Tuesday, 27 May 2014

changming yuan: towards happiness -16

while most people have to work, most working people have to spend about one thirds of their living time on their work. this very simple fact points to the working station as a major external source of happiness or unhappiness to every working person.

the relationship between one's working station and one's sense of happiness may involve more human and non-human elements, and can be more complicated than one can see in individual cases; that is to say, it is difficult, if  not entirely impossible, to make any valid generalizations about it here. nevertheless, we can divide all jobs into three large categories in terms of its significance to the working person:

1/ political jobs - those offering people a way to realize their personal ideals/duties/talents/interests, such as those performed by politicians, soldiers(?), artists, musicians, writers, singers, actors, athletes, etc;
2/ economic jobs - those providing people with a means of making money or a living, such as those done by assemblers, salesmen, dishwashers, waiters, garbage collectors, welders, etc;
3/ ecopolitical jobs - those giving people both a means of making a living and a way to realize their personal ideals/talents/interests, such as those engaged by teachers, programmers, businessmen, technicians, engineers, drivers, cooks, doctors, handymen, etc.

needless to say, this division of jobs is relative: whether it is a 'political,' 'economic' or 'ecopolitical' job an individual does depends upon how the individual 'looks at' the job. a political job can be an economic or ecopolitical one to a particular individual with a particular job mentality, or the other way around.

also, in general, a  political job may prove to be more of a happifier than an ecopolitical one, which in turn may turn out more of a happifier than an economical one, although such comparison can be meaningless in a given individual case.

at the working station, one has to deal with different human relationships on a daily basis (between oneself and one's superiors, colleagues, inferiors, customers), try every way to improve one's career situation (job security and development opportunities), and meet all kinds of (physical, intellectual and even emotional) challenges. while most of these elements/situations can be dehappifiers to varying degrees, they are basically uncontrollable even if they may sometimes be manipulable to a certain extent.

depending upon what significance the job has to us, or how much job satisfaction we can get from it, our job/work can be as much a happifier as a dehappifier to each of us. this means that whether we are happy (about our job) or not has little to do with our job itself; rather, it is most closely related to our own psychology.

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