I hate work.

The piercing sound of my alarm shatters the stillness of my room at the ungodly hour of 5 AM, and I reluctantly drag myself out of bed. It’s the same daily grind, a routine I’ve been stuck in for years, first as a sound engineer, then as a tech exec, and now as an indie tech writer. I’m caught in this relentless cycle of early risings and late nights, all in the name of work.

Sitting at my desk, surrounded by those peppy motivational quotes and never-ending to-do lists, I feel exhausted. It’s more than just tiredness; it’s a profound disconnect from what matters to me — spending quality time with my loved ones and looking after my mental and physical health. The relentless drive to be productive, to chase some nebulous idea of success, leaves me wondering where the f**k the joy in life has gone.

This isn’t just burnout. It’s deeper than that. This statement may seem blasphemous in a society obsessed with hustle culture and endless motivation, but let me be honest — I loathe the act of working. I hate it. It doesn’t fulfil my purpose or ignite any passion within me.

If given the choice, I would gladly banish it forever. Given the choice, I’d spend hours leisurely lounging by the pool, engrossed in Agatha Christie novels, sipping on ice-cold Diet Coke until noon.

Our obsession with hustle culture, this idea that our self-worth is tied to how much we achieve, is suffocating. We’re pushed to flaunt our successes online, adding more pressure to this endless race. We end up sacrificing the things that matter — our relationships, hobbies, and well-being.

We’ve been fed this narrative that success comes from constant hard work. So, we push ourselves through school and jobs, only to realize that the work world isn’t what we were promised. Instead of satisfaction, we’re left empty and stressed, chasing meaningless goals.

I’ve seen friends get swallowed up by this culture. Working multiple jobs, juggling side gigs, with barely a moment to breathe. They’re worn out, teetering on the edge of burnout. And for what? To meet society’s expectations of success? What’s the point if it costs us everything?

The idea of a work-life balance is a myth. It suggests that work should be as central to our lives as our passions, which is wrong. We’re made to feel guilty for taking breaks as if rest is a sign of laziness.

The truth is this. Work is not my passion. And that’s okay. Not everyone will have a job they are truly passionate about. Even if they are, it’s not going to last necessarily. And that’s not to say that I hate my job — I am grateful that I get to write and tell stories.

But it is not my purpose in life. It is simply a means to an end. I reject the idea that we must have a “purpose” in life. We are conditioned to believe we need a grand purpose or passion to drive us. What if our purpose is to live a happy and fulfilling life? What if our purpose is to spread kindness and love to those around us? We shouldn’t constantly be pressured to search for a deeper meaning or passion. Sometimes, just living in the moment and finding joy in the little things is enough.

It’s time to stop equating productivity with non-stop busyness and start valuing our mental and physical well-being. We should engage in our passions and hobbies simply because they make us happy, not because they’re profitable. For me, it’s reading. Getting lost in a good book is my escape. But in a productivity-obsessed world, even reading for pleasure is often seen as a waste of time.

I get that not everyone can afford not to work — God knows I can’t. My poolside mystery novel leisure-time is a fantasy right now. Too many of us have to work stupid hours to support ourselves and our families. But that’s exactly why we need to push back against the delusions of hustle culture and strive for a world where our lives aren’t defined by our jobs, where we can say — without shame — that we’d rather be back in bed.

At least, that’s honesty.

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