I love to read. Going to bookstores, walking through the troves of books, picking one out, finding a quiet corner to sit down and read—it’s an experience and I love it.
What I don’t love is the endless array of books making promises it can’t possibly deliver. In fact, it’s not just books. It’s anything that tells you that you will be happier if you have another job.
First, there are the stories about the drab life of a 9 to 5 worker, the mundane day-to-day way they used to live their lives, the unhappiness they felt. Then they tell you all about how one day this unusual thing happened that made them realize they were doing it all wrong! Next comes the part where they tell you that you can do it, too.
I’m not going to say that doing something different isn’t fun and exciting. But eventually, that different thing becomes part of your normal and the excitement wears off. If you’re doing the same new thing every day, you’re eventually going to feel the same you felt about the last thing.
Because the problem isn’t with the job, the problem is with you. Anything that tries to convince you otherwise is lying to you.
You don’t need the perfect job (which doesn’t exist anyway) or even a new job. What you really need is a change in perspective.
We often look to the things that a small few are doing and think it looks amazing; we want to do it too. We often idolize these people, giving them more respect as if they’re special because of what they’re doing.
What would happen if everyone had that mentality? If everyone decided to leave their jobs and pursue their dream job?
Who would pick up the garbage? Who would restock the grocery store? Who would serve you at the coffee shop?
More importantly, are millions of people supposed to feel unhappy? Are they meant to feel unsatisfied every day they go to work? Is that just how some people have to live?
Are their lives and their happiness worth less because of their chosen profession?
The truth is that we need people to work in every profession. The person who works at a gas station is not less important than the CEO of a bank, even if many people would tell you differently.
The truth is that we need to stop assigning value to a person’s job title and stop looking for joy in all the wrong places.
Instead, we should encourage each other to respect everyone, from the clerk at the laundromat to the person behind the deli counter. Instead, we should encourage each other to find happiness in ourselves.
Happiness is not some mystical thing waiting for you in a certain place. It is not something that happens because you get to the end of a goal. Happiness is a choice you make about how to approach life and how to interact with the world around you.
Reaching for your dreams is one thing. Thinking that getting a certain position or achieving a certain thing is going to bring joy is another.
Forget about your dream job, look inside yourself, and learn to find joy with the things you already have and the place you already are.