My job is killing me – what now?

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We now know that our sedentary office life is actually killing us – Like, ACTUALLY killing us. I never thought I’d be saying those words when I started writing about the world and things that mattered to me, but in the interests of helping people make better decisions in their lives, it is something that we should be aware of. 

As a quick recap, we now know sitting down in an office kills more people than HIV, workplace stress is causing heart disease, terrible mental health and obesity, and sleep deprivation is putting us and everyone around us in a whole world of pain!

So, my job is killing me, what now?

When looking into what can be done to avoid the job killing me, the immediate response was to urgently change the work environment, in much the same way as if you’re surfing and suddenly a gaggle of ravenous sharks popped up next to you, there would be an exit from the water pronto! 

Reminds me of a story when I was surfing with an uncle of mine.  Uncle Steve was in the water next to me waiting for the next set to roll in and I haphazardly asked him did he ever worry about sharks.  He looked at me with a wry smile in the same way a cannibal does when you ask what’s for dinner, and coolly said;

“Dave, I don’t have to outrun the shark, I only have to outrun you.”

Drugs anyone?

I digress, but not really, because if you think about it, we don’t have to outrun the killer – sedentary  life, stress and lack of sleep. 

We can discuss ad nauseam the need to exercise, eat right, get enough sleep and if I am to agree with most of the doctors that I’ve spoken to about these very ills, then there is a drug that can be prescribed to mask everyone of these symptoms. 

Sure they come with the occasional side effect; obesity, mental health problems, dizziness, lethargy, erectile disfunction.  I know boys.  If we weren’t depressed before, when the big fella doesn’t perform as he should and I wasn’t depressed before, I sure as shit am now!

A few years ago I was struggling very badly with depression.  I went to the doctor and he prescribed me with something called Lexapro.  Awesome! I thought, my problems are solved. Hello happy days.  Then I read the associated side effects.  See below;

Common side effects of Lexapro include: Nausea. Diarrhea. Constipation. Changes in sex drive or function. Drowsiness. Unusual sweating. Dizziness. Heartburn. (everydayhealth.com)

In the immortal words of Mr Mackey from South Park – “Drugs are bad – Mkay”

Change your life

The truth is, the question has to be asked, “If your job is killing you, is the job really for you?”

Now before you fill my comments box with insults, death threats and targeted mockery of my mother’s love of wearing army boots; just hear me out.

Is there any other situation in this world that we would willingly subject ourselves to if we knew that the effects were going to be harmful to not only us, but more importantly our loved ones and the people around us?  I mean, to back up day after day, to front to a place that is shortening our very existence.

Now, I can hear the chorus of voices yelling at the screen and condescendingly telling me that you have to eat, and you need the money, and the kids have piano lessons, and you need to pay the rent, and that you have that overseas holiday to pay for, and you have no choice, and you have a needy partner, and you need a new iPad, and you need to upgrade your Dyson vacuum cleaner, and you need to ………………..

There are a million excuses to justify why we stay in a job we don’t love.  I have personally used them all.  What is really hard is telling a loved one that you need to make a change to your situation.  Many of us are unselfish like that.  We want the best for the people around us; even to our own detriment.

Just decide

Buddha said “To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind.”

If you look at your life in 5 or 10 years time, what do you see? 

For change to occur we have to make it happen.  I’m sorry to burst your bubble here, but you probably aren’t going to win lotto and unless you make a major change then your income isn’t going to drastically change.  If you can’t vision yourself living the life you want to live in the future, what are you going to do about it?

Now I am not trying to tell you that change is easy or a quick fix.  Nothing worth it is easy or quick.  I can think back over my life and look at things that were easy and quick and I do not remember them fondly. 

Let’s play a game. Close your eyes for a moment and picture the life you want to be living in 5 years, or 10.  Really see a life that you want to have.  Can you see it, feel it, touch it, smell it? 

Whenever I think of smell I think of the times I used to smell my babies head after they got out of the bath.  I get this warm feeling that just drenches me with light and hope.  Best smell ever!

Back to you.  So this life you see you living?  Come back to the present and answer me this.  What would you pay for that life?  What would you give for it? 

What’s stopping you from having that life?  The answer to this is very rarely money.  Sure, changes may need to happen and adjustments have to occur in the shorter term.  But really the only thing stopping us having the life we want to live is ourselves. Our own fear. 

I challenge you to look into the future and see that future you want and ask yourself; what do I have to do to make that a reality?

In the comments below, I would love to hear how you see your future self and whether this resonates with you.  If you already are living your dream life, I really want to hear from you as well.