Archive for January, 2015

Confronting the Challenges of Life

January 4, 2015 1 comment

Life’s challenges should be confronted and resolved.  It will be very difficult at times, but it has to be done.

Facing the challenges of life will give you more experience.  Such experience will prepare you to meet even more challenges in the future.  Although this will make you ready to handle more problems, and thus more problems will potentially come your way, this will also make you ready to explore new and better opportunities in the future.  After all, you don’t want to be stuck where you are for the rest of your life – there’s no meaning or excitement in life to that.  In the long run, it’s one’s readiness for the latter that makes the effort worth it.

It’s okay to embrace hardship and trial with open but reluctant arms.  What’s important is that you acknowledge and deal with it.  In this day and age, ignorance is no longer bliss.

“There is nothing I won’t dare!” is the battle cry that gets through problems and leads to prosperity.

By the grace of God, you can do this!

Categories: Ideas and Philosophy

Work Stress: Personal Time in the Modern Age

January 3, 2015 4 comments

Gone are the “good old days” of having a job from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. from Monday to Friday only, and where you can rely on the fact that work is confined to only such times and days of your life.

I know what to do with my new role.  God will give me as much time as I need so that I can accomplish the work that has to be done.  I’d like to think that I have the right mental preparation now in facing the challenges that lie ahead of me.  I’m as ready as I can ever be.

That being said, I can’t shake this certain, gnawing feeling of anxiety at the back of my mind.  Upon further reflection, the only other thing I could think of that is making me stressed out is my work schedule.  I have more night calls than ever.  I have night calls from Tuesday to Thursday.  The only days that I don’t have night calls are Monday and Friday – at least, for now.

Initially I thought that my new schedule was a bad thing.  But then I pause and take stock of how other people are managing given that they have their own schedules, too.  It’s actually not so bad for my case, at least from my perspective anyway, all things considered.


The Peer Group Experience

Two of my cousins work at a multi-national bank.  Aside from the usual overtime that’s common with any multi-national company, they also need to work on most holidays, given their international customer base.

It’s actually worse for another cousin since she started working at one of the biggest media companies in the country.  Her work as a contract writer for a news outlet means most of her time is at work chasing the events of the day.  There was even a point where she was called back to the office for a story.  While I complain about feeling that I don’t have much personal time, I now wonder about her, because I don’t know how much of a personal life she has left at this point.

Where you spend your time (personal or otherwise) also counts for something.  Part of one of my relative’s job is to do field work.  It’s usually visiting stores in Metro Manila, to see if the product she markets is placed correctly and what-not.  However, every once in a while her work takes her out of town and to the provinces.   I’m not particularly fond of travel.  Going to Makati already feels like going to another country.  Going even further is a real issue.  I’m actually okay as far as where I need to show up is concerned.

Changing careers do not guarantee that personal time will be better; in fact it could get worse.  Starbucks baristas have to work in rotating shifts.  Not that I’d find myself working in Starbucks – and speaking from my experience there’s nothing wrong with that – but if I got into a company that required shifting schedules, then this is how it could look like.  Finally joining the academe also sounds like a relaxing shift in lifestyle, but such has its own challenges.  If teachers or professors are doing their job properly, then they have just as much homework as their students, and probably even more.  After all, they still have to check homework and grade tests; there are not enough hours in the day to do that while in school because they spend the whole day teaching.


Feeling Tired Because Work Still Goes On

This is the attraction of retirement: You have more time for yourself.  But the risk here is having the feeling of being useless in life if one is not doing anything meaningful.

I believe this is the connection I feel towards retirement: In this day and age, the work life has this nasty tendency to creep into and eat up every available opportunity with one’s personal time.  Flexible time is a great and common feature of the modern workplace where you can work whenever and what-not.  However from experience this doesn’t help because it has the tendency to remove any constraints with your work time, often such easily intruding into one’s personal time.  And the fact that you still have to work when you get home because of night calls or just to catch-up on tasks, or whatever other reason there might be to continue working, doesn’t relieve the stress the comes from one’s job.

It feels utterly exhausting when you feel that you still have to continue working long after the day ends.  This is the source of stress I feel that makes me so tired.  Basically, I feel burned out already.


The Solution

It’s important to have the right perspective of how the world works in this modern age.  Wherever you decide to go, you will ultimately end up with some compromise to your personal time.  Therefore, it’s absolutely crucial to your sanity to at least try and set up some personal time boundaries, where feasible, so that when work stops, it literally stops in all facets of life (i.e. you’re not even thinking about it).  It’s in doing so that you get the freedom to enjoy whatever personal time you’re able to reclaim, using such extra time however you want to do so.

As far as the personal time you have at your disposal, the key aspect here is to use it wisely.  You really need to vet and be conscious of how you use whatever personal time you can still muster to get in a day.  Make each and every moment count to something worth your time.

Speaking for myself, I need to be willing to miss out on things that seemingly are important to me but in reality are not that valuable.  I noted some things I do that aren’t that valuable in the long run, so I shouldn’t waste too much time on such.  However for the things that I do find value, even that I need to distil to see what really matters.

As far as I’m concerned, time spent with God will always be a wise investment of what limited time I have because this is when I get the instruction I need, a sense of peace in the midst of the trials of life, and the strength to carry on with what I need to do in my life.

Categories: Ideas and Philosophy