Do You Really Need A Job?

Categories: Inspiration

By Liselotte Roosen

One of those things that many people believe, is that they need a job in order to survive. Obviously, they may argue, you need money in order to pay the bills. And bills are an inescapable fact of life. Only if you can gather enough money in your lifetime, can you really be free...

 Bergen, Norway

While all this seems quite logical, we have to ask ourselves: is this really true?

Of course it may be true if you want to live like the average person and have what the average person has, but it is certainly not the only way to live. There are alternatives, especially if freedom is more important to you than wealth, comfort and securities; and if experiences are more important to you than possessions. Freedom may even be easier to realize with little or no money. All it takes is some life skills and a completely different mindset (freedom of mind). And then you may discover that you don't need a job after all.

Probably most people have felt the pressure of society's expectations (not just in the domain of employment) and have dreamed about somehow managing to escape all of this at some point in their lives. When given a choice, I think most people would choose to be free to decide what it means to them to live a meaningful life instead of being molded into an acceptable societal format from a very young age by various means (upbringing, education, employment, ...).

Of course it is impossible and even undesirable to block all external influences. It can be very helpful to see how others handle certain life situations and witness different ways of being. It only becomes a problem when you accept it as the norm and stop questioning the attitudes and behaviors that are modeled to you; copying them blindly and losing your own integrity in the process. This happens when people don't take enough time to reflect on their lives; when they don't spend enough time just being; enjoying the silence. Then you keep the ability to choose your own way; to see all the alternative ways of being as options and to perceive no general right or wrong; just a 'right' or 'wrong' for your particular situation. And then it is also easy to learn and unlearn attitudes, beliefs, behaviors and habits. Without attachment to certain ways of thinking, the mind is free.

But it is almost like our lives are being filled up for us with distractions on purpose. School when we are young, work when we get older. In the meantime, TV, Facebook, alcohol, movies, games, smartphones and the news seem designed to keep us worried, dependent and distracted. And we have learned to appreciate the distractions in the world: we learn to keep ourselves distracted all the time and we learn to fear silence, perhaps because in the silence we may discover the madness of it all and the emptiness of our existence. So we keep ourselves (and each other) in a busy state - afraid we might stop functioning if we don't - which makes it almost impossible to stay connected with ourselves, with each other and with the world as a whole.

Perhaps you are even one of those people who doesn't know anymore what happiness means to you, or what really brings you joy in life. Perhaps you don't know what enthuses you or what your passions are. This is a serious affliction that needs your attention right away. I know, because I have suffered from it for years. Looking back I did know what my passions were (self-sufficiency, exploring, traveling, living the nomadic lifestyle), but I just felt that I couldn't do that because I needed to earn a living. I needed to 'grow up' and settle down (that is what society dictates).

So it may be that you have completely lost your way and forgotten who you are, because you have been corrected for following your own path; something that children do naturally (they follow their passions and interests without worrying about where it might take them or what is expected of them - this is how we evolve and grow).

But you are still free to make decisions for yourself. So it is never too late to change your life around.

There may be fear holding you back as well. Not just fear of not having enough money to look after yourself or your family, but perhaps also a fear of 'doing nothing' (which we frantically avoid by keeping ourselves busy). You may fear that you will get lazy if you don't have a job. You may fear that having a job is the only way you can keep contributing 'something' to society (whether valuable or not). You may wonder: How can I fulfill my need to make a difference and to contribute to society without a job?

Well, there are plenty of ways to contribute to the world we live in or to each other in a positive way, without getting paid for it, or at least without a particular job title or working for some organization. You can contribute by taking care of the earth, planting trees, planting edible plants, composting, and no longer producing trash. You can contribute by helping others who are less able, or teaching others important life skills. You can contribute by meditating and thereby being a counter-force for all the disconnectedness in the world. You can role-model self-sufficiency. You can be one of those people with actual relationship skills, a rare breed, and teach others how to interact with each other in a loving and compassionate way.

It is a natural tendency for people (and other animals and nature in general) to want to enrich others' lives when their own needs are met. But it is hard to really fulfill your own needs when you have a regular job and so many other distractors, which then makes it impossible to attend to others' needs. With a full-time job, especially one that you don't enjoy, there is not much time left for relaxation and reflection, self-development, connecting meaningfully with others or simply enjoying the silence and the magic of being. These things may even be considered 'a waste of time'. Also, most jobs involve a lot of stress (sadly largely due to the mindset of needing the money and feeling forced to do the job, without any room for choice), which brings an additional need for recovery-time, but even after working hours there is often a lingering sense of insecurity, dependence or even imprisonment.

So if you still have a job and you continually feel restrained or miserable because you are not fully

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