3 Reasons We Don’t Like Our Jobs

3 Reasons We Don’t Like Our Jobs

“I don’t want to wake up,” I remember thinking to myself.

I had no idea what went wrong. All I knew was that getting out of bed would only make things worse.

But I had no choice, I had to go to work.

I was doing an internship at Sun Microsystems at a time. I was getting paid quite well and looking forward to a “bright future.”

It fit perfectly into my plans. I was going to become a manager at a software company! And what’s better for that than a reference letter from a reputable company?

Everything was going according to plan. There was only one little problem: I hated my life.

By that I mean that I started to hate just about everything about my life. It all started out with having to wake up too early, followed by an hour and half commute. Then I would have to walk the dirty streets of downtown to my office.

I still remember how I hated opening the heavy office door. This is where the real nightmare would begin: Eight long hours of boredom.

By the time I would finally return home, I was tired, exhausted, and frustrated. I tried to pick up hobbies, but didn’t have enough energy for them.

Three months into my internship and I was gasping for air. The only thing that kept me going was the fact that soon all this will end and I will be back to school.

By the time that dreadful internship was finally over, my entire world view has been transformed.

I couldn’t care less how much money I made. I didn’t care about the prestige of my workplace or job title any longer. I simply wanted to like what I do – that’s all.

The realization that I hated working as a programmer was quite scary, because I was studying computer science at the time, and, ironically, enjoying school. After much soul searching, I decided to try my hands at research.

It was a steep hill to climb. I had no idea if I had what it takes to do research. But I was determined to learn.

I poured my soul into it, and by the time I entered my PhD studies, I was making more money in scholarships than most of my friends who worked in industry. But what’s more important, I would wake up every morning with a song in my heart. I was happy to be alive.

Several years later, I found that I part of me was still unsatisfied. The artist side of me wanted more. So I took another leap of faith. I opened up my dusty drawer of dreams, and decided to give my heart a chance: I signed up for singing lessons, and started to write.

By now, I was able to turn passion into money more than ones. But what really matters is the powerful joy that I get from doing what I love each and every day. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

It’s Not Just My Story

I wish that I could say that this was only me, that I am the only person who worked at a job that drained my soul. I wish that I were the only person who had to wake up each and every morning, wishing for nothing more than to stay in bed for the rest of the day.

How I wish that no else would ever have to endure the pain and confusion that comes from not knowing what to do with your life…

Unfortunately, this isn’t so. Not liking our jobs is not only common, it is the norm. Did you know that 80% of us dislike our jobs?

If you are part of the 80%, I want to show you that there is a way out. You don’t have to live like this.

Through my experiences, as well as those of others, I discovered the underlying reasons that many of us dislike what we do, and what we can do about it. I’d like to share some of these reasons with you to help you on your journey.

1. We devalue our own desires

Our society systematically devalues our wants and desires. Someone who greatly values their own desires is considered selfish and irresponsible. We are taught to put what we want on the back-burner, and ultimately, just forget about it all together.

Eventually, this becomes a habit, until we forget what it is that we wanted in the first place. We are so disconnected from our desires that we come to accept that we don’t enjoy our work and become complacent.

But enough is enough. It is your life, and your time is precious. Allow your wants and desires to resurface, and give them the attention that they deserve. It is time to put yourself first.

The first step to finding fulfilling work is reconnecting with your own desires. They will be the guide on your journey.

2. We believe in “talent”

Once we reconnect with our desires, we often realize that we’ve got a lot to learn before we can make a living from our passion. This is where most people stop.

Do I have what it takes? They wonder. The problem isn’t with the wondering, the problem is with the answer we often give ourselves. “I’m just not that talented at __”
we might think to ourselves.

Let’s get one thing straight: There is no such thing as talent. Anyone who was ever really good at anything spent an inordinate amount of time learning and practicing.

No one is born a talented actor, singer, ballet dancer, programmer, manager, etc… But those who have the passion in their hearts find the time to become good at it.

So forget about talent – it does not exist! Instead, start learning, until you become an expert at what you love. And then, everyone will exclaim: “What talent!”

