Technology and modern consumerism, coupled with peer pressure have created a perfect storm of our work dominating our lives in unheard-of ways. Securing and maintaining a high-profile job is not possible for the laid back slacker, trying to enjoy his weekends doing gardening the whole day.
The older generation is baffled by our approach, and feel that we are doing the impossible by trying to find meaning and purpose in our jobs.
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Life has shaped us to do our jobs in a weird, almost comical way.
We are entangled to our jobs, and keep doing it way after our office hours, not because we are scared to lose our job, but because we are so identified with it, and so engulfed in our work that it has become our identity, our purpose and the only ‘happening’ part of our lives.
Dialling back a couple of generations, jobs were just jobs, plain vanilla. No one liked working, but it was a compromise of 40 to 60 hours a week of stressful or boring work. Due to this, our parents could live their lives, enjoying with family in evenings, and weekends, celebrating special days, vacationing once a year and doing other things that were provided by the security of a monthly income.
It paid for the food, the car, our education and the bills. There was nothing romantic about it.
The metaphorical treadmill keeps running and those who aren’t able to keep up, are thrown off.
The working professionals that need to find everything in the job are also a product of a lack of community in the neighbourhood, with people living isolated lives.
This lack of harmony at our home and surroundings, has us seeking the same in our office.
Our longing for a simpler living in the countryside remains just that, a longing. While we get exhausted and tormented by our constant piling of dollars and our giving unending hours to our work, we know we cannot simply stop.
It is like an arms race, and one can only collectively disarm, otherwise, there is no option but to keep building more arsenal.
Our immersion to the never-ending rat-race and our readiness to exhaust ourselves constantly maybe just a version of the Stockholm Syndrome, where we have befriended the devil and optimized our miserable lives as it is paying us rewards.
We are hooked on to the pain and pleasure cycle, and this is the ultimate dopamine rush, preventing us from stepping away and looking for a better, simpler life outside the circus.
Truly working 40 hours in a week is rare because just completing your work hours doesn't amount to real work. 40 hours of great work output can come from 60 or more hours of 'regular' work.
Work can also take many different forms, and is not confined to the working that is 'visible'.
It is good to love what you do, and find something to do that you really love doing. Most people who rigidly follow their professional ‘calling’ dictated by their upbringing, society or who they are, set themselves up for dissatisfaction, as they believe they have failed if life isn’t perfect.
Even the pressure to find the ‘calling’ can make youngsters depressed and anxious. The solution is to diversify your life, and eventually diversify yourself.
R.U.R. was first performed in Prague in January 1921 and was such a success that an English-language adaptation was on Broadway in 1922.
By 1923, the play had been translated into thirty languages. By the end of that decade, the Oxford English Dictionary defined "robot" as "a machine capable of carrying out a complex series of actions automatically."