Choose Yourself: Freedom is Found in Hard Work

Freedom is Found in Hard Work

True freedom is not freedom from work, but freedom in our work.

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I write about things that interest me. Work is one of them because I, like most of the world, work a job that helps me make a living.

I’ve met lots of entrepreneurs and remote workers — myself included — who are utterly miserable and lonely when they have to work on their own.

I think that we can work a job and not have to love it. My job is like that sometimes. People are great, but unfortunately work gets in the way of the fun and the relationships. My hope is that the tide will swing back and people will see the dignity in hard work.

There are many mental health impacts if you hate your job, or if you feel disrespect from your boss or colleagues.

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Five Impacts from a negative work experience.  

According to Alexander Kjerulef, there are 5 ways your health could be impacted when you hate your job:

1.Weight gain because you reach for the carbs while you watch TV as a way to cope with your unhappy feelings

2.Your immune system will be impaired if you experience constant negative feelings

3.You will take it out on those you love – and this could impact your relationship with your significant other and yes, even your sex life.

4.Your sleep will be broken and you will feel less rested

5.You have a higher risk of getting sick

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Quit; Stay and quit; or Stay and change

What we do next is important. We can quit, stay and quit, or stay and change how we view work. For most people who have jobs they do not love, they find ways to choose the last option.

  • We all know what quitting is.
  • Staying, but quitting is being completely disengaged, not caring and even actively hating our jobs, our coworkers, our bosses or all of the above.
  • Staying but changing our view is hard, but the hard stuff is the most rewarding.

I came across this post by Andrew Lynch, a UK entrepreneur who dignifies staying and working hard. Yes, he left his job, but he sees the value for most people of staying in their jobs.

“I know it’s tempting to view corporate jobs as “shackles”. That you’ll work 9-5 for 50 years, with two weeks vacation per year, and then retire, having never really lived. And that the only way to be happy is to quit. But it’s not true. That’s a false dichotomy.

You’ll never see life as worth living if you frame it that way. Your life is the sum of all the small moments — so why are you carrying a cloud of negativity around all day with you

Look, if your job really sucks, and you hate it, and need to get out, then do it. Make the change.

BUT there is happiness and meaning to be found in work. Great colleagues can become life-long friends. You can take pride in doing the work that is in front of you, and doing it well. You can dive into your profession and seek to learn everything there is to know about it, develop your expertise, and then leverage that expertise into a better working situation (e.g. starting your own company, consulting, better jobs at other companies).

And don’t buy into the fallacy that corporate jobs suck, and remote, digital nomad jobs are amazing, or that anyone working a normal job is a drone, and anyone doing their own thing is a groundbreaking entrepreneur. I’ve met lots of entrepreneurs and remote workers — myself included — who are utterly miserable and lonely when they have to work on their own.

And I know scores of people who have worked in an office job their entire career, and take immense satisfaction and pride in their work.

It’s not black and white. It’s what you choose to make of it.

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3 Choices: Quit, Quit and Stay, or Choose yourself

There you have it: Quit, Stay and quit, or Stay and change. The last option is what drives truly successful people: they choose themselves. They have a passion to grow and develop themselves. That is what drives people to create a body of work, a career-portfolio they are proud of, even when they dislike a job or even hate parts of their jobs.

Every experience can be a learning experience and can transform you.

If you want to learn more, read Love Your Work and it Will Love You Back, 16 Men and a Telephone Pole, and The Myth of Quiet Desperation: Your Job Does Not Need To Be Your Passion.

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Keep it Real

If you are in search of freedom, if you work hard and don’t always get a kick out of it, or if you are just plain curious, the Good Men Project is your tribe. Join the conversation. I’d love to hear from you in the comments.These-Are-The-Stories-that-Change-Everything

Previously published by smswaby @ The Good Men Project

Photo by Michał Huniewicz

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