In order to be truly healthy, you have to be content both physically and emotionally. This means you not only have to eat well and exercise, but also have to generally enjoy your life. Aside from hanging out with family and friends and maybe even having time for ourselves, a majority of our time is spent working. The term “work” can be synonymous with a negative feeling to the majority who hate their job. 80% of Americans – according to Deloitte’s Shift Index survey – are not satisfied with their job.
Holy Crap!? 80%!? That means out of 10 people you hang out with, 8 of them do not even like what they do 40+ hours a week! It’s no wonder that so many people get trapped and lured by those “Get Rich Quick Pyramid Schemes.” Trust me, I was one of them long ago [shutters]. It may also be a reason why so many people have so many health issues. High blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, bad headaches, and the list goes on. There are multiple studies that have suggested that happier people are more successful and live longer, healthier lives!
So if you’re going to do something 40+ hours a week, it might as well be something you generally enjoy doing. However, there is constant resistance to this with the ultimate argument stating “if we all did what we loved we would starve doing it.” I didn’t say it was going to be easy. This whole issue of doing what you love but still being financially stable has been burning inside me for years!
I’ve worked jobs I hated, and I remember my health was shit. I ate like crap, thought like crap, and hit a low point in my health. It’s only when I decided to make a change and pursued what I wanted to do that I started becoming a happier and healthier person. If I didn’t make that change, I wouldn’t be writing this blog right now or even be in the fitness industry! It wasn’t easy, but I still made it happen.
I came across a post written by David Kanigan: “Do What You Love?” Within this blog he referenced some excerpts from another post: “How To Do What You Love” written by Paul Graham, a Harvard grad who co-developed the first web-based application, Viaweb.
This is only a fraction of awesomeness that was referenced:
“To do something well you have to like it. That idea is not exactly novel. We’ve got it down to four words: “Do what you love.” But it’s not enough just to tell people that. Doing what you love is complicated.”
“…How much are you supposed to like what you do? Unless you know that, you don’t know when to stop searching. And if, like most people, you underestimate it, you’ll tend to stop searching too early. You’ll end up doing something chosen for you by your parents, or the desire to make money, or prestige—or sheer inertia.”
This really reminded me of when I was in High School and my Mom and Dad were pushing me to “be a nurse! It’s a safe and secure job! Good salary!” Don’t get me wrong, I have some really good friends who are awesome nurses, but they’re awesome nurses because they generally want to be nurses! That’s what they love to do and it shows through their successes! However, there are a lot of other nurses out there who hate their job and just do it for a pay check. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have a nurse whose passionate about their work instead of a nurse working the graveyard shift only to pick up a few extra bucks.
“…It’s hard to find work you love; it must be, if so few do. So don’t underestimate this task. And don’t feel bad if you haven’t succeeded yet. In fact, if you admit to yourself that you’re discontented, you’re a step ahead of most people, who are still in denial. If you’re surrounded by colleagues who claim to enjoy work that you find contemptible, odds are they’re lying to themselves. Not necessarily, but probably.
…Whichever route you take, expect a struggle. Finding work you love is very difficult. Most people fail. Even if you succeed, it’s rare to be free to work on what you want till your thirties or forties. But if you have the destination in sight you’ll be more likely to arrive at it. If you know you can love work, you’re in the home stretch, and if you know what work you love, you’re practically there.”
I refuse to believe that the only way to be “successful” is to have a steady paying job that gives good benefits doing mediocre work. I have clients who work all day at a job they hate, but take steps towards their ultimate goal, and I have more admiration for them than those who complain about their life and job and do nothing about it.
Being happy is one of the key things you have to be in order to have a healthier life. You can’t be healthy and unhappy at the same time, and if you are I bet it’s a constant struggle. I’m not saying ignore your financial and personal obligations, drop everything and just look for work that you generally enjoy doing. I’m saying if you want to have a healthier lifestyle, taking steps towards a happier life is a must. Take a class, shadow someone whose doing what you want to do, do something small but different! I challenge you to do this if you’re in the “hate my job” boat. It just takes one small change!
“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.” – Muhammad Ali