Deal with guilt about not working hard enough

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  VJ 11 months, 1 week ago.

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    I have been working full time as a software engineer in an MNC in India(my first job) for about 1.5 years. The job pays well, my team does some good work but I haven’t been able to contribute to the team as well as I should have. Earlier, I was just plain lazy and did not even care because I felt a sense of disconnect and so missed many deadlines(did not impact the team since the work wasn’t critical). As a consequence, I got less work and not very engaging. Now, I am getting good work but sometimes I find it too challenging, and I feel at sea and that makes me dejected and lose focus which compounds the issue.

    I have an issue with focus anyhow. So, I feel like in a rut and the problem is I wasn’t conscious enough to notice that I wasn’t adding any value neither to me nor to the team.

    Now, that I realised it and have been trying to work on it, I again feel dejected when I see a problem that I feel I can’t solve (apart from the fact that the task requirements keep on changing randomly, and so I sense a lack of clarity).

    I feel like leaving the job but then the money which I have received and the perks make me feel guilty and I feel like I should stay for 1-2 years to justify that else it would be a pathetic way to leave – without adding much value and enjoying benefits. I should have realised it before but was distracted and was comfortable with life so did not pay attention to this.

    I want to work well and feel a sense of accomplishment but I am just failing and failing. Also, this is not something which I want to be doing all my life.

    I know that I need to work on focus but I also don’t want to be stuck in a job which I don’t connect to. And the guilt at not working hard enough and then the thought of leaving just eats me every day.

    • This topic was modified 11 months, 1 week ago by  Abhi09.


    Can anyone suggest to me the right thing to do?


    • This reply was modified 11 months, 1 week ago by  Abhi09.



    You wrote about what you don’t like but you don’t mention anything you do like.  Is there anything about your job that you like?  that you do well in?

    Plus you don’t say about what you really want to do.  If you can do anything, what would it be?  What is something that engages you?

    Answer these questions and they will point to what you can focus on while at work and what you can start planning on where to go next.




    Hi Abhi09,

    This is the nature of life. There is a period of Crest (when you are at your best, resting period, relaxation, everything goes fine) then a Trough (more work, low performance, improper health, relationship issues, all the lows of life, stress, chaos, tensions in life) and this cycle continues. We need to ride this wave and be in the flow of life, but without getting impacted by the ride by simply going with the flow of what happens.


    There was less work, you didn’t pay much attention and enjoyed that time period. Now, more work is coming. Embrace that too and work with it and not against it. There is nothing wrong in what you are experiencing.

    “The path of life passes through valleys to reach to the peaks, and each peak is just a beginning of a new pilgrimage because a higher peak is ahead of you. But to reach to the higher peak, you will have to go down again. Once you have understood that it is natural, all your misery, all your clouds will simply disperse.

    You have been doing perfectly well. So the first thing to be remembered is: Never be worried when days of down-going come; keep your eyes always on the faraway stars. Those valleys are parts of the mountains. You cannot take the valleys away and leave the mountains alone. Once this sinks deep into you, you will pass through the valleys dancing and singing, knowing perfectly well that a higher peak is waiting for you. And there is no end to this pilgrimage. Just as every day is followed by night, every height is followed by a down-going.

    One has to learn not only to rejoice in the day but to rejoice in the night too — it has its own beauty. The peaks have their glory, the valleys have their richness. But if you become addicted to the peaks only, you have started choosing, and anything that you start choosing will get you into trouble. Remain choiceless, and whatever comes, enjoy it as a part of natural growth.

    The night may become even darker, but the darker the night becomes, the closer is the dawn. So rejoice in the darkening night, and learn to see the beauty of darkness, of the stars, because in the day you will not find those stars. And never compare what has been, and what should be, and what is. “ ~Osho

    What is it that you are finding as challenging? Is it any particular software technology? Is it understanding the requirements, is it writing emails or what else? How could you use this opportunity to strive yourself in improving and overcoming this issue? Is there something that you learn and practice more?

    Like you I am in the field of software too. Spirituality has helped me understand that impermanence is the law of life. Nothing is permanent. Even the task requirements. When this happens in my work I accept it gracefully and give my 100% percent to whatever that has changed. Now I design the software in such a flexible way that if any change comes in the future it is easy to accommodate that change. Accepting the imperfections of life makes it easy to live it.

    See to it, if it is truly the job that is causing you to think to move out of it. You can ask yourself this question – What if I am in the same situation in the next job? Will I be able to change that job too? And the next and then the next? This doesn’t mean that you need to be stuck in any unfavorable situation for a long time. But you need to distinguish between the situation causing the actual problem or is it your mindset about the situation that is causing the problem and then take the required action accordingly.

    Whatever is happening to you right now could be all part of karma. In a wide sense of life, it’s all going good. You can face your karma. When the time comes you yourself will either get a new job and move out of this. It will happen by itself without much effort on your side. Ask yourself – Is life right now telling me to be here and doing/facing what is required here? In a spiritual sense, even getting fired off in a company is life’s way of taking you from one place and putting you into another. Everything is going on exactly the way it should have happened.

    A sense of accomplishment in any task, work or otherwise, can only be accomplished when it is done with full satisfaction. Align yourself with whatever you are doing. Become ONE with it. If you are exercising and if your mind is having thoughts about whether you will lose weight or not, then the exercising is not going to be a satisfying experience. In that case your mind and the actual task of exercising is not ONE. Focus on your work – On purpose, intentionally and without any judgement. Do whatever it takes to give your very best. It also includes struggling with tasks, learning, falling and then rising above.  Do this every single day – At night before going to sleep you should feel that I have done my best today and so I can sleep peacefully. If not then give your best shot the next day. Results may not be immediate and you have to keep doing it. You having come from India I don’t need to tell you much what Lord Krishna advised to Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, which is the heart of the Bhagavad Gita. This Kurukshetra is nothing but our battle of life.

    “You have the right to perform your duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of your actions.” Secondly, “Do not let the reward be the purpose of your actions, as a result of which, you will not become attached to not performing your duty.”

    Regarding your need to do something else – You have just begun your career of 1.5 years. Of course you can quit your job anytime you want but are you going to survive? Do you have another job in hand? Agreed that you have a different passion in life. Are you okay to take the risk of working towards your passion and yet balance your life – physically, mentally, emotionally and monetarily? If so then you can do it.
    How about carrying out your passion while doing this job side by side. When you are “settled down” with your passionate work then you can drop your job too.


    Best Regards,


    • This reply was modified 11 months, 1 week ago by  VJ.
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