MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “work”

Passionate work

There is a saying that if you do what you love you won’t have to work a day in your life.

But it’s not that easy you know.

At it’s usually not as simple as that either.

Because often what we enjoy doing the most is not something that pays enough to sustain the constantly rising cost of living nowadays.

It’s nice to be able to begin the day joyfully, energised and motivated because you know you’re doing something that delights you, something you’re good at and you’re passionate about.

But we often need to pass through many stages before we create the circumstances that will enable us to do so.

We need to have experienced the ‘real world’, what it is like to be a simple employee, to be badly paid, exploited, and censored, in order to appreciate the ‘good ones’, those who are willing to offer you an opportunity to emerge, to bud, to develop your skills and to evolve into everything you aspire to be.

The fact that it’s not easy to do something doesn’t mean it is impossible. It just needs patience (which we very often lack), commitment, great optimism, believing you will succeed, and above all, never giving up.

Work and play

© David Stewart

I have to work”, he said springing out of bed with a look of utter distress. The anguish of being behind schedule for all his deliveries fed his insomnia for days.

The weekend retreat did not help at all. The days were OK as long as they were walking outside in the fresh air. But his mind was constantly pounded by the professional obligations he had yet to fulfil.

I know, but first you need to fuel yourself with some energy,” she replied to him tentatively placing a tray filled with a rich breakfast.

He couldn’t refuse the care received.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Longing to return

©MCD_Velika

On the first day back from a holiday you’re usually overwhelmed with an unbearable denial of having returned. It’s as if you refuse to accept that the break is over and you have to return to routine, because you need to work to earn the money to be able to then have a break.

The extent to which you’ve relaxed and had tremendous fun during your holiday is often linearly proportional to the time it will take you to come to terms with the fact that the break is now over. It’s a harsh awakening, consenting to now having returned to what you’ve tried for months to escape from.

But in truth, why are you doing something you so badly need a break from anyway? Sure, we all need a change from everything once in a while, but shouldn’t you be spending most of your days doing something you like, that fulfils you and which you’re good at? Shouldn’t you be longing to return to this too after your break? If you feel you’re incarcerated and forced into functioning in a job you don’t want to get up and go to, then you should rethink your priorities.

The point in life is to have a job that is more than that. One that you’re passionate about, and even if it is not exactly what you want to be doing, it motivates you to be the best you can be at it. One that inspires you to raise the bar higher, because you can.

Holidays are great. And we all need the time to switch off, calm down, change scenes and rethink many aspects of our lives. But let’s be rational: there are people who can’t afford to take a break, mainly because they have nothing to go away from or don’t even have the financial capacity to do so.

So be grateful: for the work you have, the ability to earn a living, to travel, to escape routine, to have friends to experience things with, but most of all, to have a home to return to after it all.

Fly away with me

©Ronda Del Boccio

Please forgive me; I won’t be able to make it again. Work is chaos. I’ll make amends, promise”. His voice was an amalgamation of despair, anguish, guilt, and exasperation.

She sighed trying not to be heard. She understood it was hectic at work but did not agree that he allowed his entire life to revolve around it. She said nothing more than “OK”.

Two days later, he led her blindfold to a cliff. She trembled, not knowing what to expect.

How about you fly in the sky with me for a while and I’ll show you the world from above?

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Professor-prompts

https://www.diocesecpa.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Focus.jpg

“Not everyone can do everything. Because it is as simple a fact that you can’t be good at many things. You can adequately do a lot, but only expertly do a few”.

He clearly remembered his professor’s words since the first day of college.

He was investing time to gain the knowledge required to specialise in one specific sector.

However, in an age of multitasking and in a labour market that sought individuals with a range of skills, he found the prompt contradictory.

How could you focus on one thing alone when the world was asking you to know more?

His professor was the one who offered the reply.

The more specific knowledge you possess, the greater ability you have in comprehending a situation and offering solutions others cannot see”.

He then handed him a quote from a famous scientist. It said: “A smattering of everything is worth little. It is a fallacy to suppose that an encyclopaedic knowledge is desirable. The mind is made strong, not through much learning, but by the thorough possession of something” (Louis Agassiz).

Never stop learning. Seek knowledge on everything and anything. But know what to invest on and specialise on something in particular. That will make you stand out. And it will make you sought-after and marketable”.

The unbearable lightness of unfairness

http://elkespage.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/comparing-fish-bowls.pngIn every life we have some trouble, when you worry you make it double,” sang Bob Marley (originally sung by Bobby McFerrin), prompting us to “don’t worry, be happy”.  We hear it a thousand times from a million different places: we need to stop stressing over everything so much and enjoy life as it is. But what is most difficult to grasp is the way to quickly overcome adversities. Especially when they point out every so often how unfair life is.

