Your Job is Not Your Most Important Work
The most important and most crucial work you’ll ever do in your life is the work you do on yourself.
Until you learn to understand, accept, and love yourself, you won’t be able to fully embrace the world or the other people in it.
You’ll be going through life only half alive at best.
That’s why going on a journey of self-discovery and self-care is not just for a chosen few; it’s the key to a better world.
“Personal growth” can mean different things to different people. For me, it encompasses everything from spirituality to physical health to mental and emotional well-being — and they’re all important.
The weight they carry and the impact these things have on the way we live our lives is huge; yet most of us pay them no attention and inadvertently diminish their value on a regular basis.
Sacrificing our health in all of these areas in order to put work or money first has become the norm in our society, but it shouldn’t be that way.
The Dalai Lama once said, “Man sacrifices his health in order to build wealth, then sacrifices his wealth to get his health back.”
There’s no denying that his words are true. The system we’ve developed is clearly broken. It makes no logical or financial sense. Yet, we do nothing.
We’ve created a society where hard work (even to the point of dangerously poor health) is prized and admired. The more hours put into your job, the more people will respect you and the more highly they’ll think of you.
Being a “hard worker” has become the ultimate compliment — but that sort of mentality comes with great costs.
It leaves us with very little time left over to dedicate to ourselves.
We don’t spend the necessary time soul-searching, meditating, dreaming, questioning, and learning about ourselves in order to live our best lives.
We keep no record of the past (especially the mistakes, which we bury deep down within us, hoping no one will ever find out about them). We never stop to unravel any of our past experiences, to digest what happened and how we felt, and what it might mean for us.
We don’t examine ourselves or our lives, and we’re not intentional about creating the life we want. Most people, it seems, don’t give their lives much thought at all.
As a result, many people go through life knowing very little about themselves, and never allowing themselves to live to their fullest potential.
Not only is this a shame; it’s a loss to the world.
A lot of talents and skills are being stifled, and people are living mediocre existences when they could be changing the world.
Instead of pretending we’re robots, we need to make a shift to treating ourselves like humans.
The first step is to acknowledge that there are feelings, emotions, thoughts, and experiences inside all of us that actually do matter — even more than money and power and prestige.
And then we need to start paying attention to them.
Examining our lives and discovering who we are (and who we’re not) could help us change the norms of society that are no longer serving us.
Then, and only then, can we create a new normal that will benefit us.