Things You Never Have to Say When You Don’t Have a Job You Hate (aka The Trough Effect In Motion)

You’ve only got one life to live. Make it a life worth living, not just merely an existence.

Alright folks. Many of us know all too well that we probably don’t love our jobs. In fact, nearly 80% of all working people despise their jobs. We may apathetically just bear it long enough to pay the bills, keep our parents and relatives satisfied that we’re doing something “normal” and have a regular job, and frankly, because we may not have a clue what else to do.

If this sounds like you, welcome to the masses. It is a sad, but true fact that most people dislike or even hate their jobs. But they continually put themselves through this tyranny because of many factors, some of which I just mentioned.

Why are we so willingly walking to our daytime prisons (your workplace, corporate office, etc.) and then to our caged pens (your office, cubicle, work area, etc.) just to put in 8 hours or more doing something we don’t particularly enjoy to make someone else (the company/organization) rich? You’re essentially giving your life energy (anything that takes actual time away from your life) away, trading it for a small amount of money, just barely enough to keep you coming back for more. I like to call this “The Trough Effect.”

The Trough Effect

The Trough Effect is essentially this:

You (the little farm animal) head over to your workplace (the farm) everyday of your waking adult life. You come back time and time again (every 2 weeks) in search of the little food you get from your trough (your paycheck) that will barely sustain you until your next visit (which comes all too soon).

You whine, complain, and gripe (thus in effect, making lots of farm animal noises) but can’t think of what else to do or how to escape.

It’s a miserable existence, one in which you wouldn’t particularly wish upon your offspring (or anyone else), but sometimes get so brainwashed to thinking this is the way life ought to be that you can’t bear to see anyone else deviate from this norm. And when you do see others never going back to the workplace (the farm) in order to do what they love (be it traveling the world, vagabonding, pursuing art, writing, opening up one’s own business, etc.), you sneer and spew venomous curses upon them saying things like:

“You think that’s the way you’re going to survive?”

“You have got to be kidding me!”

“You’ll fail and come back to the workplace by next week – guaranteed!”

“How can you be so selfish?”

“What about your family? Don’t they have a say in how you ought to live your life?”

“You’re going to regret this.”

The heart of these negative responses to someone else’s deviation from the norm is due to 2 factors: jealousy and realization.

Jealousy comes in many forms but for this particular case, it is because you’re kicking yourself and wishing that you could do the same thing too and escape from your prison. Realize this: you can if you let yourself choose to. It will be hard and not one without multiple barriers (some from our most beloved people), but it can be done.

Realization is due to you waking up from your comatose state upon seeing someone else do exactly what you’ve been consciously and unconsciously dreaming about: freedom. The light has been lit and now you don’t know how to turn it off (but secretly don’t want to at the same time). So what do you do meanwhile? You curse and shout and talk down upon those who are doing what you wish you could do.

Does The Trough Effect sound all too familiar? If so, are you doing anything about it? Do you even want to do anything about it?

Here are 4 phrases you’ll hear uttered from your mouth and others whilst in a job you (and they) hate:

Phrase 1: “Is it Friday yet?”

Friday is the golden child of the traditional work week. It’s the jelly that goes with your peanut butter. It’s the nougat inside the chocolate. It’s the runner’s high when you’ve past the point of pain and exhaustion. It’s the tequila inside a margarita. It’s the best part.

Everyone’s moods are a lot lighter, your boss seems to be nicer to you on that day than any other day, your office allows you to wear jeans or have a “casual Friday” attire, and the overall feeling is just great. Because Friday means the weekend’s here! And the weekend means no work (usually)! Yay!

But until it’s Friday … you have to bear through all the other days: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, all the while asking others in a hypothetical question, “Is it Friday yet?”

When you get the answer you already know, “I wish …” or “Not yet unfortunately …,” you kick yourself and curse under your breath, “Damn! Why can’t it come any sooner?”

Essentially, you are wishing for your life to fast forward until it’s Friday afternoon and you get to leave the office just so you can wish your life to slow down for the weekend to last indefinitely.

If you work for yourself, your weekend can be indefinite. You can set your own hours, your own rules, your own life. No one, not society, not your company, not your parents, not your well-meaning friends and family, can tell you how long you’re supposed to enjoy your weekend when you’ve set it up so that you can finally enjoy life, every day of the week.

Phrase 2: “I hate Mondays.”

First off, hate is a very strong word. If you didn’t think that, you probably throw that word around like there’s no tomorrow.

“I hate long lines.”

“I hate screaming kids.”

“I hate the government.”

“I hate shopping.”

“I hate my wife.” -__- (That’s not a good sign.)

When you don’t have a job you hate, you most likely would not say you hate Mondays. And poor Monday, it gets such a bad rap just because it’s the start of a traditional work week. If the traditional work week started on a Wednesday, we’d all be saying we hate Wednesdays.

Fact of the matter is, the day itself is arbitrary. It could be a Sunday, Tuesday or Friday. When you dislike going to a job and when the beginning of the work week rolls around after an all-too-short weekend, you’d be saying things like “I hate Mondays” and “I hate people,” etc.

When you love the job you have, be it working for someone else or working for yourself, why would you hate a particular day of the week? There’s no point and we should be loving the days we have on this earth, for it is all too short and finite. You can start by loving your waking days in this world by first doing what you love and stop doing what you hate.

Phrase 3: “Let’s see … I have 9 more vacation days left, I have to plan and use this wisely for the remainder of the year …”

Can you say deferred life plan?

When we spend a good portion of our daydreaming hours at work to thinking about where to go on vacation next, when, and for how long, you know you probably need one right now.

I see my coworkers anxiously and giddily planning their vacation time in such a detailed and exact fashion that it brings to light how humans were meant to be … that we enjoy vacations, we need rest and relaxation, we have to take time off to recover and refresh ourselves. We weren’t meant to work 50 weeks a year, just to get 2 weeks paid time off. Like would say, “It’s a crime, and you know it.”

When you can set up a life where you don’t have to plan out every detail of your vacation days like some fancy acrobat on a tightrope, you can start to enjoy life as it were meant to be.

Phrase 4: “Oh my God, can pay day come any sooner??”

No, it’s going to come when it wants to come. Sometimes, the company (the farmer) will only give you enough (your paycheck) every 2 weeks or once a month. Now it’s up to you to make that last the rest of the time until your next pay day. See The Trough Effect above for more.

So What? What Am I Supposed to Do Now?

You have to first answer this question: Is what I’m doing now making me happy?

If the answer is yes, awesome! Keep doing what you’re doing then.

If the answer is no, you have to then make 1 of 2 decisions:

  1. Start taking concrete actions to get yourself to where you need to be.
  2. Stay where you’re at and look back 40 years from now wishing you had only done XYZ.

If you’re anywhere close to intelligent, you’ll realize that option 2 is not a very wise option. I highly recommend against it.

You’ve only got one life to live. Make it a life worth living, not just merely an existence. I know you can do it!

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