I’m Singing Work, work, work

Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

When each work day has become so much of a burden, all you can do is drag yourself to work, and the first thing you hope for is leave at exactly 5PM. No one may have told you about this.

One of the things I asked myself when I started working was, “Why did I rush finishing college?” I thought life after college meant more time with the family, friends, and for myself. Well, turns out it could be the exact opposite for most of us. And more than the stressful days and nights we spend for work are the daily struggles we face — keeping up with everyone in the office, hoping for a good job from your boss, doing all your best to somehow get additional projects for additional money, and juggling your personal and professional life. Oh, did I mention the ever present struggle of never feeling that you’re where you’re supposed to be?

These days are hard, and we all dread Mondays — more than we did when were still students. So maybe turning the music on for some Rihanna’s laid-back Work can help.

I think one of the heaviest burden we purposefully carry is the burden of trying to please everyone around us — be it your boss, your supervisor, the guy in the next office who can give you additional work for additional pay, or the super annoying client who talks endlessly over the phone. We all have those people; we want to make them happy. And there’s certainly nothing wrong about that; because after all, it’s always better to work with people you feel comfortable with. But the problem comes in trying to please people so much, that you compromise yourself way too much.

I struggled for more than a year, only because I was too hard on myself, I keep beating myself up just to deliver outputs — that maybe I should’ve just slept over the weekends. I realized that the stress I so willingly invite comes from loving the people I work with, and never loving the work I do.

Loving the work we do gives us so much reason to wake up each day. We want our work week to pass us by, like how weekends pass us by. But the truth is that work weeks linger, sometimes until our weekends, and even to our dreams. But if we only learn to love the work we do, we’ll lessen the dreadful feeling we have every morning. And this goes for everyone who feels like they should be working somewhere else, carrying another position, getting a higher salary, and most of all, getting so much more credit for the work you do.

Loving the work we do is a process of seeing opportunities. Starting our careers is never easy, and as much as we want to get to the high positions at this time, we must acknowledge the process we have to go through. If we try to see the opportunities we have at our present work, maybe we’d love the work we do — no matter how hard and demanding work can be. Opportunities don’t only come in terms of monetary reward; opportunities come in different faces — the chance to work with amazing people, the privilege to serve the nation, the chance to help a community in need. This doesn’t come overnight, sometimes it takes countless nights spent over beer and sad playlist in your favorite bar with your favorite person. But if you just take so much effort to see what opportunities you have, I think loving your work will come in due time.

It’s a proactive process of reminding yourself that you’re serving a purpose. Purpose doesn’t only come with high positions; it comes with every position, and it comes with each tedious work we do. The most unfortunate feeling we can bring home is the feeling of being used, but for no purpose at all. Sure, there’ll be nights you’d cry yourself to sleep, because you feel like you’re being used; but if we try to look at the situation in a lighter light, well at least you’re serving a purpose. You’re helping the company take another step closer to its goals. It’s the purpose that will keep you excited to go to work. You could be the HR assistant, or the research assistant, doesn’t matter; what matters is how you try to see your purpose in every little thing you do. Achievements don’t always have to be grand; if they needed to always be grand, we’d all be beaten up, but we’d still be achieving nothing.

Making the people around you happy is just a by-product of loving your work. I always believe that if we love what we do, we’d always strive to be best at it. We’d hate our mediocre efforts, we’d hate our good-enough mentality. We’d be at our best, without trying so hard, without stressing ourselves so much. If we love the work we do, then I guess we’d never have to call it ~work~

Before loving people so much that you want to make them happy, try to love yourself first — love yourself so much that you’d know to set the limits, and so much that you recognize that you don’t need all the stress in the world.

After all, when you’ve reached the point that you’re already burnt-out, no amount of trying can help you perform at your best. No amount of encouragement can make you stay. All you’d want to do is leave, find a new place, find a new work, and hope for a better boss.

But we know better — there’s no such thing as stress-free work.

We’ll be the person we always wanted to be — in due time. When we have learned to love our work, despite the never-ending demands.

So, may we all treat and love ourselves a lit bit more, and say “Hey, Monday, you better be ready for my surprise.”

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