I am almost 26 years old and suddenly people I meet talk only about work, making money and career. Suddenly I feel as if there is no joy, no music left in their lives. It feels as if they are working forcefully being crushed under social responsibilities and now their minds cannot think of anything other than work.
When one is trying to expand his mind, such a view to life is very limiting. Your work is a part of your life. Your life is not a part of your career or work.
In society today, every age group has their problems. Teenage has a problem of distraction and lack of direction. Old age has a problem of weakness. Youth has a phobia of work. The social environment around us is such that even lazy people talk about work.
This post is an attempt to scale down idea of ‘work and career’ and put it in the right place in your life.
Breaking free from the social idea of work
Most people around you have a wrong idea of work. They want you to work like a donkey and make money for endless time. If you are into that mindset, you must first break free.
You have absorbed this wrong view of work from a society that is always anxious and worrying about security. If you want, you can continue with that or you can stop. Take a pause, stop listening to anyone and take your time to define what work is to you. Ask yourself questions like:
- How much time of the day (and night) do I spend thinking and talking about work and career. Should I really be spending that?
- What other aspects of my life are more important than my work? How many of them am I ignoring these days?
- Is thinking about my work becoming an addiction? If I were to stop thinking about my future, how restless do I become?
Reflect on yourself and realize how much attention you are giving to your future.
Reflect on your death
Whatever your goals are, to become billionaire or walk on the moon..etc. How much of that really would matter on your deathbed?
Imagine that you are dying right now and understand how futile it was to work for things you wanted. This is a simple exercise but it always helps put things in their right place.
Enjoying the depth of creation
Most of work we do in professional life or at a job is like factory work. There is no creativity or depth in it. To really enjoy life, you must go into the depth of creation. When I listen to beautiful music or observe nature, I understand creation. It fills me with joy.
- When did you last get deeply in touch with something creative?
The secret of work
All above points were to detach your mind from work. This last point is about ‘how to work’. Work can be a way to lift all bondage and become free. The science of how to work is ‘Karma yoga’.
You see, the whole world is working for something. There is always a motive. Some want riches, some want love, some want respect..etc. Thus all our work is selfish work. Whenever we do selfish work, we are bound further. We work for something we want, and when we don’t get it we become angry or sad.
Such work is the work of slaves. We must learn to work through freedom.
The essence of karma yoga is that “you have the right to work, but to its fruits you have none.”. We must work with devotion and give up thoughts about fruits of our actions. That is the way to work through freedom. When you want no return, nothing can affect your mind.
Do all the good work you can, but become detached to it and never expect anything in return. If you become like that, your work will start leading you to the ultimate freedom.
The more selfless we become, closer we get to freedom.