With the advancement of social media to the extent when at every second during the day anyone can flaunt where they are and what they’re (not) doing, this feeling is enhanced to the utmost. Especially when you see people going on trips around the world supposedly for business or some other professional “duty”, yet are acting as if they have grasped the opportunity to enhance their tourism skills on company expenses. And there are many examples. We see them everyday. From our “representative” politicians to TV personas, actors, right down to friends and colleagues.

So what do you do in such cases? When the reality of injustice smacks you in the face? Well, most people just prompt you to live out your misery for a while; let it take you over and then quietly let it fade away as you realise how much you’ve accomplished in your life and how much more you can do. They will all repeat to you that “no-one said life would be easy (or fair); they just promised it would be worth it”. So just let it be, pick up your pieces and move on. Things will turn around and you’ll get what you need eventually. What matters most is that you don’t give up.

“People are always complaining that life’s not fair, but that simply isn’t true. Life is extraordinarily fair. It’s just not centred on you” – Lynn Marie Sager

Work (a) fortune

fatima-fakier-deria1

©Fatima Fakier Deria

You should be as lucky to work at the docks”.

It was something he heard his uncle constantly say, whenever he saw him once or twice annually. As a young boy he looked up to his favourite relative because he would always have an interesting story to say. Rather a bunch of them. He made life seem so spectacular, so adventurous, so….worth living.

But it was only when he grew up and actually got a job supervising the deliveries of a container ship that he finally understood what his uncle meant.

Life at the docks was different. It was simply…more.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers.

Also part of Daily Prompt: Fortune

The trouble with being busy

http://az616578.vo.msecnd.net/files/2015/11/23/635838488040088008-2069932616_businessbusy.jpg“We humans are in trouble… Never before in human history have we had such conveniences and such knowledge, yet never before have our lives been so stressed and unhealthy”.

It’s true. Because we constantly live in a state of paradox. Where we want to be busy, but at the same time not. We want to be prosperous and financially comfortable, yet we don’t want to work hard to accomplish this. We want to realise our dreams and ambitions, but with the least amount of effort possible.

This amazing TedX talk discusses exactly that. And the way I fell across it reveals precisely how inspiration can come when you least look for it.

The truth is, however, that “we have made sleep deprivation a symbol of ambition and rested a symbol of laziness. We have made being too busy a symbol of importance.”

We spend our working days doing exactly that – working – sometimes even overworking ourselves, racing against time, trying to fit everything in those 24 hours that sometimes never feel enough, forcing ourselves to rush to be prompt for our appointments, meetings, errands and classes. Often even forgetting to eat or drink, let alone breathe. We have become so accustomed to this lifestyle that we have truly forgotten the very basics of it. Of what it is like to be human, and just… live.

Remember how when we were kids – without all the digital technology – we used to laugh endlessly for no reason, being carefree, happy, and most of all stressfree? Learning was a joy. As was socializing and relaxing. Naptime was a chore, but now… now we long for an extra hour (or half) of sleep whenever possible.

http://www.factslides.com/imgs/Dolphin2.jpgThe aforementioned talk refers to those amazing animals we all at some point or other wished we were: dolphins. They are cheerful, playful, sociable and intelligent. Who wouldn’t want to be like them?

But above all, they teach us three fundamental things that in our hectic lives we’ve lost touch of: how to play – with no rules, no limitations, and find new passion through creativity; how to socialize with others – make real connections and bonds and through that find new purpose; and how to find “downtime” – to relax and rest, to slow down and pay attention, to find this much needed balance that will bring about life satisfaction. “We are so on-the-go that stress has become the number one health epidemic of the 21st century, wreaking havoc in our bodies and minds”. It is a fact that even large companies nowadays introduce mindfulness exercises as a means of demonstrating that “breaks are the moments of breakthrough”; it is where we find inspiration and innovation. And it is how we can adapt to our constantly evolving world and thrive.

We need that moment of rest – even if it does mean that you have to fight the “withdrawal symptoms” of constantly being busy, feeling more tired when you’re doing nothing. You need that time precisely to discover all the new things you can do, which you never thought you had the time or energy for.

You need to stop, before you can start again, stronger and better.

“Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life”

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Pleasure

Matching levels

http://www.letuspublish.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/xCute-friendship-wallpaper-download-1024x768.jpg.pagespeed.ic.qfuv0GACdr.jpgA wise old woman once told me that you should look to find someone who matches your level. It may sound simple, but as you mature and widen the perspectives through which you view the world, you realise that this is more difficult than it seems.

