The Daily Stoic for May 25th: “Where to find joy”.
“Joy for human beings lies in proper human work. And proper human work consists in: acts of kindness to other human beings, disdain for the stirrings of the senses, identifying trustworthy impressions, and contemplating the natural order and all that happens in keeping with it.”
—MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 8.26
Is it true that people need to work to be happy or find joy? A lot of research and articles out there seem to suggest that after retirement, a lot of people become unhappy.
I think those whose lives are completely defined by their work, or that has worked exclusively for a company for decades, are more vulnerable to experiencing this.
That’s because their work has filled their lives in such a way, that once it disappears, it leaves a hole there. If the person has no other hobbies, or other activities to occupy their time, I guess it’s easy to fall into boredom.
Where To Find Joy
And that’s interesting because it seems to me that we are on a constant search for a way to stop working, gain financial independence, generate passive income, and be rich without ever having to work again… The internet is full of bloggers, YouTubers, and Instagrammers, making a living out of this.
And on the other hand, we crave giving meaning to our lives by means of what we do.
In my case, it’s not about how to stop working. It’s about being able to occupy my time with stuff I love. If I am honest with you, I would not be able to stay on a permanent vacation in some tropical island forever…
Lying on a hammock at the beach while enjoying a coconut shake. I would probably be bored in just two weeks. I need to do something. That’s how I am.
Now, this something does not necessarily need to be a “job”, even if it might be “work”. If I were rich, I’ll keep on writing on this blog for sure, and maybe I will start composing and making music again. Probably also, from time to time, I would get a new, exciting idea, and would like to try it…
Now, this seems very close to me to working…
Ok, probably I will feel more relaxed without deadlines and bills to pay… but I will keep on working.
Today’s Daily Stoic, “Where to find joy”, seems to suggest that in the end, people need something to do. A job or occupation to give meaning to their lives. While I don’t think this necessarily has to be a “job” in the common sense of the word, I definitely agree that I love doing stuff, and will probably be “working” in a way for the rest of my life.