▷ What if you stopped proving your worth through your dedication to work?

Work is very often seen as self-realization for many individuals. And for good reason, we live in a society that values ​​the work and overinvestment of employees. On the contrary, working less and emphasizing free time and personal fulfillment is still seen as a form of negative doing nothing…

However, the growing number of burnouts and the search for personal and professional meaning of a certain number of active people invites us to reconsider our relationship to work. As an entrepreneur, for 5 years I have chosen to put my work at the service of my way of life, accepting to earn less but live better.

This article is therefore the restoration of a personal consciousness and the denunciation of the excesses of alienation through work and the danger of confusion between our individual worth and our professional achievements.

Work seen as value: the trap of a reductive and guilty vision

In our Western societies, we tend to place the value of “work” at the heart of personal and professional achievement. But what exactly is the value of work? Does it only refer to a well-defined reality?

In France, the culture of presenteeism is deeply rooted in the mentality of the citizens: staying longer at work is valued because it is perceived as an act of dedication and seriousness.

For their part, teleworkers are still perceived as humble idlers who should be watched.

Certainly the caricature is a little pushed, but behind the cliché there is a background of truth.

Work, seen as a value, is now a form of alienation, accelerated by strong societal pressures to work more, to exist more.

However, we can view work as value without spending 10 hours behind a computer.

By taking a new perspective, we can find ourselves differently in the value of work:

  • By working to feel useful;
  • By working to occupy his time;
  • By committing ourselves to a project close to our hearts;
  • By working to climb the ladder of an ambitious career.

In short, social integration or conforming to the social norm of achievement through work is not the only way to make work a strong value.

Personally, I’m very committed to my work, but I don’t associate work with being behind a screen. On the contrary, with an efficiency approach, I prefer to work faster, for less time, and strive for more impactful results.

Work is now seen as a value because it is a way of existing in our societies in search of ever more conformity.

But everyone is free to associate their own values ​​with the work.

Therefore, the value of work is diverse and personal.

And nothing is incompatible with a certain daily idleness.

Free time: How do you get back the sovereignty of your everyday life?

Since becoming an entrepreneur, I have never stopped establishing my freedom as an absolute value.

I’m even more convinced of that today when I step back and observe my surroundings. Indeed, I realize how free I am when I (instantly) compare my life to that of some people I meet:

  • Free to work or not;
  • Free to drop everything and go to conquer the world;
  • Free to have no dependents (children, parents or employees);
  • Free not to be rooted in a territory;
  • Free sports between 12pm and 2am;
  • Free doctor’s appointments during the day;
  • Free to go on vacation, pay for a massage, or buy a new phone;
  • Free to put me first;
  • Free to emancipate myself from social pressures and conformism;
  • Free to disobey an authority I consider illegitimate.

Of course, freedom alone does not do everything and cannot give life its full meaning.

Certainly, unbound freedom can lead to great loneliness.

Admittedly, the freedom I enjoy has reached an extreme level.

But this post is not intended to present my personal achievements.

It is meant to show you that at your level you can take back control of your freedom and restore meaning or joy to your daily life:

  • By making time for yourself so that you don’t forget yourself, even if you have to get up earlier or go to bed later (I used to go jogging at 6am or 9pm when I was at work, after or before a busy day Work);
  • By presuming to be selfish to put you first and by refusing family, work, or friendship requests (I have already declined invitations to birthdays and even a wedding);
  • By rethinking the time-money equation and realizing that you’ll save more in the long run by taking it easy now.

And you, how can you regain a piece of freedom in everyday life?

Bottom line: the signs that show you were made to be an entrepreneur

Before starting my own business, I had spotted some warning signs of this need for independence.

In 2014, while doing community service at a municipality, I struggled to accept the heavy operations and endless processes of validating emails and decisions. I was banned from telecommuting, much to my regret, and became a regular victim of boreout, the fatal boredom syndrome at work.

In 2015 I accepted a small consulting assignment on sustainable mobility in the south of France. This mission combined office and field work, but exclusively teleworking. I felt free and responsible for being trusted without confining myself to an open space.

In 2016 I started my first real job in an associative structure. The very hierarchical way of working, the culture of presenteeism and the infantilization of the employees caused me to resign a year and a half after starting.

If you feel restricted in your structure,

If you cannot take initiative,

If you can’t stand presenteeism,

If you can’t stand authority

But if you know:

  • Manage your organization independently;
  • Create an optimal working environment;
  • Embrace the vagaries of your cash flow;

It is a sign that a different future is made for you. Certainly less secure, but perhaps more stimulating.

You’ve come to the end of what employment can offer you: what if you tried entrepreneurship?

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