3. We’re afraid of change

Even when we realize what we need to do to make our dreams a reality, underlying much of our inaction is a potent fear of change. We are afraid to rock the boat. We are scared, that somehow, if we make the smallest step towards our dreams, it would shake the underlying core of our lives, and everything will fall apart.

But what we need to realize is that change is natural and is essential for our growth and development. Nothing ever stays the same anyway. But by taking charge of your life, you control the direction of the change!

I suggest that you start small. Take a tiny step towards making your dreams come true today. Bit by bit, you can make a real difference in your life.

***

The journey to find meaningful and fulfilling work can be scary – believe me, I know. But it is also wonderful, exhilarating, and ultimately, incredibly rewarding. Keep at it, and you will succeed.

I wish you all the very best on your journey.

Photo by eizus

Margareta Ackerman

Margareta Ackerman, PhD. is a granddaughter of Holocaust survivor Srulik Ackerman and author of Running from Giants: The Holocaust Through the Eyes of a Child. She also authored over a dozen academic publications, including research on applications of traditional Jewish study methodology to the modern classroom. In addition to her academic career, Margareta is also a semi-professional singer. Born in Belarus, Margareta spent much of her childhood in Israel. She lives with her husband and son in San Jose, California.

Latest posts by Margareta Ackerman (see all)

50 Comments

  1. liking ones’s job seems to be a job itself. great post. but i’m still having a mixed feeling about the part where you said “There is no such thing as talent.”

    Reply
    • Hi!

      Thanks for expressing your hesitation. This gives me a chance to clarify. Please let me know what you think about what I write below.

      I used to believe in talent as well. Our society is fully sold on this concept. It assumes that we have substantial, natural differences in our abilities that limit how well we can do in different things.

      Then I met my husband. He had a completely different attitude. Whatever he wanted to learn, he would simply get some books and/or take some courses, and within a few short months, become incredibly good at it. For example, he designed and built a gorgeous new kitchen for us having no previous experiences with building or design, and learned how to sing opera in under three months having had no previous training. It was completely unbelievable, he would just pick up new things, work very, very intensely for a few months, and become really good.

      Of course, I asked him how he does it, and he said that he believes in hard work over talent. So I decided to try it myself, and that’s how I became a semi-professional singer, despite the fact that when I started learning, I really wasn’t any good…

      Having thought about talent for a long time now, I noticed that anything that I was ever good at was because I spent the time to learn it. It didn’t seem to have anything to do with my initial ability, which often wasn’t impressive at all.

      I also read a lot about famous, extremely successful people, and I noticed over and over again that they emphasize hard work over talent.

      I’ll wrap up with two of my favorite quotes:

      “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” ~Albert Einstein

      ““If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful after all.” ~ Michelangelo

      Reply
  2. Believe that we are valuable and what we desire is important, working for someone else makes us put time into helping someone else achieve their dreams. Decide that you will succeed and have trust and faith that through the fear, you will find what you are looking for!
    Awesome Blog, Thank You for sharing!

    Reply
    • Hi Rick,

      I really like how you put it: “working for someone else makes us put time into helping someone else achieve their dreams.” Indeed, for a lot of us – myself included – working for ourselves is the most satisfying, personally fulfilling way to make a living. I also love the freedom and flexibility that it comes with.

      Thanks so much for your comment!

      -Maya

      Reply
  3. I’m very fortunate to be someone who likes his jobs. I actually have several at the moment and am doing some freelance work soon. It’s amazing to actually be excited everyday about the work I GET to do. This would never have happened if I had continue to fear change like I have for the past few years. I embraced the change and even used it to my advantage. It really was a steep climb, but I think I made it. Thank you, Maya.

    Reply
    • Hi Vincent,

      I love how you put! “Work I GET to do.” Now that’s living the dream.

      It’s interesting you mention that you have several jobs. I am in the same boat – and that’s exactly how I like it. This variety enables me to keep up my passion in all that I do, and makes things a lot more interesting.

