Work Is Therapy

Today’s Daily Stoic Meditation outlines a simple truth: you must work.

However, there is a key caveat.

Work does not have to be arduous. Work does not have to be excruciating.

Instead, work can be nourishing, joyful, & therapeutic.

“Work nourishes noble minds.”

— SENECA, MORAL LETTERS, 31.5

The Common Viewpoint

What?

Many people have the wrongful notion about what work truly is.

People see work as something difficult and arduous.

The set viewpoint that many have paints work, and jobs, to be something that gets in the way and holds you back.

Perhaps due to years of working jobs you hate, or arduous shifts and horrible bosses, you’ve created a set viewpoint on work, and it’s negative.

The Risks

Seeing work as something negative and arduous opens up room for many risks! Risks that harm you immensely:

  • You may not progress
  • You may never change your job, or change it too much
  • You’ll lack a feeling of contentment
  • You’ll never unlock your true potential
  • You may feel constantly stressed and anxious

When you see work as a negative, be it physical, emotional or mental work, it makes life way harder for you.

Resisting work, even if it is hard work, does no good. It is much better to yield to its power, for work is not always all that bad!

Work Is Therapy

What?

Rather than seeing work as arduous, painstaking and difficult, it’d be in your best interests to shift that negative perspective!

Work is not always that bad. In some cases, especially if you cultivate this sort of work, it can be extremely rewarding, beneficial and stimulating.

Work can be therapeutic. Work can be nourishing.

Work can help you progress, grow, learn and develop.

Work can change your life for the better!

The idea that work can nourish noble minds, as Seneca outlines, is key!

It helps you understand that not all work has to be painstaking.

Some work, if you follow certain steps, can actually be incredibly joyful!

The Steps

In order to get full enjoyment from your work, rather than seeing it as arduous and difficult, there are a few steps you should follow!

These are steps that, hopefully, should point you in the right direction of where you truly want to work, and where you’d get the most joy!

  1. Trail And Error

The first step, is, of course, trail and error.

You have to throw yourself at different careers, different areas and different people.

This can help you get a better idea as to what works, and what absolutely doesn’t.

2. Zone In

Through the trail and error phase, it is likely that you may find a few things that you do actually enjoy!

Pick one of them and zone in on it.

With a feverous hunger, soak up as much knowledge and experience as you can with that field!

3. Stick At It

If it works, and you find yourself actually enjoying the work, stick at it.

Nothing beats consistency in the long run!

Lifelong Learning

Lifelong learning fits into this idea of work as therapy beautifully.

It is your responsibility to cultivate lifelong learning, no matter who you are and where you are.

Implement daily learning into your life!

For this too is hard work, but it is not difficult — rather, it is nourishing and stimulating!

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Thoughts, interpretations and insights on the daily meditations featured in Ryan Holiday’s Bestseller, The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living.

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Sam M

happiness in all areas of life. student 👨🏻‍🎓. 2 weekly newsletters, daily stoic meditations + occasional articles and book summaries.