You get up every day with a frown on your face. Grab your towel, drudge down the hall to the shower. Get dressed, eat some breakfast, kiss your kids goodbye and walk out the door. In half an hour you’ll be back at the job you hate. Tomorrow you will do it all again.
Why do you continue to work in the job you hate? Why do you get up every day of your life and spend eight precious hours doing something you resent? In this post I want to take a look at this common phenomenon and try to give you some suggestions to change your attitude towards work. It is time to stop hating your job.
30,000 hours of misery
I know people who have been in the same job for 20 years and have hated every minute of it. Now lets assume they work five days a week and 45 weeks of the year. That means they have spent around 30,000 hours doing something they hate. What a waste. What a waste of the precious time that we have on this planet.
Should I quit?
This article is not really about quitting your job. It is more about learning to love your job. But lets be honest. If you hate your job so much that you feel like there is nothing you can do to change it then it is time to quit. Be brave, start looking for other career options and then hand in your resignation letter.
When it comes to the end of your life you do not want to look back and say, “I spent 30,000 hours in a job that I hated. I wasted my life.” Stop thinking about all the reasons not to quit (mortgage, financial crisis, etc.) and find a way to make it happen.
Learning to love your job
I honestly believe that we need to do more to learn to love our jobs. It is not enough to just go to work and go home every day – we need to try and make that experience more rewarding. Its time to stop hating your job. It is time to realize that your own attitude can make a big difference to your happiness. Here are some suggestions.
1. Recognize how lucky you are
Seriously, we have it pretty good in the West. We have quite nice job laws that protect us in many ways. We get a regular pay check. And we get to go home to a house. Not a shanty or a plastic tent, an actual house.
It is time to start recognizing how lucky you are. Why spend your whole life cursing your situation when, in actual fact, your situation is pretty good?
2. Be more grateful
Similar to number one is learning to be more grateful. A lot of workers go about their daily business thinking that somebody owes them something. The boss owes them more pay. The payroll officer owes them more overtime. The Board owes them a promotion. No. They don’t. Nobody owes you anything. That is your own expectations talking.
Instead of thinking that the world owes you something why not be grateful? Be grateful for the number of hours you got this week. Be grateful that you have a dental plan. Be grateful that you made it to work alive, even if you weren’t driving a Mercedes. Learning to be grateful is one of the most important things you can do if you want to change how you view your work.
3. Think of all the opportunities it has created
When I was just out of high school I really wanted to go to India to meet some Buddhist masters. But I was broke. So, I got a job as a cleaner in the dirtiest pub in town cleaning up 20 year old’s vomit, cigarette butts and a whole lot of other junk. For a few weeks I hated it.
Over time, however, I realized that this job was enabling me to go on a journey of a lifetime. It was due to that job that I traveled to India and went to some of the most amazing places on the planet. I met great meditation masters and found friends that have loved and cared for me ever since. I will never forget sitting at the Dalai Lama’s teaching hall and watching him smile and wave as he walked past and thinking, “Wow! That shitty cleaning job just allowed me to meet the Dalai Lama himself.”
Your job has probably bought you a house, nice food, a car, medical care, etc. It has probably allowed you to do things that you never thought you would do. Think about those things.
4. Realize it is your own fault
I want to introduce you to a Buddhist teaching from a book called the Seven Points of Mind Training. In that book it says “condense all blames into one”. What this means is that anytime a bad thing happens to you it is your own fault.
Now why is it our fault? Well from the Buddhist point of view it is like that because we have created the karma that caused that condition to come around. A very simple example might be that you now have a bad job because you slacked off in high school.
Whether you “believe” the karma theory it is a useful slogan to use in your work life. The next time something bad happens to you think “condense all blames into one” and move on. Don’t get angry at the person or the situation, just consider that it is your fault and move on.
This is a fantastic way to live your life as you are no longer getting angry with the world around you. You now realize that your happiness depends on you. You and no one else. If you want something to change you need to change it. If a bad situation occurs it is up to you to rectify it.
So why do you still hate your job? Why do you still go to work every day and refuse to be happy? Will you attempt to change that attitude? Once you go to work with the positive attitudes mentioned above I can guarantee your life will be more meaningful.
If you have any other suggestions please leave a comment and let us know. It might really help someone.
Originally posted on April 6, 2009 @ 10:28 pm