Pursuing Your Passion – An Alternative to Work

Many of us are conditioned from a very early age to believe that our life’s purpose is to attend school, and whilst there, prepare for a later life of toil with an employer. We leave school in our teens, and offer ourselves up to the job market without a second thought, and consequently become a human marketable product, for sale to the highest bidder.

We attend interviews and sell a modified representation of ourselves to a panel of individuals who are making judgements on our appearance, demeanour, intelligence and potential servitude.

Our modified representation might include statements like: “Yes I have varied hobbies and interests which include, reading, going on country walks with my family, I’m very active within my local community and I enjoy socialising with close friends.”

Which when translated actually means: I watch a shit load of TV but always read the TV listings magazine at least once a day. I very seldom go out walking unless it’s to the local shop, and occasionally take my partner with me. I always say hello to my neighbours every time I see them. And I love going out with the girls on a Saturday night, getting completely lashed and making a fool of myself on the dance floor.

We feel the need to offer up these modified interpretations of our lives to potential employers for one reason, and including these lifestyle adaptations on a job application to some would seem dishonest, but most of us would pass this off as a minor embellishment that we need to formulate, to ensure we are seen in a favourable light and secure the job. Usually we look no deeper into it than that. We need the job because we need to eat and we need to pay the rent right? The competition is fierce and it’s a jungle out there!

It’s a Jungle Out There

Yes, the competition is fierce, and it is a jungle out there, but it’s a finely tuned and deliberately styled jungle, that’s designed to ensure that you play your part with distinction. We are all players in the global monetary system whether we like it or not, and to participate in this system we all need to ‘earn’ money to survive and most of us give our time in exchange to achieve this. It’s a very poor and unfair method of barter, at least for the ones who are giving away their time, effectively exchanging their time on earth so they can survive.

I’m not going to go into the global monetary system in great detail in this article but I will write more articles on this subject in the future, and come back here and link them up. Suffice to say it is no coincidence that most of us are spinning frantically on this figurative fiscal mouse wheel trying to make ends meet, even after giving a precious chunk of our time to our employers.

Schools Teachers and Career Officers

If schools, teachers and career officers were honest with us, it might go a little more like this;

“So, you have skills that would make you a fine writer young Jack, why don’t you take a few years out when you leave school (as many years as you need) and travel the world experiencing the cultural differences that make our world so diverse, so that one day you can spend your time writing about it, enlightening others who read your work?”

or

“You have a very inquisitive and critical mind there young Jill, why don’t you find other like minded individuals and study together creating your own philosophical think tank. You also could travel the world and spend some time in a remote mountain retreat meditating and honing your philosophies and later present these to the world creating major shifts in consciousness that would benefit humanity as a whole”

Okay I’m maybe taking it a little bit too far, but you get my point. We’re moulded and pushed from an early age to become ‘employable’ so that we’re ready to become part of the global ‘Wage Slave Trade’. Our strengths are not the real focus in our formative years. Not unless those strengths fit in with an occupation.

I remember being asked by a teacher at about 14 years of age, “So what do you think you want to do as a career when you leave school?” This question shocked me, I didn’t have the slightest fucking clue! I was 14 years old for god’s’ sake,

I (over) analyse everything and have always done so, and the more I thought about this question the more it compounded the fact I didn’t know what career I wanted at that time. I felt pressured “Well it’s something you need to start thinking about Milo, you will be leaving school in a couple of years and getting a job”

“Will I?” I obviously had other ideas, I didn’t get a ‘real job’ until I was 31 years old. But that’s a story I will tell another time!

We could argue that teachers are well meaning and just trying their best to prepare us for the big wide world, that maybe true, but it also reflects how deeply instilled our wage slavery system is in the consciousnesses of our population.

You Got the Job!

Okay, so the employer bought your embellishments and you fooled them into thinking that you live a holier than thou lifestyle and they very kindly offered you the job, well done you! You did all the leg work, from applying for the job, spending hours on your application, taking the time to attend and prepare for the interview and now it’s in the bag.

You’ve received all the phone calls and cards from your friends and family congratulating you on your achievement, and now you have to follow through and actually spend the majority of your waking life at your place of work.

