I recently stumbled across a fascinating article by the Business Insider, in which they revealed the 10 jobs with the happiest workers (as researched and compiled by University of Chicago researchers).
I spotted a trend amongst the majority of the job roles – none of them are known for producing huge incomes.
I would hazard a guess that the average salary across all 10 jobs is well under $100,000 p.a. Bankers and high-end corporate workers are conspicuous by their absence.
Related: The Secret To A Healthy Relationship With Money
Now you might reasonably argue that $100,000 p.a. would be rather nice, thank you very much, but in saying that you would be missing my point – in a culture that is utterly focused on money, research tells us that it just isn’t that important.
What is important on the other hand, is what you do with your life. And that’s what I want to discuss today.
What We Can Learn from the Clergy
According to the University of Chicago researchers, the happiest workers in the world are clergymen (or women). Here is what Jay Terbush, who has been in full-time ministry for 25 years, had to say about his work:
I just like to do the various tasks that ministers are engaged in: preaching and teaching, leading worship, caring for people in need, celebrating joyous occasions, being with people in the depths of sorrow, guiding people in their personal search for a life of meaning and purpose, mentoring youth toward faith and personal maturity.
You can put the details of Jay’s work to one side – the key thing to recognize here is his first statement. He likes what he does. He is passionate about it. He finds it rewarding. That in itself is the key.
Why Be in Business?
You may be wondering what this has to do with business and entrepreneurship.
Well, it’s all about happiness. Take me for example. I used to chase money. I was driven by a desire for success and fortune. When I worked in my father’s property company, I was obsessed with doing deals and making money – that was how I got my job satisfaction. But it was a shallow satisfaction, and one that was incredibly susceptible to material influences.
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If you take another look at those happy workers in the Business Insider article, you will see people who are working in roles that are (for the most part) intrinsically rewarding.
Whether you’re a firefighter, a teacher, or a psychologist, you have a chance to make a difference to people’s lives. You have a chance to do the kind of work that can be genuinely and deeply rewarding.
If you have found such a role in life, perhaps you do not need to be in business. But if you struggle to be happy in what you do, you owe it to yourself to find something better.
What Being an Entrepreneur Does
The greatest thing owning a business can do for you is give you freedom. If you are free from the shackles of work, you can turn your life to things that truly reward you.
Moreover, if you can build a business that in itself is truly rewarding, and you have the freedom to work on it as you please, you have truly hit the jackpot.
The average American employee works 1,797 hours per year. Once you take away eight hours of sleep and add a couple of extra hours per day for commuting and the inevitability of overtime, you find yourself dedicating around one third of every working year to your job – including weekends and vacation days.
You need to have a damn good reason to keep sacrificing such a huge proportion of your life in such a way. You need to be one of those 10 happy workers. If not, there has to be a better way.
I may well piss people off by saying this, but I don’t believe that the vast majority of people have any excuse to stay in such a rut. We live in an unprecedented age for entrepreneurs, and we should be taking advantage of that as much as humanly possible.
This article was written by Tom Ewer, a regular contributor for MyWifeQuitHerJob.com
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