Here are some more quotable quotes from my new book Happy Hour is 9 to 5.
The uncontested, number-one reason why people are unhappy at work is bad management. Nothing has more power to turn a good work situation bad than a bad boss.
Some managers steadfastly refuse to acknowledge that they’re bad leaders, or even revel in the fact that they make people unhappy at work. These managers are usually beyond helping and may never learn and improve. Get away from them as fast as you can.
Let’s once and for all drop the cult of overwork and realize that it’s not the hours that count—it’s the results. More hours DO NOT equate to better results.
If you feel constantly behind and neglected, are being treated unfairly, ignored or bullied, or are going through large changes and fearing for the future, you can become stressed from working 40 hours a week. Or even 20. If this is the case, working less will not help at all. What’s more, you can’t fight stress—fighting stress just creates more stress.
Just 50 years ago people had many sources of identity. Religion, class, nationality, political affiliation, family roots, and geographical and cultural origins all went into defining who we are. Today most of these, if not all, have been subsumed by work. When you meet someone at a party, what’s the first question you typically ask them? Exactly: “So, what do you do????
What is the point of spending most of your life at a job that doesn’t make you happy? What would you feel like, lying on your deathbed, having achieved all the traditional signs of success—a huge house, flatscreen TVs in every room, lots of cars, a huge salary, a lofty title and a corner office—if your career never made you happy?
We don’t have to sacrifice happiness for the sake of success—a depressingly common assumption these days. In fact, the opposite is true: The happier you are, the more successful you will be.
So, according to our cultural roots, work is a curse, a punishment for original sin, and only for slaves. In short, life is hell—or “nasty, brutish and short,??? as Hobbes put it—work is hell, and we must endure it because we’re all sinners. It’s time to put that particular view of work behind us!
You can read the whole book free on line or buy it on paper ($29) or as a pdf ($19).
7 thoughts on “Some more quotes from my book”
Wonderful excerpts Alexander – thanks for sharing.
My favorite quote regarding the tradeoff between money and satisfaction may have come from the novelist William Faulkner
He once served as postmaster at the University of Mississippi. When he decided to quit the job, he wrote a letter to the Postmaster General in Washington which is still shown there gleefully to preferred visitors.
“When you meet someone at a party, what
awesome, awesome post Alex! Work should be play and instead of people rushing out the door at the end of the day because they can’t wait to get home, companies should have trouble getting everybody to go home because work is so enjoyable.
Alex…loved the quotes but I am on a campaign to stop the debating around the deathbed scenario. How many times do you hear: “you won’t be on your deathbed saying ‘I should have spent another day at the office’ ” ? It’s usually said to someone that spends a lot of time at work….work that person may or may not enjoy. I was recently asked that and I said, “No, I won’t say that but I won’t say ‘I should have smelled more roses’ either.” For crimenys sake, we are talking about being on the deathbed! The only thing I am going to be thinking is “well, I guess I am going to get the answer to the question everyone has been asking all my life pretty soon. Hope I didn’t screw up!”
Ron: That’s a great story! I’ll have to research that one some more!
Deirdre: Great post – and an interesting cultural difference. It seems that work hasn’t yet achieved the same power to define people in Italy as it has in many other Western Nations.
Theo: Yes! Or even better: People should enjoy work so much, that it enhances their enjoyment of life also!
Nutster: Now that you say it, that clich
You have a great blog here. I took a glimpse of your book too. Really good. It offered some useful and practicle advice. The illustrations were cool too!
Very nice of you to publish the whole book online as well.
Thanks Sham, I’m glad you like the book :o)