Learning To Work and The Great Divorce (Day Two Yours.org)

This is the second of 12 days I’m posting my daily blogs on Yours.org

17 years of school trains you for a world that doesn’t exist.

Throughout school and college, you are in a finite work environment. An arbitrary world with a constrained workload. If you have too much to do, the school has overworked you and is responsible for you bad results.

The total amount of “work” is fixed at a “reasonable” level and the things you work on are assigned, never chosen. Year after year, you learn how to get a finite amount of assigned work done, but you never learn how to work in an environment where you have to choose the work, and there are countless options.

Many intelligent people do well in school and learn to thrive in this environment with limited assigned tasks. With a hard deadline, a defined task, and clear grades for success they can work a handful of projects. But when they are thrown into a more dynamic environment where they need to exercise judgment and choose from countless options they are paralyzed by fear.

They don’t know how to define what is important, so they think they should do almost everything. As a result, they don’t finish what they want to get done. For anyone who has worked in almost any job, this is a common feeling. There is always more you could do, and you need to get comfortable with pushing yourself to do the best you can do without sacrificing in other areas.

But for the school-bred perfectionist, they are faced with a daily feeling of failure that they don’t know how to handle. Guilt seeps from the edges as an occasional signal, to be a dominant emotional experience. Guilt, fear, and anxiety dominate their day to day experience, their confidence drops, their results suffer, and eventually, they break and quit or are fired.

They retreat from complex work into more basic roles that limit the need to make decisions. Fleeing from complex work creates a lot of peace and ease, but in the long term, it creates dissatisfaction, pain, and envy.

Read the rest of the post at: https://www.yours.org/content/learning-to-work-and-the-great-divorce-71f3ff193e3a


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