As you will know, I have been interested in self development for quite some years and I have watched the fashions come and go; TM, yoga, vegan raw diets, pilates, and mindfulness have all been flavour of the month at some point or another. I have to say though that the latest one has started to leave a very bitter taste in my mouth – entrepreneurship.
Now, I am fully aware that the fact that I have this reaction to this shows that there is work I need to do on myself. It is clearly pushing buttons in me that need to be addressed, and this blog is me attempting to address one of them.
I believe the love of entrepreneurship started with the “do what you love” movement. The message came through that you couldn’t be happy unless you were doing exactly what you wanted to do. From there people realised they didn’t want to be working for the man but wanted to follow their own paths and make a living doing what they wanted. Fuelled by the global crash where millions of people lost their jobs the fascination with being self employed began.
At this stage I thought it was wonderful. So many people were following their dreams and creating new things and earning a living doing it. Of course, as is often the case, it went too far.
Yesterday I watched a Youtube titled How to build self esteem – The six pillars of self esteem and it was all going really well until it got to number 5. This pillar is about living purposefully; a noble trait and one we can all learn, however, it appears that the only way to live purposefully is to be an entrepreneur.
Here we find the nub of my problem. It seems there is a growing subtle message throughout the wellbeing and self development communities that if you are not an entrepreneur you are somehow failing yourself. That somehow you are not following your dream or living purposefully.
So, I wanted to write this blog to personally thank and salute those of us who get up every morning and do the things that need to be done. I look through my friends and I see nurses, lorry drivers, steel erectors, train engineers, packaging designers, social workers, teachers, bin lorry drivers, window fitters, need I go on? People who keep the world running. People who you don’t see making a fuss, they just get up every morning and go and do what they do. What if they all decided to be yoga teachers?*
Do you think these people are living without purpose simply because they are employed rather than self employed? Is it not possible to have a sense of purpose and be employed, either from the thing you do to pay the bills or what you do outside of work?
In one of my favourite books, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, a whole planet decided to take all the people they didn’t really value and put them on a space ship that is set to crash land elsewhere. At the end of that part of the story the original population die out because they got rid of all the telephone sanitisers. Do we really want to make the people we need feel so unloved that no-one wants to do the job? Just how much will we suffer if we do that?
I for one would like to say thank you, I appreciate the work you do!
*And just in case you think I am being hypocritical because surely I am self employed being a complementary therapist.. actually no, in my day job I am a bookkeeper for a bearing company. I keep the company that fixes the machines that makes your breakfast cereal running. Healing is my passion, but I know I need a full time job. My reasons for this are another blog yet to be written.