What ever happened to the mirror that showed me a happy face?

15 Nov 2013

I work in a big company. It is a successful, innovative and profitable company. My co-workers are bright and nice people in their late twenties or early thirties. Some of them have started working here recently, others have been around for three or more years.

My direct managers have worked here for quite a while - at least for four or five years, and obviously they are highly competent in what they do. One would think they should be happy - they have good jobs, they are still young, and they are successful. But when you talk to them, they seem to be tired, almost drained, like they don't have living power. As obvious as it may be, the reason is that they work really hard. But I think it's more than that.

A couple of weeks ago I was browsing through some old corporate pictures, and there were several shots taken four years ago. I recognized familiar faces among happily smiling bunch of people: my now-managers seemed to be very happy, energetic, and looked much younger than they do now. And it struck me: how come that their happy and almost boy-ish faces turned into the tired and always busy ones?

I may be wrong, but I think that four years ago they were happy because they were working on things that excited them. They were working with passion. Now they seem to have lost it. And now they are not ready to switch to something new, whatever it may be: another role in the company, or maybe even something completely different and not-at-all-corporate.

I am definitely not the one to judge. But I believe that each of us should at some point ask oneself: do I actually do the things that excite me? Do I work with passion? Am I being honest with myself? Of course, we all need security, and having a stable and a well-paid job is a blessing. But I believe that somewhere in the corner of our mind there should be a space for those lines from a song:

So if you're careful,

You won't get hurt.

But if you're careful all the time,

Then what's it worth?

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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