Chasing The Golden Carrot
“Life’s great tragedy is not dying young but living long yet unfulfilled.”
In The Guardian article published in 2009, it revealed that the UK has 13% of its people working for more than 48 hours. A bulk of this figure came from the hotel and restaurant industry, the area with the highest incidence of people working beyond the so-called “normal working hours.” Working long hours just to chase the golden carrot isn’t doing good as outlined in this report. It alters one’s circadian rhythm, affects one’s performance, and disrupts family and social life.
The UK is the first member to opt out of the 1993 European Union Working Time Directive. This working directive states that EU workers have the right to have at least 28 days (4 weeks) of paid holidays each year and a rest of at least 11 hours in every 24 hours. The directive is created to protect employees from the potential health and safety risks associated with excessive working. The former UK employment secretary defended the government’s decision, saying that it opposes any attempt to tell its people not to work in hours that they want.
But does longer hours equate to better and more fulfilled life? This 2016 study showed it doesn’t.
In the study, researchers found out that about 44 percent of Brits are going through a life crisis. The most common source of dissatisfaction is unfulfilled ambitions and dreams. The survey revealed that it isn’t just those who are midway their lives who are having a midlife crisis. Almost a third of those who are surveyed are between the ages of 18 and 30. Some of the respondents believed that embarking on a new career (39 percent of the subjects) or learning something new (24 percent of the subjects) can help them combat their dissatisfaction. However, a third of those who are surveyed think they can’t do it as a result of working long hours and social pressure.
Signs of an Unfulfilled Life
The feeling of dissatisfaction isn’t the only sign that’s telling you that you’re living an unfulfilled life. There are other signs that are telling you that you are dissatisfied with life.
- You feel beyond bored
You may feel like everyday is like any other day – the day before and the day before that. Even when you’re engaged in an activity you used to enjoy, you don’t feel like you’re enjoying it as much as you did. This is dangerous especially that unusual boredom can trigger certain behaviors like unsafe driving practices , pathological gambling , and emotional eating, a major risk factor for obesity .
- You get into emotional hibernation
Some of us get into emotional hibernation to protect ourselves. We shut ourselves down to prepare ourselves for an emergency situation – whether real or perceived. Getting into this stage is a telltale sign that we’re close to hitting rock bottom. The brain does this to protect us from certain realities that we hate. This response, although protective in nature, doesn’t do anything good in the long run. It will make you live like a zombie – you’re living yet you’re dead inside.
- You’re looking for love in the wrong places
People who are desperate to look for love are often those who suffer from great dissatisfaction in life. They look for love everywhere, even in the wrong places. As a result, they latch into anyone who comes near, creating a bad cycle of self-blame and making bad decisions.
If you find yourself in this situation, you must realize that the love you’re looking for can be found within yourself. Be the love that you need. Start being your best friend. When you start looking for that love inwards, you will realize that you don’t need to search further. You will start feeling excited about things and satisfied with life in general.
Finding Your True Self Through Meditation
In Buddhist psychology, there is a process called samskara. It refers to grooves in our mind that direct where our thoughts flow. Our personal samskaras are based on memories from our past, making us respond to situations in almost the same way. Unconsciously, many of us build our identities based on our samskaras. This is where meditation helps.
When we meditate, we have our focus on new object or attention, and hence, we disrupt the unconscious flow of thoughts and emotions. Meditation is a great way to connect to our true selves – one that isn’t limited to anger, fear, or something else. By putting us into the ‘now,’ we experience a different kind of relaxation and awareness.
Several studies have shown that mindfulness promotes well-being. Both dispositional and state mindfulness can lead to self-regulated behavior and positive emotional state.
Preparing for Meditation
If you’re new to meditation, here’s a step-by-step guide to getting you started:
- Block a specific time of your day to meditate. This should be a quiet time in a comfortable and distraction-free place where you can just be you.
- If you choose to meditate indoors, you can adjust the lighting and temperature based on your liking. If you’re outdoors, choose the most comfortable spot for you.
- Choose the most comfortable position for you. You may want to sit or lie down.
- Set your intention for meditation. It can be to find inner peace, connect with your authentic self, relax, or experience your true being.
- Try guided hypnosis. If you think that you can’t do it on your own, there are programs that can help you get into meditation mood more easily.
Many of those who live their lives chasing the golden carrot end up feeling unfulfilled because they keep on looking for something that’s beyond their grasp. What they didn’t realize is that what they’re looking for is just within themselves.
Don’t live a life full of regrets. Remember that there’s more to life than what society is telling us to ‘chase.’
Published by Hypnosis in London on 14 May 2017, written by Malminder Gill.