When Work Feels Overwhelming Remember That You’re Going to Die

When Work Feels Overwhelming Remember That You’re Going to Die

Written by Mark

Topics: Uncategorized

Hate work quotes!

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Hate work?

Do you hate your job?  Or hate the work you do?  There have been an incredible number of people arriving at my blog searching for I hate work quotes, so I thought I’d compile some a list of work quotes along with some quotes and thoughts of my own.

Work, working hard, and hard work are not bad things.  One must work hard in life to be able to live the life they want to live.  However, certain aspects of the nature work are inherently evil if they starve the soul and rob you of life.  You have to work hard to get somewhere.  It just isn’t necessarily the hard work you’re doing right now.

If you spend all day pushing a concrete wall and it doesn’t move, did you actually do any work?

You sweat, you exert yourself, you’re tired, you’re in pain, but the wall did not move an inch…

If you spend all day creating spreadsheets and reports that nobody will use or see did you actually do any work?

Your eyes burn with strain, your wrists writhe in pain, while the reports sit and collect dust.

I hate work quotes:

“Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do” —Oscar Wilde

“Any organization is like a septic tank. The really big chunks rise to the top.” —John Imhoff

“You’re a Good Little Slave” —Mark Lawrence

“One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.” — Bertrand Russell

“Without work, all life goes rotten. But when work is soulless, life stifles and dies.”  — Albert Camus

“We’re supposed to be perfect our first day on the job and then show constant improvement.”—Ed Vargo

“The reward for work well done is the opportunity to do more.” —Jonas Salk

“Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.” —Thomas A Edison

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” — Confucius

“Working gets in the way of living.”  — Omar Sharif

“Men for the sake of making a living forget to live.” — Margaret Fuller

“Working is for losers, doing magic is for kings, and making yourself a legend is life”—Roda

“There are one hundred men seeking security to one able man who is willing to risk his fortune.” —J. Paul Getty

Oh, you hate your job? Why didn’t you say so? There’s a support group for that. It’s called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar. —Drew Carey

Time is an illusion. Lunch time, doubly so. —Douglas Adams

“A cubicle is just a padded cell without a door.” —Anonymous

“When work feels overwhelming, remember that you’re going to die” —Greeting Card

“They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that . . . that doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests. That’s right”. … “You know what they want? They want obedient workers . . . Obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork. … And just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shitty jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it.”

—George Carlin (on the American Dream)

More epic hate work quotes!

I’m still at work and I hate it.  What the hell can I do?!

Many of these quotes make an assumption that work is something that everyone hates.  You must hate work.  It’s normal.  “You can’t love work”.  “People that do are abnormal”.  “They must be delusional”.   This is not true.  Many people actually do love their jobs.  They do work that they find fulfilling and have co-workers they consider great friends.  The fact that it’s considered normal to hate work is concerning.  In a traditional job, we spend a majority of our waking life at work. (YIKES!!! I also find scary!!!).  You need to “grind out” so you can move up.  To hate work is acceptable.  So people say,  “I hate work”.


When you say “I hate work”, what does that even mean?  That’s way too general.  So what the hell can you do?  Be more specific!  Identify the reasons why.  Then do something about it!

Why do you hate work?  Do you hate…

  1. the commute to work
  2. the hours
  3. the feeling you’re  working in a mediocre job, and can do much better
  4. the atmosphere and work culture
  5. the feeling you’re underpaid
  6. the feeling you’re underutilized
  7. that you’re not recognized when your work hard
  8. a manager or supervisor that you feel singles you out unfairly, or plays favorites
  9. the mundane routine
  10. the lack of creativity in your job
  11. the feeling that your work is useless
  12. your coworkers
  13. useless conference calls, useless meetings, and fake work
  14. sitting in a chair all day
  15. having to act fake to people above you
  16. having to conform
  17. feeling like you have to suppress your personality in order to fit the mold

Some, all, or none of these may apply to you.  They can range from minor annoyance to soul crushing pain.  Do you hate certain aspects of your job?  Or is something much deeper at the root cause?

Think about what you want in life and go for it.  All this frustration and anger towards a job is due to the fact that you are doing something that you weren’t meant to do.  Don’t live a life of regret.  Don’t let so much time go by before it’s “too late”.  Not sure what you’re meant to do or what you’re passionate about?  Get out there and try new things in different industries.  Curious about how it would be to work for a non-profit, volunteer at one.  Thinking of quitting and using your savings to start a restaurant?  Work part time to get an inside view on how things work.  If you have a passion for architecture, take a class.  Get a certification in your free time, and volunteer to give tours.  In Chicago there are many different types of architectural tours.  Something you’d like to take further?  Get a degree in architecture.

Find out what’s up in your town.  You may be surprised at what you find.  Through the internet and websites like meetup.com, you should be able to find a group of people that share your passion whether it’s architecture, language, or origami.

If you have certain obligations (these are usually financial) that require you to be in a traditional job that doing something you don’t want to do, don’t fret.  Identify the specific reasons why you don’t like your job.  Then look for a position that doesn’t exhibit as many of these negative qualities.  The pay may be lower, but your commute cut in half.  Is it worth that extra 7 thousand dollars a year to sit in a car for 20 hours a week?  Or the commute may be further, yet the office culture fits you much better.  Look at the quality of life a job will provide, and not just the dollar signs.

If you’re feeling angst towards work, it’s not necessarily a negative thing.  It means you want to change the current situation and have the drive to do something better.