      Thanks so much for sharing,
      – Maya

      Reply
  4. Maya,

    Very insightful post. I went through a similar process a little over a year ago. I took a leap of faith, moved to the other side of the world, and started my own business.

    Now, I’m a career coach and wake up every day loving what I do.

    How long did it take you to discover what made you really passionate?

    Trent

    Reply
    • Hi Trent!

      Thanks for sharing your story! It’s very inspiring.

      My journey was quite gradual. After that dreadful internship, I made a lot of effort to make a living in a way that I enjoy, and largely I was successful. But it took over 10 years to go through all the layers of fears and insecurities, until I was finally able to pursue my long lost dreams, and pursue my artistic dreams.

      I’d love to hear more about your experience!

      – Maya

      Reply
  5. So true!
    You are lucky enough to find things out pretty soon. It took me about 10 years :)

    Reply
    • Hi Ani,

      Indeed, I made some progress fairy quickly, for which I am very grateful. But there was a part of me that was left unsatisfied all this time. The whole process took over 10 years for me as well – going through all these layers of fears and insecurities, and redefining what’s “reasonable” and “realistic” took a very long time.

      I’ve always wanted to be a singer and writer, and I only finally started going down that the artistic path three years ago. Combining that with research gives me a sense of completeness.

      Finding your calling is a process, especially when we are stumbling in the dark without guidance, as I was.

      Thank so much for sharing!

      – Maya

      Reply
  6. Great post bursting with truth. The signs are valid and the stories are strong, the tricky part is what comes next. It’s overcoming the paradox of choice and setting a resolute mission for yourself to begin taking the steps toward building the talent to succeed.

    Your advice is the first step in the process. It’s great you zigged from the zag of routine before getting caught too deep. Your post should help others do the same. Cheers.

    Reply
    • Hi Mehdi,

      Thanks for the nice words about my article.

      You are absolutely right! Finding and pursing your passion is a process. There is a lot that’s involved in turning our dreams to reality – starting with psychological barriers, social factors, to exploring your options and making a concerete plan, etc..

      It’s impossible to go into all this in one article, but for those interested, I discuss the complete process in my book (http://www.greatlivingnow.com/products/WorkYouLove.html).

      Thanks for your comment!

      – Maya

      Reply
  7. Enjoyed the post. I agreee with your resons and we often use them to rationalise keeping hold of jobs that don’t match our real selves. Instead we believe in myths like careers (only available to the few) and retirement (we’ll be working longer so do something you enjoy now!).

    Reply
    • Hi Peter,

      Yes, absolutely! I actually wrote a whole series of articles about “The Career Trap,” discussing how society forces us to give up our lives for the prestigious concept of having a lucrative career. If you’re interested, it’s starts with this one: http://www.greatlivingnow.com/2012/06/19/beyond-the-career-trap-part-i/

      Retirement is another good one. There are so many myth and misconceptions around it.

      Thanks for your insightful comment!

      – Maya

      Reply
  8. Very good article, Maya!
    I’m actually looking for a change in career & your writing fueled the idea further. I found these lines really helpful,
    “There is no such thing as talent. Anyone who was ever really good at anything spent an inordinate amount of time learning and practicing.”
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi,

      I am so happy to hear that you found my article helpful! The discovery that there is no such thing as talent made a huge difference in my life. It eliminated the fear and hesitation that I used to have, and gave me the power to persist.

      It’s a real shame that we put so much emphasis on initial performance, by which we try to gauge someone’s natural ability, or talent. We all have so much potential for growth, in every possible area – if only we take the time to learn and practice, we can excel at literally anything!

      I wish you all the best in your career change! Persist, and you will reach greatness.

      Maya

      Reply
      • Thanks a bunch for the re-iteration, Maya. Appreciate it.
        I really hope I get through my career switch.
        Keep writing such incredible articles!!

