The overworking syndrome and other stories
In the last few weeks I had the opportunity to observe the people around me, the friends that are part of my daily life, and that have "normal" day jobs, most of them working in the corporate world .
I listened to them when they told me about the issues with their colleagues, the difficult projects, I observed their long working hours and some thoughts started to move around my head.
I actually had lots of resistance to put them into writing and publish them into a blog post. It probably comes from the fact that I respect their choices and I'm not even sure about what kind of career I'm building for myself , but I decided to be brave because that's what this personal blog is about, sharing my experiments and learning experience this year.
As I'm changing my daily rhythms to focus more on my new projects and life experiments, I had a lot of guilt coming up because I was taking time for myself to build a life that was lighting me up more.
I realized that to really be aligned with my inner desire I had to slow down and listen to my intuition, I had to be more gentle with myself. Creativity for me comes from a place of freedom without restrictions of time and space.
So I drew a new timetable that could involve all the things I loved and some breaks to recharge and really be the best version of myself.
I started to do less things than before, but I surprisingly felt more productive , because the fewer things I was doing were so much more aligned with myself, my choices more targeted and focused to my interests.
I had some great ideas and even if I'm just at the beginning of this new unbeaten path and it will take time , I feel happier than ever before and the guilt is gradually melting away .
And above all I've understood that I just want do things that make me grow and learn as a person.
But this is not the same situation my friends are in during their daily jobs. They often work very long hours and a lot of the effort they do daily is wasted on projects that never launch.
The working environments are intoxicated by colleagues that are physically present at their desk but have expired their motivation for the job too long ago, and they transmit their negative energy to the new arrived.
People start jobs already dreaming their next holidays and they frantically calculate how many days off they can get.
And what hurt me the most is to see clever and bright people that have to beg to be liked by their bosses, and hope to do something more exciting than excel sheets in 2-3 years time.
Some of the questions that raised for me are :
- Do we really need this external validation, to be approved and liked by some senior manager to be allowed to do what we like? To feel worthy? And if this doesn't happen feel like failures and like something is wrong within us?- Do we need to work under a big brand name to feel cool enough ?- Do we need to receive daily orders and be controlled to know what to do and go on like robots ?- Is it really necessary to plan out the next 10 years of our career when we're still at university and feel like losers if we're not following through all the steps?- Is it normal to work 24h a day and not have any time to take care of ourselves and enjoy life? I call it the overworking syndrome of working too many hours, not efficiently or effectively, just to have the pride of saying to be busy and hardworking- And why on earth do we need to stay at work until 8 pm even when we finished our tasks at 6pm???- Finally are we dependent on a company to give us a monthly salary?
I know this may sound very controversial , because money is a BIG topic, but I feel in the last decades we became too attached to the idea that we need someone to give us a monthly salary to survive, and we're are incredibly scared to let it go for the fear that we cannot support ourselves .
And I truly believe that we can! Each of us can become resourceful and support ourselves in creative ways. And there are already many people doing that, but the society we live in make us feel like it is so hard and dangerous to try, that we will loose everything and it's safer to stay where we are.
Going back to the topic of long hours, I remember one of the mantra of a big boss I met was "work hard, play hard " and I've never felt comfortable with this statement .
I'm for working smarter, not harder .
I'm for taking some extra time but let my creativity be expressed and also to think about the consequences of what I do ( instead of trowing all in the bin and starting over again a project 100 times) !
You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don't make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing, and do them so well that people can't take their eyes off of you. Maya Angelou
My dream is to work for myself and be a SOULtrepreneur ( I can't believe I'm saying it out loud!) which means running a business driven by my heart and intuition and create a portfolio career made of all the things I love .
I know that it sounds very airy fairy and not very concrete , and it's definitely not every person's dream. But I strongly believe that whatever is your dream career, you can make it happen and still survive , and you don't have to give up your personality , your lifestyle and your values for that.
It takes a series of choices and a knowledge about what your priorities are, because it involves getting out of your comfort zone like never before. But it is possible and see people lighting up their lives and follow this unbeaten path is the most beautiful vision ever .