Now, with all this discussion on my part recently about the nature and value of work, and our relationship with it, it may have brought about a particular question. How can I find work that makes me happy?
How many of these people had a 5:30 or earlier rise just to get their kids to creche or some other form of child-minding? How many of these parents wouldn’t collect their kids until 6:00pm or 7:00pm and endure the slog every single day?
I know many of my readers are based in the US, and I certainly do not wish to offend any of you. But from my position of political neutrality, and taking into account what I have learned about the psychology of human behaviour, it appears to me that your emperor is naked and not many can see it.
This doesn’t mean we’re supposed to slog it out under duress. It doesn’t mean we need to work long hours in places we’d rather not be. It doesn’t mean we have to suffer in jobs we hate. But many of us do it anyway.
A neurological explanation for this is that the amygdala, the part of the brain responsible for instigation of the fight-or-flight response, is switched on and the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for executive function and decision making, is switched off.
I once believed that there was someone out there with the answers — somebody somewhere who knew what I didn’t. All I needed to do to find them and extract their knowledge was to be persistent. Whatever the magic ingredient, I didn’t have it. Instead, it was out there, and I was going to find it. I didn’t find it.
This is our reality, and our daily work is the primary means by which we pursue this elusive thing. We spend our best years in jobs we dislike or even hate (42% of people according to my research) in order to get enough money to buy a better life – but we never get there.
These days I feel blessed. It’s been ten or twelve years since the global financial crash and although there is still the memory of its worst days in my mind, mostly it’s only a shadow now. The roads as I drove around the city over the last few days, reminded me of that time. Although […]
I’ve had a problem with crowds as long as I can remember — I can’t stand them. Football matches, supermarkets, cinemas, shopping centres, etc. They drive me crazy. Not because I’m anxious around people or socially awkward, but rather because masses of people in crowds seem to forgo their individuality and behave like automatons. On the […]
These are strange times — or rather, they are unfamiliar. Current economic and social conditions stand out from what we would call normality, like a pimple on the end of a nose.