"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation, and go to the graves with their song still in them." - Henry David Thoreau
The Sad Statistics
Let's cut to the chase. 86% of people are miserable in their jobs. That's a huge problem.
Not only that, but career strategist Dan Miller tells us that:
70% of workers experience stress-related illness
34% think they will burn out on the job in the next two years
Los Angeles Times reports that there is a 33% increase in heart attacks on Monday mornings.
According to the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more people die at 9:00am Monday morning, than any other time of day, or any other day of the week.
Entrepreneur Magazine adds that there is a 25% increase in work-related injuries on Mondays.
Male suicides are highest on Sunday nights, when men realize that their careers, and possibly their finances, are not where they want them.
Your Day Job May Be Hazardous to Your Health
To make matters more morbid, in the documentary Happy, filmmaker Roku Belic recalls the history of Japan, and its rise from the devastation of World War II to economic prominence. But this commitment to rebuild - at all costs - sparked an epidemic known in the Japanese culture as "karoshi," which means to work oneself to death. This trend became widespread in other parts of Asia. In South Korea, the same phenomenon is called gwarosa. And in China, a variation on the epidemic - overwork-induced suicide - is known as gualaosi.
Work has become a source of frustration, fatigue, or worse, for about 90% of the world’s workers. Just think of the social, emotional, intellectual, and economic waste that this number represents. 90% of adults spend half their waking lives doing things they would rather not be doing in places they would rather not be.
If we haven't belabored the point enough, Gallup has been measuring work satisfaction for years. After two decades, 25 million people, and 189 countries, the numbers are out, and they're not pretty. Only 13% of you feel engaged in your work. 63% of you are not engaged, putting as little effort into your work as you can get away with. The rest of you are actively disengaged, and actually just hate your jobs.
Your day job may be hazardous to your health. The modern workplace is marked by stress, depression, and cynicism. You subject yourself to corporate politics, office gossip, and other meaningless maladies that come from locking people in a concrete box for 8 hours a day.
"Working hard for something you love is called passion. Working hard for something you don't is called stress." -Simon Sinek
A Breeding Ground of Dissatisfaction
In 2005, over 11 million people tuned in to NBC to watch the The Office, a comedy about the mundane and seemingly meaningless work of the employees of a dying regional paper and office supply distributor.
The show became an instant phenomenon, especially with millennials who were coming of age in a time when jobs were scarce. They were settling for any job that would give them a paycheck, even if it meant a boss as incompetent and offensive as the legendary Michael Scott.
The Office became the hideous and hilarious caricature of America's modern workplace: a meaningless means to a mediocre end. A paycheck that allows us to enjoy the truly good things in life... from time to time.
Lives of Quiet Desperation
You have a unique contribution to make to this world. And every day that you don't share it, you will feel a nagging sense of frustration, restlessness, and dissatisfaction.
Unfortunately, today's workplace is saddled with frustration and dissatisfaction. The majority of employees feel like slaves to their jobs, and life has reduced to paying the bills and living for the weekend. This is unfortunate reality shapes most peoples' expectations of work.
Today, people now choose their jobs and try to fit their life in the margins. You work to maintain a lifestyle you can't enjoy, because you're trapped in your office, strapped to your desk, and wrapped up in the repetition of a monotonous life.
You Were Made for More
You were made for more than the monotony of a 9-5, or the predictability of mediocre life. You were made to do work that matters - work that uses your gifts and changes things for the better. And there has never been a better time in history to do exactly that.
The question is, are you willing to work hard for something you love? Or will fear keep you working hard for something you don't?