Apr 4, 2011

New Epidemic: MDD – Motivation Deficit Disorder

We’ve seen AH1N1, avian flu and SARS, but I don’t need to verify the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to know there’s another much more subtle epidemic running amok throughout the globe. It’s called apathy and not giving a shit.

The reality is that there is only a set amount of times that people can listen to the broken record about how we have to be thankful for the job we have, and so on and so forth. It’s corporate rhetoric that looks to promote complacency through humility, fear and various other mechanisms. It’s also a tactic and technique that is clearly losing its effect since even in an economic crisis, there’s a lovely percentage regarding turnover. Whereas you’d suppose everyone would shut up and put with their job, people are slowly but surely getting sick of just tolerating a work environment.

My name is Joker and I have MDD. I feel better about recognizing it. It’s a step in the right direction, one that ideally leads out the door into another company or into a future where I am my own boss for a change. It’s a scary road, but I’m confident that I can turn a negative into a positive, and so should you.

Ask yourself, truly, why do you work where you work? Do you feel you have to? Is it because there are no more opportunities for you? Do you feel stuck between a rock and a lame place? If your main motivation to stay at your work includes reasons such as money to pay the bills and job stability, let me be another in the long line of people who should tell you that you are kidding yourself.

In advertising terms, it’s funny to see how creative people swear they’re so creative in regards to fashion, campaigns and lifestyles, but are as lame and one dimensional regarding their skillset as a data entry person. We proclaim ourselves thinkers outside the box and pretty much every time you see creatives changing to shiny boxes, prettier boxes, less boxy boxes but still staying within the box of their chosen profession.

We live in times where true universal thinking is a thing of the past. People specialize, and specialize within the specialty. We become genre, recreational and professionally specific and we forget that beyond those reflective windows there’s a damn world you could live in if you didn’t have this particular 9 to 5. There’s also something more to you than a clever t-shirt, trendy glasses and a faux hawk. You don’t have to be a special snowflake, you can be anything you want to be and the fact that you’re not happy should be an indicator that you’re not at the right place. But alas, everything from self esteem to fear to what’s on your résumé seems to be a crutch many of us depend on and I just need to see the people around me to truly recognize that with some discipline, I can be whatever the hell I want… and so can all of us.

So why do we settle? Because though MDD is a madeup epidemic, the reality is that pretty much 95% of everyone you know could be diagnosed with it, including yourself. So from your resident Joker doctor, don’t take two in the morning… quit taking your complacency meds. Quit having a beer to calm down at the end of the day, drop your latté to get past the morning, and stop treating yourself to DVDs, books and shoes to reward yourself for a job well tolerated.

Don’t fight the power, don’t fight the man and most importantly, stop fighting that voice inside you that wants out. Speak your mind and soul, take a paper, write what you want to do and stop kidding yourself or postponing. Don’t bank on reincarnation, don’t think you’ll get a mulligan, make your own fate, commit mistakes and live.

It’s not that hard, you just have to stop telling yourself it can’t be done.



Me said...

Interesting post. I'll tell you my story so maybe it sheds some light on your path, or maybe it helps you out on your quest...

I work at what I do - which of all people in the world you know best that I hate with all my passion - because it's just a means to what I really want to do in life: enjoy it.

Work has become just the tool that I need to get shit that I really want to do, done.

Write in this blog late at night. Keep practicing by baby hunt. Go to the movies. Travel the world. Drink with good friends like you, like Restrictions. Have their kids for a day at the pool. Drive for hours with the Travisman. Do nothing and stare out my window... cool shit.

I have lost all interest in work for a couple of years now. I used to care, I used to want to be better. Now, I want to get shit done so I can start having fun.

How I wish that I could fully explain how this feels and what it means. It's like seeing the light at the end of the career tunnel. But it's up to you to decide what you want to do with yours... For me, it was stopping the worrying about what I was meant to be or what people expected... and starting to focus on what I really wanted to do.

Trust me, it's not about settling. You and I have talked until the wee hours of the morning about me retiring from this godforsaken bullshit career - but you know what? I sort of already did. I checked out years ago, this is just mechanic. Work is just that... work. And now, I'm happy. Even when I'm miserable, crying from too much work... I'm happy.

I'm not saying you're supposed to be miserable. If you hate it - and I mean REALLY hate it, then you should probably leave and do another thing. Now, the most important thing is: you need to figure out WHY you hate it - because figuring it out is a big deal.

We're supposed to tolerate work as much as we can, huns. But we do so because we have loads to be grateful at the end of the day.

I'm so happy that I go through the day, droning along until 6pm and get the shit done... because then, I get to buy bottles of wine, some decent cheese, crank up the volume on the speakers and get to enjoy what work gives me: time and fun with friends like you.

Me loves you long time, my Jokerman. Drop by. Beers on me.

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