        Reply
  9. Sorry if I am too blunt and certainly by no means attempt to be abrasive or hurt anyones feelings. Most if not all of us have been swayed to follow a professional course of actions to a end career path, hence now I call it your curse. Not a good course if you as I am on this webpage. 10 and 15 yrs ago I heard of such sites and laughed at Tony Robbins types but he was much older and wiser than I, and still is, as are most people older than I. Time brings much real world experience and solutions to some, and the complete opposite to others. Darkness. Life really should not be a labyrinth, and anyone still putting up with their nagging spouse, friends, family dictating what they should be doing and how, when , etc.. really stop and take a day or 90 off, away from all. Sit somewhere where you can live in complete solace. If possible. 1 day is fine. Then think about all of the other people in all 4 corners of the our planet, where they are, what they do all day, their bank account balance, walk in closet inventory. Personal Happiness Index. how content are they when they open their eyes in the morning. Forget them all now. Everyone. If you are stuck with a spouse & family and unhappy you have obligations. many run away, and others work it out. I say do what you want, when. How. And above all, Now. sure, its easier to write about it here as I sit stuck in quick sand and steel boots knee deep, but knowing is half the battle. Staying positive too. We need to remove everyone and all obstacles in our way and people that keep convincing us their dream is our dream. Live your life. And don’t sweat the poor credit history or low paying job you love to go to every day. Eventually your body and mind will tell you all is well. adjust and evolve.

    Reply
  10. I think it boils down to how well I know myself and how seriously I take myself. When I know why I am here (we don’t get incarnated by chance), it’s obvious that the point is not about making more money than I need, etc.

    Same with talent (and yes, so many people get stuck there!). The fact that someone is interested in something already indicates innate talent.

    I think I’ve read your other posts here. Good work! Cheers.

    Reply
    • Hi Akemi,

      Paying attention to our dreams, wants, and desires is so important. I also believe that our desires are there for a reason: Wanting something suggests that, with some effort, you should have the ability to attain it.

      You presented a beautiful perspective. Thanks very much!

      – Maya

      Reply
  11. Great post Maya!
    Thank you for sharing, glad all career shifts worked out for the best!

    The one thing I would disagree on with in the approach is that if first negative experience in industry, like Sun Microsystems for you, maybe too soon to come to conclusion and quit.
    General unhappiness could be not because of career field itself, but because of commute, office location, the unrealistic boss, boring project or really bad coffee. Before deciding programming or any other field is not going to make you happy, one could try a different company and a different project.

    Best of luck.

    Reply
    • Hi Lilit,

      That’s a very good question.

      I thought about that. Actually, I had so much doubt that I ended up giving programming another shot.

      For my very last internship, I returned to industry. I thought that maybe if I try something different: An interesting project, maybe a small company, then things would be different. I got a position at a small company that did interesting things.

      At first, things looked better. But after a few weeks, the same thing happen. Despite the job being a lot more interesting than before, I gradually started hating my life. But the end of the four months, I was completely broken, just like the previous time.

      Now that I’ve had many years to figure out what kind of work I like, I understand that being a programmer conflicts too much with who I am. I need a lot of freedom, flexibility, variety, and opportunity for artistic expression than could ever be possible in such a position. Of course, there are people for whom programming is a great fit and who truly love it. It’s about finding the right fit for you.

      Thanks again for the great question. I think this would clarify my story for a lot of readers.

      – Maya

      Reply
  12. I think this post is great for those who’re looking into changing their career. I like the idea of variety, flexibility and freedom in what we do. In general, it’s great post.
    Thanks for sharing this article with us.

    Reply
    • Thanks very much, Hamid!

      It was a big step for me not only to realize that I need variety, flexibility, and freedom, but also to find the courage to go after a job that would offer that. But what it difference it makes! :-)

      Thanks again for your comment!

      – Maya

      Reply
  13. I believe the top most reason is that we don’t follow our passion and instead keep on following things that we think will give lots of money.

    I even made a shift in my career around 2007 when I realized that I was going into the wrong direction. Today I see it as one my my best decision so far which has helped me in achieving my goals quickly.

    Reply
    • Hi Rinkesh,

      Thanks so much for sharing your experience. Indeed, money can be very misguiding. Some of us work extra long hours at jobs we hate, just to have more money in the bank, and even less time to enjoy it.

