibility to live a fulfilling life is much more than they had imagined it to be. When they see someone else living the kind of life they always wanted, it creates a discontent within them. And I feel this sparks their desire to start a journey towards leading a life that they value.

In the earlier times, it wasn’t easy for people to get their hands on a vast amount of information, so they never even questioned the status quo.

In fact, this is the reason I never agreed with minimalists who suggest that social platforms like Facebook are a complete waste of time. I feel it can be a great tool to learn from other’s lives. The only thing to remember is to not get obsessed with it.

So let’s get back to the original question – Why are you doing your day job?

As explained earlier, you are more likely to ask yourself this question now and in the future, than ever before.

The first perception you must have formed when you read the question was that this post would be about quitting your day job. It’s not.

By posing the question above, I’m only asking you to think of the reasons you do your day job for. There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing a job, as long as there is some purpose behind it. A lot of people are not satisfied with their jobs because they do it for the sake of doing it.

I think only two things can keep someone happy at a job – First is if they are really passionate about what they do, and second, if they have a pressing need to do the job, like paying the bills.

The ones who aren’t happy are most likely the ones that view doing a job as a mental security or succumb to the pressure of the society. Since there is no practical reason involved, they always feel, at a subconscious level that their efforts and suffering have no purpose and this creates a subtle disconnect.

This is why I feel you would do yourself a great favor by thinking deeply about the aforementioned question. If you genuinely like what you are doing, then well and good. But what if you are doing it because you need to do it and are dissatisfied?

I think the answer to this would be to develop a measurable target to get yourself out of the situation that is forcing you to do the job. You can develop a goal based time frame that will eventually get you t the stage where you no longer need the job. It can be anything like saving a certain amount of money, reaching a certain position within the organization, etc.

What this does is that it gives you a reason and a quantifiable target to work towards. You’ll know that your effort is rewarded and you’re moving towards freedom as days go by. This would keep you at peace with yourself.

And if you feel you’ve got a situation that has no end to it and which requires you to do the job indefinitely, then you’ve got your priorities wrong. You will have re-evaluate your life and find a way to eradicate whatever it is that is hindering you. It cannot be something that you value deep down and genuinely, because if it was, you would not have felt dissatisfied by having to work for it.

This is where minimalism comes into play. Minimalism is all about finding yourself, and having the courage to pursue only those things that really matter to you. And more often than not, these things are not things at all. You’ll find that it really does not take much to keep you happy. This unshackles you and gives you the confidence to pursue work that matters to you. And you’ll stand a better chance of earning more too when you do something you like.

This was the thought that helped me quit my last job and go into the world of freelancing and blogging. Now I know if I ever do a job that I don’t really love, it’ll be because of a specific reason, and when that reason is fulfilled, I’ll be back to doing work I love. This way of thinking really liberates me, and can work for you too.

To sum up, it can be said that it’s all about motivation. And motivation can only come if you are focused. Don’t get yourself into doing work you don’t like and the purpose of which is not clear. Have the courage to get out of such situations because there is nothing practical that is holding you back.

Moreover, work on knowing your true values, so that whenever you are stuck in a valid situation, you’ll be able to get out of it in a quick and efficient manner, and move towards the kind of work you long for.

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