Work is uncomfortable.
It makes us do things that we don’t want to do.
We could be enjoying ourselves, pursuing pleasure, and just enjoying life.
But instead, we’re working.
Well, there could be many answers to that question.
But to me, it seems like there are some very basic reasons why we should be working.
And somehow, working, even though it sucks, makes life better.
Because, one way to look at it is, everything is decaying.
Everything is declining.
It’s falling apart.
Things are always getting worse.
And so we need to do something about that.
Pleasure comes from a change of state, and so we change things to feel better.
But the overall trend is down.
I mean, it feels good to eat when we’re hungry.
So we’re hungry: we eat.
That feels good, especially if the food is tasty.
We’re tired: we sleep, and then that sleep is pleasant, to be able to lie down to sleep when you’re tired.
And we feel good when we fix something.
But the general trend, throughout the day: we’re getting hungrier.
The trend is more and more hunger, more and more thirst.
We’re getting sleepier.
And that’s just for our basic needs.
Then we think of, well, all the tools we have around us in order to have those basic comforts.
Everything that’s built is in a process of decay and crumbling.
Food is rotting.
And everything’s falling apart.
Even the systems that we use to get along with each other, our social systems and our cultural systems, and the way we make our cities, the way our cities and our countries are held together: all those things are eroding over time.
They have to be renewed.
So one way I like to look at work is it’s simply fixing problems.
It’s simply repairing things that are falling apart.
No matter what job you’re doing.
I mean, if you need to make some money: let’s say you’re doing some job that you don’t care anything about the job you’re doing and the actual content of the job.
It’s purely for money.
That money can be used to repair problems.
So if you were hungry at this very moment, and you were working to make money to then buy food: if you were actually eating in that moment, you would be feeling good.
It’s like “Wow, I’m hungry, and now I’m eating.
This is great.”
But when we’re working to make money, everything is projected into the future.
So it’s like, well, we work now.
I don’t even see the money.
I might not see it for weeks.
And that money is going to be used to solve a future problem, the future problem of me being hungry later.
But if we were solving it in that moment, it would be pleasurable.
But instead we’re always delaying.
Instead of feeling good now, we’re saying “I’m going to work in order to feel good later.”
And we’re just laying the foundation for the future.
So we have to step away from feeling good right now.
We have to accept that we’re going to do things that are uncomfortable and unpleasant, painful, boring.
We do those things to set a foundation, to repair the ship, to repair future leaks, and build up a food supply, and repair our house, and set up the conditions so that we can actually enjoy our lives.
Work is maintenance on our lives, that we’re ensuring the conditions can continue so that we can actually enjoy life.
So you can see if you go too far in work, and you’re just pure work, well, then, you can’t even enjoy what you’re building.
You’re just constantly preparing for a future, but then eventually you die, and then you never get the future.
But if you focus on just enjoying yourself, then everything crumbles around you and then things will suck even more than work.
So maybe not the most positive-sounding message, but I kind of like it.
Because I like this idea of when I’m working, I am keeping things in good order, I’m repairing the ship, and I am setting the foundation for happiness.
Because then, really, I think that we don’t actually have to do much to actually be happy.
We just have to make sure things are in order, that we don’t have horrible problems surprising us in our face that distract all our attention, and then we can simply enjoy the simple things in life.
And maybe that’s all there is to it.
And of course, this is only one side of what work is about.
Hopefully, work can also be itself fulfilling and and meaningful in itself.
But I think at the very least, even if we have the worst and most empty-feeling kind of work, we can still see it as building a foundation for our life.
So as always, I’d be curious to hear what you think of this idea.
#worksucks #whyworksucks #buildthefuture