Lately I've been thinking many people chase a job, or a working situation, and think it will be the solution to their woes. The thought process I refer to is along the lines "If only I was the manager, I could tell everyone what to do, and I'd be happy".
While there definitely is some truth to having a fulfilling job, part of me thinks that there should be more focus in finding satisfaction in oneself, regardless of the work. It's almost silly to live a bitter life until becoming manager. And even then, when people reach their career goals, I think many realise it wasn't what they originally thought it would be.
In Requiem for a Dream, we see four characters have their lives spiral out of control through addiction to drugs. However, a more deeper reading allows one to see that, even before drugs were involved, the mother was addicted to food and television. The camerawork, and editing in both eating, and taking drugs are similar sequences. The mother had traded one addiction for another. Drugs don't ruin lives. Addiction does.
I think one can be addicted to work. The western world seems to glorify work. To work hard is considered a positive trait. You must always be working if you want 'success'. Being addicted to work is sometimes seen in a positive light. It's kinda scary.
I think spending a year away from any need of work has been incredibly beneficial for me. By not having any pending financial pressures, I would've guessed life would be butterflies and happiness. But it definitely wasn't. In fact, the daily life free of work, was actually worse than the working life.
Without goals, the daily life without work was almost a mini purgatory. All you have to do is drown in entertainment, while everyday feeling like you're moving nowhere. When each day moves nowhere, what's the point of waking up in the morning?
I conclude, that I must've previously hid issues by working and studying. Each takes a huge chunk of your day. It's so easy to distract yourself and envelop oneself in responsibilities and commitments. When all your time is taken up by things 'beyond your control', then you can't blame yourself. You either blame the world, or accept it as "the way things are"
By having no responsibilities the past year, I've learnt that it's not the skill/career that will make you satisfied. instead it's a daily lifestyle that will keep you satisfied.
The thing is, instead of dealing with problems, many will blame it on work, and watch the time pass by. The daily unsatisficatory work day will be considered normal.
I feel like work/life balance is not about chasing happiness. it's about being satisfied with what you have, while simultaneously chasing goals that align with your values.
The delusion of success is that 'success' will bring you happiness. The problem with this is that, success usually portrayed as being something to be gained externally, rather than internally.