Issues at Work ~ It's too demanding

Issues at Work ~ It's too demanding


Let's illustrate this with an example:

Jim works long hours in a job that gives him very little satisfaction, but a handsome salary. Asked why, he explains that his high earnings enable his two children to attend private school, "to give them a better chance than I had." Yet who really benefits? The kids hardly ever see their dad because he spends so much time at work. When he is home, there's tension between Jim and his partner, with whom the relationship is stretched to breaking point due to his preoccupation with his professional responsibilities. As a result, the children suffer from low self esteem, miss out on intimate parental bonding and find it difficult to integrate with society as they grow up.

Jim's motivation to work hard is based on his memory of childhood, where hard work by his parents was the norm. Instead of stepping out of the trap, he walked right into it - repeating the pattern for another generation. It is his yardstick of self-worth to be prepared to work hard. He will take pride in telling others how hard he works. And he will miss the opportunity to do the one thing he really cared about - to make a meaningful difference for his loved ones.

If they were asked what was important to them, they would speak in terms of happiness - their's and the rest of the family's - and this would most likely be measured in terms of 'quality time' together.

What Jim fails to acknowledge is that he got to the top in his profession by his own resourcefulness, dedication and effort - and that this is how he measures his success. His original insight - to have things be better for his family - was actually based on his judgement about life being hard for his parents. The irony here is that in seeking to have it be different for his children, he has locked himself into the same scenario.

Yet it need not be so. A private education will probably contribute less than Jim's personal insights towards helping his children develop as the resourceful, capable people he would wish them to become. His time with them in close encounters could achieve so much more. And wasn't it actually the shortage of time his parents had for him that spurred Jim on to work so hard for their future?

Here is another root cause of the problem: we live so much of our lives outside the present moment. If we're not preoccupied with the past - regret, guilt, hanging on... we're so often wrapped up in our plans for the future.

We have been conditioned to live for tomorrow. Starting with society's great drive for a 'brave new world' at the end of World War II, successive governments have assured us that our tomorrows will all be brighter - and we bought into the dream. Today, we're bombarded with time-warped consumerism: have it now and pay later. Our typical response to such stimuli is to step onto a downward travelling escalator with the intention of climbing to the next level - it's hard work and you cannot afford to stop climbing.

So where are we going? And why are we so intent upon going there?

If making your loved ones happy is your stated goal, acknowledge that your own happiness depends upon it. Do some research: establish exactly what it is that makes them happy - and be prepared to devote your time to these people, personally.

If it's just people generally that you set out to please, acknowledge your own need to be appreciated.

And if you're driven by a desire to climb a ladder of success, at least ensure you're on the right one!

Beware of a common trap people fall into around this. You'll hear others say, "If only..." and, "Of course, if it was up to me..." or even, "Once the recession is over...". There are any number of ways we blame others for our situation. Today, perhaps more than at any other period in history, we consider ourselves victims - victims of society - exploited, unappreciated, ignored. It is fashionable to put responsibility for our well-being onto others... from what we eat to what we see on television. When something goes wrong we look for someone to blame, if not someone to sue.

The only way you'll ever be a victim of society is if you allow it.

That's the whole point about freewill! Sure, there are some choices you can make that may result in a hard time. But they'll be your choices.