So, confession time: I totally got this wrong. For the longest time, I was all about climbing the career ladder, chasing success, and becoming the ultimate professional. But now, I'm realising that we've been focusing on the wrong thing.
We're all caught up in building careers when what we should be doing is building lives. And that, my friends, is why we're all feeling a bit meh.
Somewhere along the way, we got so wrapped up in being cogs in the system that we forgot about, well, life. We're so busy perfecting our work game that we're neglecting what really matters. Are we living, or are we just surviving/functioning in a system that never stops demanding our attention?
Yep, at work, we're basically cogs in the machine. It's not just a feeling; it's a fact. So don't sweat the stuff. We're part of this massive system, and each one of us has a role to play. We're essential to keeping the big machine running smoothly. I know the corporate vision, mission and pep talks are trying to make you feel otherwise but deep down you know that you are a cog.
We've let ourselves become defined by these roles. Our worth is tied to how well we fit into the machine, and not the value we bring or the life we are creating while we are fitting in.
I have seen young professionals going from one job to another, one country to another chasing work. But that is not what they are chasing. They are chasing the answer to the question "What the hell am I supposed to do while waiting for death to come?"
I know it sounds horrible but this is what we all do. Keeping busy while waiting for our turn. So why make this time all about wanting to be the most important cog or trying to find meaning in the role of being a cog?
Intuitively, we know that it is not what life is about and we feel the consequences of it.
Be the cog! Be a very good cog! Take on that role proudly because at work that is what you are and I don't think there is anything wrong with it! What is wrong, is that we make people believe that they are more than that while proving it otherwise with each corporate action.
Build a life, not a career. A career is just a small part of it. It is only a cog in the machine called your life. But not the whole machine.