Studies show that we now spend 47 hours of our 168-hour week in some form of "work." When you spend that much time doing something, it will affect your life one way or another.
Studies also show that only 13 percent actually like what they do to make a living. You might not hate how you earn an income, but spending so much time doing what you “tolerate” still has a profound effect on your life.
For decades, our society has been programmed to believe that the only way to make a good living is to go to college, get a degree and land your dream work situation right out of college. The stats on the job market for college graduates and jobs that even require a degree are not great. Most graduates today will have a hard time getting a job in their major.
This isn't to say that you shouldn't go to college—everyone has to make the best decision for their life. There is no one singular answer that applies to all of us as far as how we earn a living is concerned. But, we can agree that our work is an important part of our lives. Here are five ways what you do for 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/your business. You can try to leave it there, 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 low and were curious about the reason, stress from work is a likely 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 extra time/longer hours into the mix, you are taking time away from what else is 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. Our time is precious. When you spend hours, days, years doing something you can’t stand, you’re wasting your most precious resource.
4. It keeps you complacent.
Settling is almost second nature in our society. We listen to the news and think we should be grateful that we even have what we have. 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 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 gratitude and complacency.
5. It holds you back from an amazing life.
Spending years of your life settling for a work or business situation will keep you from the amazing life you deserve. You could waste the best years of your life making no progress towards your dream life. Ignore the doubt, fear, and negative voices of others. Ignore what society teaches us. Be a rebel determined to live a life of no regrets. It may take years, but the struggle will be worth it once you reach your goal.
What you do for 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. Make it count.
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editors.