• Jasmine Hussain

Jobs, the future and the present


Recently, I have been battling with the idea of getting a job. I feel we've been geared our whole lives to follow this routined pattern of life - kindergarten, school, university, career, retirement. Get a job to earn money and contribute to society they say. But are there other ways to do that besides being tied to a desk for most part of the day and year? I only have this one life to live and I want to make the best out of it - and being tied to a desk is not making the best out of it. I probably have this inherent bias that office jobs are boring and but I know there are definitely some people who truly love their jobs (even office jobs). My dad for example, really loves his job, but part of me thinks he probably loves it because he is at the top rank and having so many people 'worship' and look up to him definitely adds to why he loves working so much. And I can think of many other friends whose parents have high ranking jobs who love their jobs as well. I think it it safe to say that the majority of office workers like the routine and stability of a job more so than the job itself. Many have to provide for their families as well and so having that stability comes at a much higher priority for them.


But I'm not looking for stability or a routine per se. The only reason why I will get a job is for money. But why do I want money? I want money for more than just basic needs and to be able to afford things that I want. What do I want? I want to be able to travel and experience the world and its diverse cultures, I want to be able to cook yummy vegan food and experiment with new ingredients, I want to own a property (so that I don't have to pay anyone rent) - I want to be able to live a comfortable life without money being a worry because as much as capitalism sucks, you need some money in this world in order to survive. I would also love to have money in order to support causes that I believe in - to provide support to the homeless, to contribute to conservation initiatives (or even set up my own), to support pro-environmental campaigns and many more. Ultimately, I want something that is meaningful to me and to society and something that pays. Is that too hard to ask for?


I feel even the fact that we think life needs to be fulfilling is something that is taught, that we have been influenced into thinking. Why must life be fulfilling? Why can't we live just for the sake of living? I'm not saying that life shouldn't be fulfilling, I'm just pointing out the fact that even that train of thought is something that we have 'made up'. Thinking that life needs to be fulfilling creates this mindset of always looking into the future - when I get this job, life will be fulfilling, when I have a partner in life, life will be fulfilling, when I am able to reach whatever goal, life will be fulfilling and it just goes on. What about now? Is your life not fulfilling right now? Is there no meaning in your life at present that you have to act upon it to seek meaning in the future? There is so much risk involved in looking into the future because when we reach that future, we often fail to realize we have arrived because we are still looking into the 'next future'. Using a personal example, I thought having a certain body type would make me feel happy. So I trained and eventually got the body type that I wanted - but was I happy? No. In fact I was unhappy, I was a slave to the gym, I placed too much stress on what I ate and did not find any joy in exercising. I failed to realize that I had reached my goal and should be satisfied - because I was looking into the future. I did not actively want more, I just didn't know what was enough, at what point I would be truly satisfied. It's just a vicious cycle. The same goes for earning money - you earn your first $100,000. Then you think 'I could earn another $100,000' and it just goes on and on until you reach a million dollars and you still want more because you fail to acknowledge and pause to live in the present.


People (myself definitely included) always make excuses that they can't do something - I can't not get a job, I can't not pass my test, I can't just drop out of uni because I dislike it. There is nothing you can't do. It's just a difficult choice - so difficult that our mind locks in the idea that we have no other choice. You can do anything you want. It's just a matter of how hard you want to make it happen and how hard you try.

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