To Everyone Who Feels Behind: Your Work Matters

Your work matters

Sometimes you sit down somewhere — maybe in a coffee shop, at the office, or in front of your TV — and out of nowhere, a thought pops up in your mind:

“Why am I not farther in life than now?”

Maybe you thought you’d have kids by now. A business that would make a lot of money. Or that you were a well-respected person that makes a difference in the world. Maybe you thought you’d own a house by now. And that you had everything figured out.

But none of that shit has happened.

In those moments, it’s easy to panic — especially if you look around you. It’s easy to look at others and compare your own path to theirs. But why are we so obsessed with timing?

  • “This guy was a millionaire by 30.”
  • “She had her first bestseller by 26.”
  • “He became CEO at 40.”

Who gives a fuck? They are not you. But still, it stings, right? “Why not me?” you might think.

Everyone has their own path.

I know, that sounds corny. But you know what’s also corny? Being an unhappy person. Because that’s what happens when you try to control your future. Every time you feel that your life is not the way it SHOULD be, you’re trying to play God.

Give yourself a break and understand one thing: Your work matters.

Most of our unhappiness comes from believing that no one gives a fuck. It’s easy to feel irrelevant in a crowded world. You wake up, go to work, get back, and watch TV until you fall asleep. You’re just going through the motions.

You forget what your actual job is: To make yourself useful. What’s the alternative? Give up? Drink a glass of scotch and say that the world is messed up? Come on — life’s not an Ernest Hemingway novel.

You’ve got to believe that your work matters. Why? Because it does. It’s about your mindset. William James, a leader in the philosophical movement of Pragmatism, said it best:

“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”

We collectively believe that you must do big things to matter. You don’t have to solve starvation to contribute to the world. Similarly, you don’t need to become an important person to make a difference.

Maybe you want to do big things. That’s great. But you’re not some kind of puppet master who can control life.

Sometimes it takes a while to get where we want to be. But that doesn’t mean the journey is useless. And because we’re all so obsessed with outcomes, we think that life is measured in milestones.

But life is not only about achieving outcomes. That’s why we try to hack our way into living productive lives that matter. Some people believe that productivity is about cramming more into each day. It’s not. Productivity is about trying to find a way to enjoy your work and life. Often, that’s not the case. We hate our work and we hate our days.

But we try to justify that by dangling a lofty goal in front of our face. Everything will be all right in the end, as long as we achieve that goal, right? That degree, job, promotion, income, revenue, bestseller, or a big hit. But what if that doesn’t happen? Yeah, we feel behind.

You don’t need bigger goals or more motivation.

You need to realize that whatever you’re doing NOW matters. You need to act that way. And you need to stop listening to people who are at a different stage in life.

So what if this person drives a Porsche? So what if that person bought a new house? Don’t make yourself miserable by going faster in life. And to work more, more, more.

Stop beating yourself up because you’re not where you want to be. Look, your work matters. YOU matter. Because what happens if you don’t show up tomorrow? You will be missed.

And don’t give me that emo shit that no one cares about you. That’s the most egotistical perspective you can have.

People who think no one cares about them care too much about themselves. Open your eyes and look at the world around you. People care. And you should care too.

It’s not about trusting the universe or God. It’s about trusting yourself. Because life doesn’t have to make sense. It just has to matter. And if you act like your life matters, it does.

 

 

Thanks For Reading!

 

I’m Darius Foroux—an entrepreneur, author, and podcaster.

I publish weekly articles on overcoming procrastination, improving productivity, and achieving more. Never want to miss an article?

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31 comments

  1. I wonders how you clear about your goal and life. My life got mash up. I blamed myself for this only. But I every morning I start with a new motivation. Now the problem is I feel lack of knowledge most of the time. Even sometimes i feel that how can I know about what I want to do. I was always try to follow others. Now I am alone and now there is no one to follow. And now I am thinking what’s going on with me. I am 25+. I am always worried about future. I hate to be older. Each day I want to stop clock and want to be relax for a while but i am not feel like bound with something. No freedom. And i cant able to handle it. I think i should start from beginning but i dnt know how.
    You are great i will think and definitely find the solution.

