When you do a google search for the ‘happiest day of the work week’ – Friday is almost the only answer that fills the pages. A close second is research and opinions on why we should have a four-day work week. Because, hey, who wants to work on the happiest day of the work week?
Why do we look forward to Fridays?
The answer is simple – we want to get away from the grind of work.
If we want to get away from work, then why did we choose to do it in the first place?
To pay our bills, of course. Bills for all the things we need, want and love to have – a home, food, entertainment, transportation and much more.
So how did we end up with these bills?
Because these are things that we think make us happy.
So, the answer to the earlier question on why we choose to work seems to boil down to this: to pay for things that bring us happiness.
But is that really true? Does the quest for more wealth and acquisition of material objects bring us closer to the ever-elusive goal of true happiness?
At the outset, there is nothing wrong in pursuing wealth. But are we happy while pursuing it? Will another million in the bank make us happier? If not, ten million perhaps? Paradoxically, the quest for more wealth and acquisition of material objects is an unquenchable thirst – no amount of money is enough, new shiny acquisitions are forgotten in quick succession, and goal lines keep getting redrawn.
“Is not dread of thirst when your well is full, the thirst that is unquenchable?”
― Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
So how do we find happiness in the here and now, while we still work to pay the bills? Gautamji answers this question in the weekly sessions. He mentions that the answer is two-fold. Firstly, choose a job that you are naturally inclined to be good at. Vedanta implores us to identify and accept our svadharma (one’s own life purpose). When we work in conjunction with our svadharma, every day is a happy day, and every task is full of joy. Svadharma is not conferred at birth or by some astrological reading – it is the best choice we can make now based on our abilities and circumstances.
The second factor to finding true happiness in our work is pitching a goal with a higher cause beyond our selfish interests. A cause bigger than ourselves, benefiting the people around, the community at large and humanity in general. In your everyday work, seek a cause that benefits your team, your customers, the organization and the society around and work towards that cause. Making every activity a form of service with no expectation of the outcome will automatically generate a healthy lifestyle filled with energy, happiness, productivity, and success in all endeavors. Both mental peace and success are assured when work is performed unselfishly. This is the essence of Karma Yoga and the message of the Bhagavad Gita.
To find out more about how to enjoy work every day, and not just look forward to Fridays, tune in to Gautamji’s online classes on Vedanta and the Bhagavad Gita.
“The blog above are thoughts of a student of the online weekly lectures”
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