My friend asked me, ” How was your first day at office after a year of wfh and lwp? ” and I blurted out, ” I feel resurrected !”
That entire day from home to work and back was filled with ‘deja vu’ sort of moments for me. The metro train and the stations on the way were like long lost friends. People wearing colorful masks were actually displaying patience, tolerance, glancing furtively yet going about their day. I met the office lift man, house keeping staff, colleagues with a lump in my throat. Nothing had changed yet.. so much had changed !
Life before the pandemic lockdown and after.. two different phases of life! In the past one year I had sort of degenerated, lost touch with my productivity, my purpose, my sense of fulfillment that comes from sincere back-breaking hard work. Online ‘virtual’ classes was a different world altogether. I felt so alive, resurrected, standing before a ‘real’ class at last. Feel the vibes, the classroom ambience with ‘breathing humans’.. and that adrenaline rush! What was mundane and monotonous seemed like magical and motivating.
So what was the driving force behind this ‘serendipity’ ? Will it sustain or vanish with time ? Have I found ‘something’ that I wasn’t even aware of?
Does work have so much significance in our lives? Why does going out there doing your stuff, facing challenges with the brickbats or accolades mean so much to us? Why do we hit the snooze alarm yet then drag ourselves out of the cozy bed and take the pains of going to work?
If you were given a salary for doing nothing.. would you be happy? Maybe you would initially have a gala time but eventually you would feel useless and lethargic, wasted and rusted, with nothing to look forward to.
So..Why do we work ? Is it money?? Would Mother Teresa have said so ? Go ask the doctors, philanthropists, industrialists, scientists who work tirelessly .. what would they say?
An introspection :
1) We are social beings
We are ‘people persons’. We thrive on mutual dependence. Frued said ‘Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness’. We get a sense of joy and fulfillment from social engagement, connection and interaction.
2) We need to have a purpose
We need to have a deeper meaning to life, something to look forward to everyday apart from just getting through the day, and work often fulfills it. A purpose helps you to live a conscious life. The ability to pursue life purpose, fills one up with energy and passion to create a meaningful life.
3) We get a sense of self satisfaction by being productive
I bet you feel great at the end of the day when you accomplish all or atleast 6-7 things from your to-dos for the day. It fills your soul cup with a sense of achievement. By being productive at work when you achieve targets or meet deadlines you get appreciation, recognition, identity which satisfies your ego and self esteem. You know you make a difference to the world and make others life better.
4) We can maintain a standard of living
Yes money is the primary reason but it’s one of the many reasons. We need to work to make money to pay our bills and buy groceries. We measure success in life through lifestyle changes, from good to better to best.
5) We are creative beings
Everything that you are surrounded with right now and things that make your life comfortable, is ‘someone’s thought or an idea’ shaped into reality. You need to keep experimenting. Things and ideas become obsolete as time passes. Necessity is the mother of invention.
Well, then, here I am.. rearing to go. Even if I had the choice to sit back comfortably at home, I would still and always opt to go back to the grind.. do you still want to know why..???
“My father used to have an expression. He’d say, ‘Joey, a job is about a lot more than a paycheck. It’s about your dignity. It’s about your respect. It’s about your place in your community. ‘
So why do YOU work ??