      The goal is to do what you love while being able to support yourself. Instead, many of us strive for whatever will bring us the most money – meanwhile sacrificing our most valuable recourses, our time.

      Thanks again for your comment,
      Maya

      Reply
  14. There’s only one reason I sometimes dislike my job: the politics of higher education. That’s why I’m writing books, music, and eventually movies.

    Reply
    • Hi Dan,

      Wow, writing books, music and movies! That sounds amazing. Writing music is on my shortlist of new things to try.

      Thanks for sharing!
      Maya

      Reply
  15. It’s amazing how everything you said in this post was exactly me and how I felt just less than a year ago and I felt so incredibly alone at the time. I felt like I was the only one who hated my job as much as I did. I’ve since changed careers, requiring me to go back to school, and it was soooo worth it! Here’s my bog post about it: http://beautyinfluence.blogspot.com/2012/07/my-life-changing-decision.html

    Reply
    • Hi Rikki!

      Thanks so much for sharing.

      Indeed, we often feel complete alone in our straggle to find work we love – even though 80% of us are in the same boat, not liking how we make a living.

      That’s why we need to talk about it – talk about our experiences, and how we managed to find meaningful careers that bring us joy.

      Many thanks for sharing you story! I just read it – it’s very moving.

      – Maya

      Reply
      • Thank you! And thank you for your wonderful blog post. I hope it helps others who are in the same position I was in to get out of the job that is causing them such agony, stress, depression, or whatever it may be and into something that is more meaningful to them. There is light at the end of the tunnel, I am proof of that!

        Reply
  16. I really enjoyed reading your article, especially because TWICE you had to make a leap of faith. I think that’s actually another hurdle – it’s hard enough making that leap once, but when you still feel unfulfilled it can easily cause a double dose of doubt…”will I EVER be happy?” Am I destined to be searching forever? Perhaps I really do have ideas above my station?

    These are the type of things that have gone through my head until, finally, I have found something I love to do. But I still vividly remember getting into the elevator to go to my office job and literally thinking “OK, park my soul and my heart at the elevator door but remember to pick it up at the end of the day.” It was horrible, no amount of money in my bank balance was enough to counteract that feeling of emptiness.

    I also totally agree with making small steps when making change. And I also think, at some point, you do need to close your eyes and jump in with both feet :)

    Reply
    • Hi Tora,

      Thank sooo much for sharing you experience!

      I also love how you write. Your words really moved me. “No amount of money in my bank balance was enough to counteract that feeling of emptiness.” That’s exactly how I felt!

      Many thanks!
      – Maya

      Reply
  17. Hi, Maya.

    It seems what i need right now is an article like this. Having a very hard time with my job now, decide to quit and find a better one but doubts always stop me from taking actions. You see, I’m 25 years old, work as a secretary, married but my husband doesn’t have a job yet for finishing his last year of college which is not a problem for me because he just got better from a terrible accident so it’s a hard time for him too.

    I need your help on this. Is it okay if i ‘sacrifice’ myself keeping the job i hate so much? The bosses, the environment, the company system, i don’t think they help me growing positively (there was even time my boss used foul language to me). I think about staying at least for the rest of the year until my husband graduates and finally gets a job because we need the money. The saying “There” is no better than “here” even makes me think twice, perhaps i’m too selfish or exaggerating things…but then i’m sure i’m not the problem here, it’s the job.

    Plan for keeping the job this year and once my husband gets a job, i would straightly quit and find a new one. So, even if the new job pays me less, it’d be okay and i’d combine it with my husband’s income. Sorry…this may sound like we’re money oriented. But it’s not really, people around us have debt and we don’t want to be like them.

    Please tell me, am i making the right decision here?
    THANKS.

    Reply
    • Hi Dhian,

      I am so sorry to hear about your difficult situation.

      Working at a job you don’t like can be so hard, especially if your boss is rude!

      I sacrificed myself for many years…. I don’t believe in self-sacrifice anymore. No, you are not being selfish at all. Sounds to me like you are being too selfless. One can be a good person, and make a living, without so much self-sacrifice.