These feelings are good.  People are born with this drive.  If you’re like, “ I have to get the fuck out of here”, that’s a good thing.  Some people have had bad relationships, bad circumstances, and unfortunate events that have occurred in their life.   Their drive is beaten out of them and they have settled.  That motivation is gone.  They become a former shell of themselves as they roll over and accept their fate.

You do not need to accept this fate. If your job sucks, if you hate work, you will be able to find something better.  Identify the specific qualities that are making your current position miserable, and don’t stop searching until you find something you like.  Don’t wait to see where life will take you.  Take life where you want to take it.

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15 Comments Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. You don’t have to hate your job. I love how you outline identifying the things you might not “like” about your job instead of generically yelling about the state of your job, you have control. You’re able to make changes.

    Have you seen this video? It’s sort of in the same vein…

    • Mark says:

      Making actual changes is the key. Action, not just talk. Generically leaking garbage, complaining, and yelling about the state of a job is useless.

      As for that video, I hadn’t seen it before. Very thought provoking, simple, and a sad stark message! Thanks for sharing Joel!

  2. Nick Laborde says:

    Any organization is like a septic tank. The really big chunks rise to the top. —John Imhoff

    I love that quote because it is so true …

  3. First: I love the photo at the top of this post. Legendary.

    Second: I’m quitting my job in November. I can’t say I have it bad right now. It’s a good gig. So why am I leaving? Having to be in a specific place for ~8 hours a day is the worst part for me. I get paid for my time and my presence, not so much for the value I create. I crave more flexibility, less interruptions and a new challenge.

    Third: Great quotes, many I hadn’t heard. Thanks for sharing.

    • Mark says:

      Niall, I’m glad you enjoy that photo! It was taken in Papua New Guinea and those are the Asaro mudmen.

      I completely understand where you are coming from when you say you have a good gig, but need to find something where you have more flexibility and create value. Even with a nice job, things may not feel right, it cab be boring, or you may just want to move on to something more interesting.

      When someone hates a job, they are more likely to try and change their situation. They hate it so much they have to get out. It’s worse is when things are “pretty good”. It may not be the best but it’s “good enough”. This breeds complacency. It leads to inaction. It causes one to settle and be ok with mediocrity. Complacency is evil.

      I’m so glad you are taking action and following your path and plan to live life your own way. I’m glad you enjoyed the quotes Niall. Best of luck!

  4. Farnoosh says:

    Remember that I am going to die? That’s going to make me feel better about my work or about my life? 😉
    Anyway Mark – happily I don’t hate my job so thankfully I don’t have to remember I am going to die ;)!
    I was feeling really light and happy until this reminder!!! I expect a happy post next time please :)!

    • Mark says:

      Farnoosh, the fact that we’re all going to die is a sobering reminder that life is finite. Too often we spend so much time focusing on “the future” that we forget about living life today. So many people seem to have forgot how to have fun and enjoy life. Life is fricken awesome! :) We should all embrace it and live as awesome a life as we can.

      I’m glad you don’t hate your job. So many hours are spent in a job, that this is incredibly important.

      I owe you a happy post Farnoosh! That I can promise! Events have transpired in the most amazing of ways and I cannot wait to make a post about it.

      • Farnoosh says:

        OK, we are friends again Mark :)!
        Don’t worry – I have been unhappy for a long time in another job and while it has brought me financial security, I have learned to move on and now I have ideal balance. Most of my hours are spent on self-improvement, reading, blogging, working on the blog, exercising, yoga, tango or traveling!!
        Having said all that, a happy post would be good too! :)

  5. Christie says:

    I love this post! I hear some people in “real life” talk about how they hate their job, but there’s never anything specific beyond that. Then on the web there’s an awful lot of vague fluff about doing what we love that feels great to read but doesn’t give us a call to action or any kind of concrete step to take if we think we’re not in the right job/career. This post makes us get off our butts if we want a change!

    • Mark says:

      Christie, I’m glad you liked this post! Writing that feels great has it’s place, but action is everything. Specifically identifying elements leading to job dissatisfaction is important to the process of making change. Thanks for dropping by Christie!

  6. Earl says:

    This is a good tool (asking the questions above) that everyone should use whether or not they love or hate their job or current situation in life. We should always try to evaluate our situation on a regular basis in order to catch some of the negative aspects that might creep in, and eventually lead to an unhappy life if they remain unchecked.

    Even though I don’t work a traditional job, I still complain about the work I have to do and in the end, I need to ask those very same questions to myself quite often! As a result, I’m always making adjustments so that I avoid waking up one day and yelling out “I hate my work!”.

    • Mark says:

      Complacency is one of the worst possible things imaginable. Evaluating our situations on a regular basis is key to action and growth.

      Not having a traditional job doesn’t guarantee happiness. At first glance it can be difficult to see that as it seems awesome an exciting. I’ve read so much about how great the non traditional jobs are. I think you make an important point any type of job can cause angst and negative aspects to creep in. It’s important to recognize those so the first thought of the day after the alarm goes off in the morning isn’t “I hate work!”

  7. I don’t hate work, I just hate having to get up out of bed. Takes me two cups of coffee before I even realize what day it is. The drew Carey quote is going on my Facebook status. That is funny.

    • Mark says:

      Natalie, I remember drinking coffee like it was water everyday to get me through it. That was office coffee that I actually didn’t think was too bad. However, I love to drink an actual good cup of coffee. Ipsento, you rock! Ha, glad you liked the Drew Carey quote! Definitely a gem.

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