No More Fake Smiles At The 9-To-5: Why It’s Time For You To Make Pursuing Your Passions A Priority
If you’re anything like me, you probably have stayed in a dreadful job way past its expiration date in order for you to continue to pay the bills. From the daily pep talk you’d have to give yourself to encourage you out of bed every morning or the frequent silent self-meditations to keep you from spazzing on co-workers throughout the day, we’ve all dealt with the everyday struggle of needing a job you absolutely hate. While being employed is a blessing in itself, that doesn’t take away from the misery that might come along with it. Building your resume is great, and gaining actual experience is even better, but faking daily smiles and relationships just to keep you sheltered and fed is stressful — and it only gets worse. It’s a new year and we’re already breezing through the second month. Let’s get rid of the fake smiles and focus on the REAL dreams we should all be pursuing.
Once upon a time I was that miserable girl who dreaded clocking into work every day. I eventually got up the gumption to finally leave my miserable job and pursue my passion, but it took a while for me to make that move. I would cry while forcibly driving myself to work, listening to Trey Songz’s “Just Gotta Make It” on repeat, just to encourage myself to “just make it” out of the driveway. It was horrible. I would go to work every day, uninspired, not fulfilling a purpose, but simply there for a paycheck. As miserable as I was, I knew quitting was financially not the wisest decision, so I accepted adulting it for what it was and stayed in my misery. At the time, I was enrolled at my alma mater, Howard University. I still had to eat, and I inconveniently also had a travel obsession way beyond my tax bracket. With that being said, being unemployed wasn’t an option. It’s not an option for many in an economy that goes up and down.
This is common, unfortunately. According to a 2017 Gallup Poll, of the world’s one billion full-time employees, 85 percent of them admitted to being disengaged at work. Full-time employees worldwide lack a genuine connection and purpose to their place of employment.
These workers are clocking in daily, not to jobs that they love or are passionate about, but to jobs they tolerate at best. These employees work simply to provide for themselves and for their families and gain nothing more from it. While their work ethic and dedication is admirable to say the least, just think how different their lives would be if they were actually passionate about their careers. And more importantly, what are the health effects of having a lack of passion about your work?
Studies show that there are in fact many health benefits to doing what you love. When you love what you do, you are not only happier as a person overall, but your work performance improves and it can even increase your life expectancy due to healthy social interaction. So the question is, with all these benefits, why wouldn’t we all seek this for ourselves?
Pursuing your passion is far from easy and fear is a common response for those who choose not to. However, it’s important to understand that those aren’t valid enough reasons to give up on your dreams.
It’s funny, as children you are encouraged to dream big, and if you’re lucky enough, you are also told that “you can be anything you want to be,” only to grow up and be something completely different. Our childhood dreams become faded memories and we fall into the trap of life and complacency as the years go by. We become comfortable with patterns and take far less risks. Before we know it we’re daydreaming in Monday’s meeting about the life we could’ve had.
Instead of making Auntie Oprah proud and dreaming the impossible dream, we are settling for mediocre lives only to resent it in the future. As The Huffington Post states, less than 30 percent of workers have their dream jobs; so just imagine what happens to the dreams of the other 70 percent?
What would the world would be like if we all had our dream jobs? If we were able to not only dream the impossible dream, but actively pursue it? If we were all genuinely discovering our passions and turning that passion into our purpose?
Instead of dreaming it, let’s start making an effort, even if we’re not yet able to make a great leap, to actively pursue the passions of our heart.