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What Is Your Life Worth?

The Selling Of Our Hours For Comfort

“There are thousands and thousands of people living lives of quiet, screaming desperation, working long hard hours at jobs they hate, to buy stuff they don’t need, to impress people they don’t like.”

-Nigel Marsh

Have you ever thought about what is your life worth? Can you put a monetary value on your time? 

Most people have never thought about these questions, and until about a year ago, I hadn’t either.

I was selling my hours and days at a job I hated. I was working because it brought me security and comfort. It allowed me to pay bills and buy things which I believed I needed. Things such as material items which brought little to no value to my life.

I was more concerned with following the “normal path” laid out for us by society instead of following my own path. And all it did was make me miserable. I’m not blaming society, because everything was my choice. I was more concerned with making money than valuing my time. But all of us who are working place a monetary value on our time.

Some people sell their time for $25,000 per year, some for $50,000 and others are well into the six and seven figures. The minimum wage in the United States is not even close to being a living wage and yet many people sell their hours for that rate of pay and for different reasons.

However, is your time worth the money you get? Is your life worth the time you give up? 

An Outdated System

life worth
Photo by Alex Kotliarskyi on Unsplash

Let’s be honest, most have to work. For just about everyone, life requires money. Money is vital for us to pay our bills, feed ourselves, have a roof over our head and buy items we need (not want).

But, have you ever felt there is something better you could do with your time? Your job? Is your job something you despise? Do you get the “Sunday night blues?”

You are not alone.

Most people are not happy in their jobs. According to a Gallup poll taken in 2015, 68% of Americans are not engaged at work with 17.2% of those actively disengaged.

The current system is broken and work has become a chore for many.

The 40 hour, 5 days a week work policy is outdated. Add in the average 30-minute commute to and from work and you spend 9 hours a day working for 5 of the 7 days of the week. 5 days of work and 2 days off. Rinse and repeat.

These figures are if you are lucky. Many people are working 10 to 12-hour days on top of their commute. We also need to include time getting ready for work and working after hours and weekends.

Your time is being sold to the highest bidder on the hopes it will bring you happiness and security. And it’s at a job which is making many of us miserable.

If you include the stress and anxiety involved in a lot of jobs, we are setting ourselves up for many problems.

A person’s job is one of the greatest stressors in life. This stress leads to many issues including an increase in the frequency of heart attacks, high blood pressure and many other health problems. It seems crazy, but most are fine with it.

We are fine with it because we don’t realize there are alternatives.

life worth
Photo by Cory Schadt on Unsplash

Most of us have been sold on the current system.

We are sold on making money to buy things which will bring us happiness. We are told we will be fulfilled with the expensive car, the large house, and the material items. We let others determine our life worth. But none of those things make us happy or fulfilled. 

Many of us are selling the best hours and days of our lives for the next 40 years at a place we don’t like, all on the bet that one day we will have enough money to retire. Also, most of us are selling our hours to make someone else rich.

And all this time spent working is during the prime of life. By the time you have enough money to retire, you may not be healthy enough to enjoy it. We’ve all heard stories of people who retire and die shortly after. While this may not be the norm, is this how you want your life to end?

You are also spending this time away from the joys in life. Joys such as pursuing hobbies, or spending time with friends and family.

We have become more concerned with achievements, titles, and money than experiencing and enjoying life like we want. Status is seen as something we must achieve because we allow others to determine what our life is worth. 

We trade years of our life for what others deem as success.

Do you want to spend most of your life in a job you hate in the hopes it will maintain your lifestyle?

If you do, there is nothing wrong with that. But if you don’t, then you must change it.

You can be happy in a career you love or you can be miserable in a career you hate. The ending is the same.

Which one would you choose?

The Myth Of The Work-Life Balance

life worth
Photo by Ostin Thammavongsa on Unsplash

Many people see their job as separate from their life. They see it as something they have to do to live. We are taught we should have a good balance of both work and life outside of work if we want to be happy.

The problem is work is not separate, but a part of our lives. A part of our lives that consumes a lot of our time and for some, extends over into their personal lives.

But, there is no such thing as work-life balance. It is all part of life!

If we are spending so much time at work why are we staying in jobs we hate? Why aren’t we doing something which excites and fulfills us? And why do we sacrifice our time when it mostly benefits others?

I understand that in exchange for selling your hours and days, you get a paycheck in return. You may also get other perks such as health insurance and lasting friendships from co-workers.

Yet, in today’s world, you are replaceable. Your boss doesn’t care about you. They are too busy trying to make themselves look good to care about your happiness or job satisfaction. This does not apply to every boss or situation, but in the workplace the only person who has your best interest in mind is you.

In most situations, your boss or the owner is reaping most of the benefits of your labor. You work hard to make them look good. It is and always will be about “numbers”. If you don’t produce, you are expendable.

They know you are afraid of losing your job so they use that knowledge by taking advantage of you.

Find Your Life Worth

life worth
Photo by Andrew Wolff on Unsplash

If I sound a little jaded, I will admit I am.

It’s because I’ve been sold this lie that money and security would make me happy. It’s been sold that working at a job I hated was normal. And having a fancy job title and status should be pursued above all else.

It’s been sold I need more. More money and more things.

At the expense of my time and my life.

But it all it brought was more misery.

It’s my fault for believing it. It’s also my fault for remaining in jobs which I’ve hated. I’m at fault for not pursuing my dreams all those years. But since I’ve learned the truth, it made me realize I needed to take control of my life. I decided to no longer buy into the lies I’ve been told.

I’ve also decided I have a responsibility to let others know there are alternatives to the “normal path.” There are alternatives to living and working as everyone else does.

I’ve decided my time is worth more than to continue doing things I hate. I will no longer sell my time for what others believe is important. And I will no longer let others determine what my life is worth.

If you are happy following the norm, then stay with it as there is nothing wrong with that. But if you aren’t, change it. Because once I started to live my life the way I wanted and not how I had been told to, my life changed. I realized my life was worth more than staying in a job I hated.

You can change your life too. Make a plan to get out of the job you hate. Make a plan to live life your way. Figure out what will make you content. Because if you are content in life, that is worth more than any job title, fancy house or expensive car. 

Determine your own worth, and don’t let others tell you it is not enough.

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One Comment

  1. kris kris

    Love this article. Just what I needed to read today to make me feel good about a work decision I made!

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