Every day we meet various people from different fields of social life. It depends on what we do and the circles within which we interact, but, regardless, if you look around you, you will see that we are surrounded by people from varying age groups, educational levels, social backgrounds, religious convictions, sexual orientations, financial prosperity, nutritional preferences, etc. What makes us get along better with some over others is, however, common habits and perceptions. Having similar viewpoints is something that would enable you to develop closer ties with certain people. It’s those who you choose to be your friends, your confidants, your partners. But, even with them, some times you need to compromise to resolve potential arguments in case your beliefs collide, and in order to maintain a harmonious relationship.

It is said that as you grow older you become more selective and ultimately more demanding with those you have next to you. You also tend to become more experienced, which in most case (should) mean that you are more knowledgeable of life itself.

Hence, the reason to seek out someone of your level.

Because you need someone on your side with whom you can discuss politics and current affairs, but also sports, technology, fashion, and celebrity gossip. You want to have the option of talking about everything and anything at any given time. It is the concept of having a broad education and being aware of what is going on in the world we live in. That is why you need someone who also shares this outlook.

You yearn for someone who can comprehend that when you say you haven’t slept because you were up all night covering a major ground-breaking news development, that means that you literally did not get any sleep and that is nowhere near the same as staying up at a party (yet getting at least 2-3 hours sleep in the early morning hours).  Someone who can see that when you’re on the verge of exhaustion, you – just like everyone – have your own way of reacting to it, wanting to be alone in tranquility and avoiding chatter. Someone who can actually understand that complex nature of what it is you do for a living and respect the difficulty it entails, despite the flexibility of the job. Someone, who will understand all of the above and try to assist you, even when you don’t ask for help.

We all want someone in our lives who we’ll call a friend, but will really be family. A home away from home when necessary. The person who’ll freely give out hugs or offer alcohol whenever needed. And the one who will know which occasion calls for which remedy accordingly.

But what we need most of all, is people surrounding us with whom you don’t need to lower your level to fit in. People with whom you’ll challenge each other to become better, smarter and more informed. That is how the world would change for the better. By pushing each other forward. Not the opposite.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Companion

The measure of wealth

https://www.extracobanks.com/img/measure-tape-money.jpgJoy was a girl who personified the meaning of her name. She was a wave of optimism walking into the room. Her eyes sparkled when she smiled and her good mood easily transmitted to those around her. She loved to please people, to entertain and have a good time. But most of all she loved the preparation for it: the elegant clothes, the glistening jewels, the chic hair-dos. They all belonged to the process of feeling good and showing it. Yet, these were all things that required money. Joy didn’t have a problem with that, so she didn’t really take into account how much she was actually spending each month on these “little luxuries”. She had the ability to do so.

Until she didn’t.

It was one day at the end of winter that was resisting the imminent arrival of Spring. The company manager called all the employees into the glass conference room and announced solemnly that the end had come. The company could no longer cope financially in the increasingly competitive market. So it was letting everyone go and was dissolving overnight.

People didn’t immediately realise all the consequences this involved. It was not just the fact that they would become another statistic in the rising unemployment rates. It was not that they would have to face an uncertain period of idleness. It was the fact that without an income, they would all have to start counting their pennies. Literally.

When that thought struck Joy’s mind, that is when the clouds set in.

Because, now, when her friends invited her out and expected her to show up glowing and glittering under the stars, sipping cocktails on roof gardens, and dancing in extravagantly decorated ballrooms, Joy had to maintain appearances. She had to continue living up to her name, despite the fact that her sparkle had faded. She was no longer carefree, because she witnessed day by day her bank account shrinking. And until she found another source of income, she had to restrict her outings. She was confused, though. She couldn’t stay in and do nothing, see no-one, out of financial fears. How did everyone else do it? All those others who earned so much less than she did?

One night, when the full moon lit dimly over the city’s so-called “high society” or wannabe-elites, Joy stood in a corner of the room and paused. She looked around, observing the crowd that had become part of her usual outings. Their clothes, their shoes, their hairstyles, their hand gestures, their body postures, the intonation of their voices, their fake smiles. She wondered when she had allowed herself to become so superficial, thinking that because of the money she so carelessly threw around, she would “fit-in” and become likeable. She had become so drawn-in to this lifestyle that she had forgotten the true meaning of her own name.

She ran out, saying goodbye to no-one.

She rushed home and called him. Him, who was always there for her through everything, but whom she so often failed to acknowledge.

“Let’s go get lost,” she said to the other end of the line. Her voice was trembling with excitement on the verge of shrieking. “Let’s just go there, to our island, to our room-to-rent by the beach and retreat away from it all. There on our balcony gazing at the sea, with the breeze blowing gently and the waves crashing on the rocks. You can work online, and I’ll write a book. On how the real measure of our wealth in life, is how much we would be worth if we’d lost all our money and were left with only the things that can’t be bought. I get it now…”

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Countless

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