Work & Anxiety About the Future

Work & Anxiety About the Future

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Calculating the Work

Any successful endeavor, including the endeavor to reach your life’s goals, must be concerned with the work involved. But, you will also need to count the resource costs, the efficacy of the goal, and the opportunity costs. You may not practice including all these in your calculations. The omission can result in feelings of stagnation, frustration, or anxiety about the future.

African American Female Work Ethic at Shipyard

Demonstrating Work Ethic at a Shipyard

The Question of Work Ethic

You have been told that you need a magnificent work ethic. In fact, new research is suggesting more of the same calling it “grit.” But, let’s unpack that to reveal the principle underneath. Believe it or not, the principle is not the Protestant Work Ethic or some archaic, proletarian concept of labor. The principle undergirding work is the search for freedom. Life is the search for freedom. In other words, we could formulate a question to communicate our search for freedom. What is the cost of freedom?

The Answer toward Freedom

The answer makes up our game plan in four parts.

  1. Work. Not working for them, but working for yourself. This requires you to do what you must do in the sale of your labor if you don’t have the capital as a foundation to do your own thing right out of the gate. Understand that, after completing the hours you sell, you must understand your tolerance, rejuvenation, and reward such that you can put in hours for yourself. Don’t burn your candle out lighting someone else’s vision. Save a portion of your daily energy to light your vision.
  2. Resource Costs. This may be the reason you work for someone else. You will need to secure money, relationships, and know-how to build out the mechanism and sustainability for your freedom. You will need a keen respect and ability to utilize time as your fourth resource. Make certain that you understand the value of your time translated into financial terms. This will help you make decisions about how best to utilize your time. Calculate a goal for your resource accrual and a value for your time.
  3. Efficacy of the Goal. Efficacy refers to the value of the goal in the context of your life, health, and well-being. It does not make sense to work toward a goal utilizing tools and strategies that defeat the purpose of the goal itself. For example, if your goal is to go on a hiking tour of the world, you do not want to participate in work for 20 years that decreases your lung capacity and damages your knee joints. Even if it takes longer to get there, or if the activities are not your ideal experience, you cannot sacrifice the efficacy of the goal for the means to get there. Make certain that your means (your activities) support your end goals.
  4. Opportunity Costs. Opportunity costs are what you lose having made one choice over another choice. Therefore, it is of critical importance that you clearly identify your goal. It may make sense to rise within the ranks of the company. That is the goal of many. They see the sale of their labor and the granting of status as their reward in life. Retirement at 65 is their goal. This provides them the freedom they desire. If this is not you, consider that your choices will be different at multiple points along your journey. Choose the options that provide you with your outcome even if those choices fly in the face of convention.

You can no longer say you didn’t know. I drew up the game plan. It’s:

  • Save a portion of your daily energy to light your vision.
  • Calculate a goal for your resource accrual and a value for your time.
  • Make certain that your means support your end goals.
  • Defy convention if you must when making opportunity cost decisions.

Now, Run the play