Studies show that we now spend 47 hours of our 168-hour week working. When you spend that much time doing something, it will affect your life one way or another. Studies also show that only 13 percent of people actually like their work. You might not hate your job, but being at a job you “tolerate” still has a profound affect on your life.
Our society has been programed to believe that the only way to get a good job is to go to college. The stats on the job market for college graduates and jobs that even require a degree are depressing. Most graduates today won’t get a job in their major.
There is no one singular answer that applies to all of us as far as work is concerned. We have to find what works best for our lives, but we can agree that work is an important part of our lives. Here are five ways your work could be affecting your life.
1. It makes life better
You could be one of those 13 percent of people who enjoy their work. That’s not to say you never have sucky days, but in general, you enjoy your work. When you do what you enjoy, everything is in alignment in your life. You don’t dread what you have to deal with on a daily basis. You get to go to bed knowing the next morning will be good.
2. It adds stress
Forty-seven hours of your week spent in a stressful environment doesn’t stay at work. You can try to leave work at work, but the thought of what you went through, or what you have to go through the next day, will affect your home life.
As those thoughts enter your mind, you will feel your stress level start to rise. If you have ever snapped or felt down, and were curious about the reason, stress from work is probably the culprit.
3. It takes time away from what’s important
If you’re working “normal” hours, it takes a big chunk of your time. If you add overtime into the mix, you could be taking time away from what’s really important to your life. Time is the one thing we’ll never get back. As far as I know, none of us will live forever so our time is precious. When you spend hours, days, and years in work you can’t stand, you’re wasting your most precious resource.
4. It’s keeping you complacent
Settling in our work is almost second nature in our society. We listen to the news and think we should be grateful that we even have a job. While the economy isn’t the greatest, this is still the land of opportunity. We still have the power to do something about all the changes we want to make in our life.
Life is too short to settle for “good enough.” Settling in our work teaches us to settle in other areas of our life. We learn to accept mediocrity. While I definitely believe we should be grateful for what we have in life, there’s a difference between gratefulness and complacency.
5. It’s holding you back from an amazing life
Spending years of your life settling in your work can be keeping you from the amazing life every man deserves. You could be spending years making no progress towards your dream life and waste the best years of your life.
Ignore the doubt, fear, and negative voices of others. Ignore what society teaches us about work. Be a rebel and determine to live a life of no regrets. It may take years, but the struggle will be worth it once you reach your goal.
As we start a new year, many will be thinking about their work. Some will set a goal of getting a better job or start a business. We all know the stats on New Year’s resolutions, but if you want a better work situation, those stats don’t have to apply to you.
Your work affects your life and it’s time for us to stop ignoring what we know deep down inside. We have to stop settling because the road less traveled is hard to ride down. We have to say, “screw it” and chase every major dream we have. You only get one life to live so make it count.
What are some dreams you want to chase in 2015?
This article originally appeared on the Good Men Project.