      Many of our doubts and fears are psychological in nature. It sounds to me like you want to make a change, but can’t quite get there. I think my book can help you because it addresses how to get over these type of roadblock: http://www.greatlivingnow.com/products/Work-You-Love.html

      If money is tight and you can’t afford to buy it right now, email me and I’ll try to find you some free resources.

      I wish you all the very best,

      Warmest regards,
      Maya

      Reply
  18. For evreyone he doesn’t like his job and he wants to quit it I say :
    “Never quit a job on the spur of the moment without a good backup. It could take a very long time to find a fit. You could easily end up in a worse position. If you’re going to quit, find the new job first.”
    Thank you so much Maya for this great article .

    Reply
    • Hi Rachid,

      You are absolutely right. Quitting your job on a spur of the moment is not a good idea. Finding and pursuing your passion is a process, and it takes time to do it well.

      With effort and dedication, I believe that all of us are capable of making a living doing something that we truly love.

      Best regards,
      Maya

      Reply
  19. Great blog site! I’ve been following if for about a year now. I’m kind of running into the same thing myself. I’ve been doing computer support for about 14+ years. Getting deeper into a more “corporate” type of job has just turned me off and interest is vanishing. Just to go to work so I can afford to live.
    I have plenty of hobbies, and wish I could turn them into a job that wouldn’t feel like a job, but nobody reads the bottom of the resume under “hobbies and interests”. I’d like to change paths, but I feel I have nothing to show for it that would encourage someone to give me a chance without having the fancy college degree…etc.
    I am pleased to say that I never let work get in the way of my personal life and passions, but I fell that I’m wasting life at work doing something that isn’t doing it for me, just to do the time and get out and persue the things that interest me after work. I just need a better balance, but frustrated and stuck.

    T.

    Reply
    • Hi,

      Thanks so much for sharing.

      This feeling of being stuck is experienced by so many people. We want things to change, but we feel powerless to change them. Of course, the fact that others feel this way too doesn’t make it easier..

      The good news is that we usually have a lot more power than we at first realize. Waiting for someone to help us may never happen. We need to go after it ourselves. We need to formulate a precise plan, and then work towards it every day.

      Indeed, some career paths require a degree. In such cases, some people choose to save up for school, or study part time. But there are also a lot of options that don’t require proof of education – such a running your own business. There are also jobs were having a degree isn’t essential (such as many of the arts).

      Finally, a lot of people think that they are not good enough at their hobby to make money from it, when in fact they are. Most simply never tried.

      All I’m trying to point out here, is that there are a lot of options to think about and consider.

      Although many people are exactly in your situation, there are also many who have been in your situation and got out of it. Have faith that things can get better and believe in yourself.

      I with you all the very best,

      Maya

      Reply
    • Hi,

      Thanks so much for sharing.

      This feeling of being stuck is experienced by so many people. We want things to change, but we feel powerless to change them. Of course, the fact that others feel this way too doesn’t make it easier..

      The good news is that we usually have a lot more power than we at first realize. Waiting for someone to help us may never happen. We need to go after it ourselves. We need to formulate a precise plan, and then work towards it every day.

      Indeed, some career paths require a degree. In such cases, some people choose to save up for school, or study part time. But there are also a lot of options that don’t require proof of education – such a running your own business. There are also jobs were having a degree isn’t essential (such as many of the arts).

      Finally, a lot of people think that they are not good enough at their hobby to make money from it, when in fact they are. Most simply never tried.

      All I’m trying to point out here, is that there are a lot of options to think about and consider.

      Although many people are exactly in your situation, there are also many who have been in your situation and got out of it. Have faith that things can get better and believe in yourself.

      I wish you all the very best,

      Maya

      Reply
  20. Wow, you just hit on what I have been dwelling on for weeks now! I’ve recently taken an initiative to make some changed in my life and step out and do! I wrote a blog similar to this the other night here: http://www.empowernetwork.com/fasttrackwealth/blog/make-change-happen-for-you-now/ because I was feeling the impulse to share with others this desire to drive motivation and reach success!

