The problem is not working too much …. the problem is not identifying your vocation in life

By 6 diciembre, 2020English:Blog

«All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy» is a well known maxim …. but what if work was your play. In other words …. what if you have identified your vocation in life and as a result would rather spend your free time «working/playing».

If you find yourself at work … constantly checking the clock to see if it is home time or wishing it was the weekend …. then perhaps you are in the wrong profession.

Unless you are a millionaire who can retire at any time, work is going to take up 80% of your weeks until you retire at age 67 or possibly even later; which lets face it … if the average person lives until 80 years of age, then it is most of your healthy life.

Some people think that the money they make at work is simply to help them pay bills and do the things that they really want to do in their leisure time, such as travelling around the world or sunbathing on a beach.

I am very lucky however as 90% of the time …. I am happier at work than sunbathing on a beach (in fact I have never been a «beach bum») and I find sitting on the sofa at home watching Netflix or checking social media boring as well.

Hanging out on a terrace drinking coffee with friends or family is enjoyable … but still not something I want to spend 80% of my week doing, nor do I think it would be healthy in any kind of relationship, to spend so much time aimlessly together; to use another well known maxim «absence makes the heart grow fonder».

It all depends on your taste of course, but in my case … given the choice …. there is no other place I would rather be than at work teaching English to my students.

I have watched many interviews with famous artists i.e. singers, actors and painters, including creative scientists and entrepreneurs whose pursuit of knowledge or joy from the creative process is so pleasurable, that they only wish the day was longer so that they could continue «working».

When I listen to Vivaldi or modern pop music or look at a wonderful painting by Claude Monet or look at a sculpture by Michelangelo Buonarroti, I am not only impressed by its beauty but also by the thousands of hours of motivation and dedication behind each piece of work.

I have also listened to interviews with famous actors and singers who have enough money in the bank to retire tomorrow, but explain that they never want to retire because they simply love their job.

More importantly however, you do not have to be a famous performer, there is even more dignity to those humble professionals i.e. bakers, builders, nurses and graphic designers, who in spite of being anonymous, are passionate about their work.

This is something I point out to my students when discussing university degrees or future professions.

Obviously, you first need to «make ends meet» for a few years before you are able to make your transition into your preferred profession.

It is often estimated that 53% of people are not happy at work (according to «Forbes» magazine).

This statistic is especially sad, if we bear in mind that most citizens have to work from Monday to Friday (in some cases working weekends as well) which is 80% of your weekly life.

We are only able to spend 20% of our lives with friends and family. Therefore, I think it is necessary for humanity to accept this fact and find a job which first of all allows you to get by and cover your overheads, but also a job that when you open your eyes in the morning doesn’t make you wince at having to go back to work.


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