Remind me why I should care

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    I need to be reminded why I should strive to make life a certain way. For example, it’s possible to get a job that may not be great and may just pay the bills. But I am trying to get a job that helps make the world a better place and uses my special talents. I am trying to use it as a vehicle to a goal.

    But I have found, the longer that I have lived, that striving for anything like this takes forever – like years and even decades. Not only that. I have been looking for ANY job I could qualify for since late March and even that is mindboggleingly hard.

    I just stopped just now and I asked myself: why am I doing this? Why am I having to spend my whole life on getting a halfway good job fit? And the same probably goes for other stuff. I am not guilty of this but I know that a huge number of marriages break up because the match was not good enough in some way.

    Why do we contemporary humans place so many expectations on the world? Why have any? I am philosophically inclined and cannot help asking myself this, especially because I have all the stubborn qualities successful people are supposed to have. I just think there is something insane about modern life. It’s the opposite of life in traditional society where everything was chosen for you. Now, you have to do it all yourself and end up feeling like an idiot if your careful efforts lead to bad results – and it seems to take half your lifetime to get there. I am not saying I want to go back to the old way and it’s irrelevant since we are not going back, but there is something insane about spending a huge part of your adult life looking for jobs.


    I recently went through a bout of anxiety and depression. At the core, for me, were many of the issues you bring up. Anyway I went to a very wise friend and asked him what I should do. He told me to make a gratitude list.

    Believe me, I was like “Dude I need some real answers here”. His point was that I am not seeing that life is wonderful and full of blessings. The job I hate is a blessing (I don’t like what I am doing but I have to admit the money is good).

    There is no end to my demands and expectations of life, they will never be satisfied because no mater how many blessings I have I only ask for “more”.

    So I have been writing the gratitude list every morning for a few weeks now. It has helped tremendously.


    Just a thought. I felt like that for years. Then I got a job that was well-paid and used my talents etc etc – and I still managed to be depressed and anxious (I felt guilty and undeserving, amongst other things).

    It wasn’t the job that was the answer, it was my attitude that needed changing. Try reading round around on here and you might just save yourself a great deal of unnecessary misery. That job just might turn up when you are least looking for it – or it might not – but either way, you’ll be a much happier person. Best for you, and everyone around you too. Making the world a better place includes being cheerful with the people you bump into every day (how I wish I’d worked that out years ago…) 🙂

    I wish you well.


    I go back and forth. I have a hard time not dreaming up a cool career or other things I wanted in life and feeling like pursuing them really added something to my life. I don’t want to piss my life away. I wrote this because the whole job search thing has always been a real pain that goes on for huge periods. The very best reward I ever had for this long, drawn out process was to get something really motivating for me at the end of the process – of course it is not permanent like anything else.

    It just seems the effort we have to put out for getting any job these days is hard to believe. That is why I would rather end up with something I like – I have to go through the same process. But it is true that our attitude is more the generator of our happiness.

    The Ruminant


    I completely agree with Anonymous and rosamundi. Bill, when you talk about contemporary humans, you’re talking about a specific group of people living right now in certain parts of the world, not the whole of humanity in the present world. Not having a cool career is very much of a first world problem: created in the first world and aimed at the first world. But the answer to that is not to turn 180 degrees and decide that one shouldn’t have any expectations. Rather, trying to put everything in perspective and finding what actually matters in life. Work is important, but careers are for impressing other people and all about the ego.

    I’d also like to make another point, if you’ll allow me. Imagine two boys, both idolising Superman. They both want to be like him, saving the world and helping people. One of them spends his time dreaming about how great it would be to be Superman and how admired he would be by others. If only he could be like that, then his life would have a meaning. He would be someone. The other one also thinks that it would be so great to be like that and help people. So he starts helping people. He spends his time doing small things here and there, and he speaks of helping humanity with such zest that others become inspired by the boy as well. He does what he can to help and he never feels as if his life wouldn’t have a meaning. Meanwhile the other boy grows to be bitter. Nobody ever gave him the uniform and the cape, even though he really wanted to help people and be Superman. He had all the credentials to be one, but never got a chance and the recognition. The other boy didn’t wait for someone else to give permission and actually did become Superman, only without the uniform and the cape. Still recognised by other people as a helper and making a difference in the world.


    Dear Bill,

    Here are my thoughts,

    Each individual might have a different need/want. Esp. now that times have changed. In office I see people who are rushing to achieve things in life and compromising on health, family life, ec. And also people who have tried reaching to a position for 7 good years and didn’t get it, so they are happy with what they are getting and assuring a safe and secure life and trying to spend more time with family.

    I too, somtimes feel like, why don’t I strive to be a manager, otherwise I’m an ambitious person, but then I realise that I wouldn’t be happy if I spend 14 hours a day working and then sleeping with tension for the next day! (Not saying that being a manager involves all this, but generally higher position means higher responsibities). Also, I don’t take onto anything until it comes from within. So ideally, it really depends from person to person.

    About going back to older times, well, we can’t really go back but we can always try to have the kind of life we would want for ourselves. It can be a simple life or a luxurious one. Depends!

    But the fact is – atleast in this world of competition, I believe we must atleast secure oursleves financially, then whichever job/profession it is, becomes secondary. What say, bro?

    I’m not sure how far my words were clear, but I tried to paste my thoughts here:-)

    Stay blessed!


    @theruminant said:
    He spends his time doing small things here and there, and he speaks of helping humanity with such zest that others become inspired by the boy as well. He does what he can to help and he never feels as if his life wouldn’t have a meaning.

    I believe this describes Acceptance and is ultimately the way to achieve Serenity.

    • This reply was modified 8 years, 10 months ago by Anonymous. Reason: Formatting

    @theruminant said:
    He does what he can to help and he never feels as if his life wouldn’t have a meaning.

    This is what my wise friend is trying to get me to do. He tells me this is the key to happiness because it is the opposite of chasing after my endless demands on life.

    He first starts me off with a gratitude list. A gratitude list is about what I am grateful for right now. Acceptance is something I can only do right now. Helping others and feeling peace is something I can only do right now.

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