we are built to work

How do you feel when you skip the gym or yoga for a few days? What about when you take a break or vacation for too long? Chances are you feel irritable, bored, trapped and sad. It’s natural to feel this way, because we humans are built to work, it’s in our DNA, whether we like it or not. This is why life gets really difficult for people right after they first retire; they lose their mojo and their verve for life and all the things it has to offer.

The sole purpose of our mind and body is to be used, and when they are not focused on a pursuit, they begin to turn on themselves. It begins a self-sabotaging cycle, something like an autoimmune disease, where our own immune system mistakenly targets the body’s cells and tissues.

Unfortunately, there are many people who go to jobs where they don’t get to do much or simply have empty blocks of time in their hands. Due to this, much of their gifts and innate potential remain unfulfilled, building up frustration and angst within them. Because they don’t know how to deal with these feelings, they try to numb them or escape from them by going after materialistic pursuits and luxuries. Compulsive shopping, going out, getting into unnecessary fights and drama, and drinking helps them find short bursts of pleasure and excitement, but it leads to long-term harm. It’s best to let go of these empty pursuits and spend time doing things that enrich us and help us experience profound joy. 

The only way to get out of this downward spiral is to do meaningful and aligned work. The adage “Work is therapy” is absolutely true. We need to let go of our inertia and vices, and get back to work.

Work is the ultimate nourishment for our human minds. Our essence calls for experiencing satisfaction, happiness and wholeness that comes from doing meaningful work. As Marcus Aurelius writes, “Joy for human beings lies in proper human work.”