Pure Self-Interest Sucks

After a long day at work, I find myself asking, “How the hell do I get out of here ASAP?” I like my colleagues and my bosses. I’m treated well. Both management and coworkers alike are considerate, friendly, and an all around pleasure to be around. In fact, had it not been for the social atmosphere, I would have walked out on the job a long time ago. It’s something I passionately hate doing. I don’t know why I dislike it so much. It panders to a few qualities of my personality: highly detail oriented, goal oriented, process development, strategy, constant problem solving. The list goes on. But I listen to podcasts, audio books, and music constantly as to quell any existential angst. I feel like I’m living in a post-modern apocalypse where problems are plentiful, and meaning is nowhere in sight. There’s no grand narrative. No real stakes, struggles, or triumphs. Just two pay-day’s a month as an incentive to keep showing up. I know that even if I were to quit and the business were to go up in flames tomorrow, it would hold no spot in my emotional life other than piquing my interest of, “So, how’d it happen?” Once again, nothing against the business itself, I just don’t actually even remotely care about it. It has no meaning to me. It’s simply a place that produces the piece of GDP that accounts for my ability to eat, provide, and lift.

The thought of starting a business does, however, pique my interest in a way that is anything but fleeting. I’ve done my fair share of tutoring since I’ve been in college, as well as personal training to a smaller extent. The satisfaction I felt in these came from multiple different avenues, but they all coalesced into one grand reason: I cared about what happened. I wasn’t purely self-interested in people doing well. I genuinely love watching people succeed, especially when they felt like the underdog beforehand. It’s why I love The Goonies, The Sandlot, and Good Will Hunting. Seeing people triumph over something meaningful is exhilarating. At my current job, I pretty much only care about getting a paycheck. Pure self-interest endeavors are pretty boring, along with not being how humans are meant to function.

My overarching goal is to either start my own business that I care about or become a high-school teacher. If the whole entrepreneur thing doesn’t work out, I’ll at least get summer vacations. It’s often said, and I believe it, that you need a strong sense of “why” you’re doing something if you have any intent on it lasting. I’m hoping the reciprocal nature of my goal to help people in order to feel satisfied with my career choice is a strong “why”. My other options haven’t really panned out. I’ve tried to convince myself that my “why” was to provide for a family… but there’s plenty of people who absolutely detest their jobs and provide for their families. I’m hoping that my reasoning is enough to get me over the first couple bumps for now, and then maybe a more grandiose “why” will suddenly strike me. Until then, I’ll keep trucking along learning Java and writing blogs. And maybe even get better at both of those!

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