A year goes by and you’re comfortable in your position, you’ve learnt the ropes and although you aren’t happy with the fact you get to spend less time with your children, less time doing the things that really make you happy, you accept it as one of life’s sacrifices and you just plod on regardless.

A couple more years go by and things have changed, you resent getting up extra early every morning and shuffling your kids off to school so you can get to work on time. You resent sitting in stationary traffic inhaling the fumes from all the other android commuters.

You resent stressing about being late, because there’s roadworks on your route into work. You resent taking the flak from your boss when they are in a bad mood. You resent never being appreciated for the excellent work you do.

You resent getting pay freezes. You resent having to abide by ridiculous corporate employment handbooks, modifying your behaviour and hiding the quintessential you. You resent getting home after your kids have gone to bed and being so tired that all you want to do is sleep, just so you can get up in the morning, and do it all over again. Welcome to Groundhog Day!

Now you’re in a rut, you feel you can’t leave your job because you won’t be able to afford the bills. You could of course apply for another job but that would mean jumping through all the same hoops that got you this job, and maybe ending up feeling the same way in a couple more years. And if your current employer finds out you’re applying for other jobs that might put your position at risk too. If any of this sounds like you… read on.

Giving Away Your Power

You have given your employer all the cards, you have gifted them your power and now your future is dependent on their every whim. Your whole life can be turned upside down just because your company decide they need to restructure, they need to save money, or they decide they just don’t like the look of your now permanently miserable face any longer.

You’ve followed the rules, and done what you were conditioned to do, and as a consequence, left yourself at the mercy of a faceless corporate organisation whose priorities certainly aren’t you and your family.

Who’s to Blame?

Well of course no person is to blame, it’s the system that is flawed, but you can certainly opt out of it should you so wish. I personally would rather be unemployed than work in a place, or for an organisation that I didn’t like.

I would rather be fully responsible for my own destiny, than bound by the corporate shackles of a company whose priorities or ethos are so far removed from my own.

There are of course people out there in jobs who are completely happy in their work and lives, and if you are one of those people I congratulate you. However, the vast majority of people work to survive, in jobs they hate, which pay very little.

Alternative to Work

Is there an alternative to work? (I’ll answer my own question here) YES!, there are always solutions to any situation you find yourself in, regardless of how desperate it may seem. You just have to look for them.

There are things in your life that you absolutely LOVE doing, you would do it all day long if you could without a moment’s thought.

I don’t know what your personal pastimes are. The things you personally do by choice in your spare time, that excite and enthral you, and give you pleasure, but whatever they are, you’ll know because you feel passionate about them. The things you do that eat the hours that feel like minutes

These pastimes are your ticket out of the rat race. Why leave it up to an employer to decide how much money you take home every month, how long you are able to spend with your family each day. Your passions can work for you, and they can be monetised.

Get creative and think about how you can turn your passion into a business and have it work for you. All skills are transferable and not just work based skills, we all learn as we live and gain life experience, what have you learnt over the years that you could pass onto others?

Worthwhile Employment

I personally only ever applied for jobs that would assist me in growing as a human being; jobs I thought would benefit me and others, jobs I felt were worthwhile. My passions are personal development, computers and website building, and I always spent a lot of my spare time engaging in these activities when I worked for ‘the man’.

I was happy in my job up until the final 2 years I was employed, and then things started to go downhill, from power crazed bosses to a transformation of a previously compassionate service becoming corporate and uncaring.

The ethos of my place of work had become incongruent with my personal belief system, so I quit my job, and I hope never to apply for employment with an employer again. I made that decisive change to my life and now my passion has become my employer; I exchanged a life of servitude for a life of fortitude and I have never looked back.

Pursuing your Passion

I would say that if you find yourself in employment and you wish to change that, you can always pursue your passion with the intention of it becoming your business while you continue working for ‘the man’. Maybe start your business part time to discover what works for you personally.

There is lots to consider when starting out on your own, so make sure you understand your specific business before you start, if it’s a new venture learn about it, go back to college if you have to, but I can promise that once you make this decision it will be one that you look back on in years to come with great satisfaction.

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