    So I’m making changes in my life right now, I won’t be stuck in the same place where I have been for so long financially, mentally, spiritually and I’m pushing everyone to do the same! Awesome blog!

    Reply
    • Hi Philip,

      Thanks for sharing. Great to hear that you were able to make changes in your life, it’s always inspiring to hear that others are able to overcome that feeling of being stuck.

      Thanks for your comment, and all the best!
      Maya

      Reply
  21. Dear Maya,
    Beautiful post with a profound message. No job is pleasant or unpleasant except how we take it or fit into this. Some can adapt to any situation but some may feel suffocated in the same situation. It is always better to change to a job which suits my temperament or gives me inner satisfaction despite arduous nature of the job. We are likely to excel in the job which fulfills my inner urge. So the first step would be to know one’s leanings and second step, as suggested by you, change over at the opportune moment. The change is likely to hurt initially and fill me with certain skepticism but the Existence generally rewards the brave.Every one has some inborn talent , it has to be honed with hard work.

    Reply
  22. Our lives are filled with shoulds and musts from an early age. We should eat our breakfast. We should brush our teeth. We should take a bath. We should play outside. We should study. No wonder we buy in to we should get a job. We should own lots of things. We should work hard. We should.
    Being on purpose means being passionate and if more of us did what we loved and made our heart sing, the health system would be a wellness system. The education system would be a discovery system and the economy could boom with people knowing what mattered to them personally.
    I am glad you found the things that made your soul sing. Any relation to my friend Roy Ackerman?

    Reply
  23. Hi there,

    I really resonated with your story. I am in a similar situation, as I am searching for a career that fulfills me. I graduated with an English degree in 2005 but have been working in the restaurant industry for years because it has paid better than what many of the jobs in the writing field offer. Unfortunately, it has left me feeling unaccomplished, drained, and stuck. I am also a singer/ songwriter and I would love to have a career in that field. Seeming how I still need to pay the bills, I don’t know how to make the leap or really where to leap to in the first place. The things I am passionate about, (music, health, relationships, writing) seem to be unstable career choices without defined paths. This makes me think that one would have to be supported by someone else while they are pursuing that career, which is not my situation. Any suggestions on how to get out of the restaurant industry and into something I love while still making ends meet? Inspired by your post, but still so many questions. Thanks you.

    Reply
  24. Hi Maya! This is a great article. I am currently in a job where I dread going in everyday (feels like going to prison) and also a foreign country. Opportunities for a non native is not so common. I am grateful to have a job to make ends meet but the thing is, I can’t imagine doing what I’m doing for many years to come. I agree that we are afraid of change but it is something, along with hard work and persistence that we must do if we want things differently. Thanks for writing this. It makes me feel better that I’m not the only one that feels this way and that with enough patience and persistence, I might be able to do what I like.

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  25. It’s all about accumulating those 10,000 hour required to master a chosen craft or skill.

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  26. These days, I think people are simultaneously grateful to have a job (any job) and yet displeased with their choice to settle. It can take a while to figure out what we are truly passionate about, but it also takes a lot of courage to re-orient our lives. When we have a reliable income, it’s easier to “suck it up another year” instead of take a risk; because taking risks means we have to work our tails off! Our perception of our lives, time, and things that matter are skewed and mangled; and I think it just boils down to your point #1: “We devalue our own desires”. If we truly valued ourselves, we would not view change and risk as roadblocks, but as gateways to a better life. Thanks for sharing, Maya!

    Reply
  27. I am vey late to comment on this post but I couldn’t help it. I am currently undergoing this problem where I am petrified for some reason to go back to work.

    I get up in the morning and all of a sudden there is a fear which makes me sick and gives me panic attacks.

    I have been off sick for nearly 3 months now and the two times I tried to resume work backfired. Both the times I became more sick. There is a lot of stress involved which doesn’t help me at all. Hopefully I will take your tips on board and keep my fingers cross.

    Reply
  28. I always fear changes- for all aspect of life. When I must have to change things, it often too late. Most of the time I know a little change can bring lots of positive things in my life. Gosh, I need to take action!

    Reply

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