  2. Wonderful message! We are all on a journey and finding happiness in each moment of evolution and progress in learning and living in the moment is the common challenge. If we would all relax into our authentic selves with more trust in our own knowing of who we truly are, we would all be more at ease amd happier, I believe. Having a support system like your messages, Darius and others who are on a journey to being the best selves we can be is important. Creating a team of friends and healers to support one’s growth is paramount. Thank you for being a positive and hopeful message to the world!

  3. I don’t know why or how, but your emails, contents are always exactly what I needed to hear. The timing is impeccable! Your work, your outreach matter so much to me and I am sure to many more. Thank you and keep up the great work =)

  4. Absolutely right. Everyone matters. No matter what we do or what we have or have not we influence others and probably those who are more organic, and humble have more influence on others in a positive way. Everything you say is true. Happiness and contentment come from gratitude and appreciation for your life and for the day before you. Nothing else matters. Accomplishments are nice and they stroke the ego. Material wealth creates some comfort but can make a person very self centered and isolated and sometimes even boring. If a person uses materials for distraction then that is what they are…distracted. Giving to others in life (and not just your family/that can be very codependent and self centered) is the main reason we feel joy. So do it more! Love is the reason for life and you only experience really deep connection and love when you accept yourself and are able to share. Entertaining yourself all the time reduces connection with others. Focusing on your self and your own happiness all the time makes a person egocentric which is the opposite of loving.

  5. Yes, what you do matters. We can choose, for example, to use obscenities (swear words) because everybody does it. Or we can choose to edit what we write, and set an example to others, and imagine that some people, rather than being laid-back foul-mouthed types, might be a bit more discriminating or sensitive about language, by showing that it is possible to inspire people with posts that do not swear at the reader – Medium is plastered with examples of inspiring posts without such four-letter words. And the more we refrain from using them, the more it might have an impact on others here and there. It just takes a bit of effort with how you express yourself. Darius provides many great posts and much useful information – don’t neglect him – but some things could do with some kind of pre-publication re-reading, vetting, considering a bit of editing, rather than just getting it off your chest and pressing “send”. Expression, words – they’re worth a bit of trouble. After all, they do indeed inspire people. Or upset and depress them of course.

  6. Wow. That’s a no bs dose of reality. I NEEDED this today. Being a mom doesn’t come with a Porshe or much recognition. And it’s easy to forget what an important job it is. Right now at this stage in my life being a mom is my most important work. Saving the world can wait till my boys are grown. Right now I am saving my own little corner of the world by raising by two sons well. Thank you again for the reminder!

  7. Loved it! It was just the right message I needed to hear today and be reminded of. You are so right about it all. What I do may not be important and may not be grand but it does matter and is worth it. Many times I feel like a robot just doing the motions of everyday routine work home moves and ask what is the point? But there is a point after all. We all matter and effect one another.
    Thank you, you made my day:)

  8. Loved reading this. It’s challenging to live it, though. I grew up hearing my dad often tell me, “shut up – nobody cares” well into my adulthood, and was conditioned to believe it. As I’ve gotten older I’ve tried to get over it on an intellectual level, but I don’t know if I’ll ever get over it on a visceral, subconscious level. Your post gives me hope. Thank you!

  9. I absolutely love your posts & get excited when they are in my inbox ready to read. It’s not about the swear words or giving a shit if you insult someone, it’s raw, expressive & wonderful that you feel comfortable with us to portray your own emotions. What you do matters to me so I take this opportunity to say thank you & please don’t ever stop 🙂

  10. This was such a beautiful and timely post!! I’m sitting here at work like ‘OMG’ this could not have come at a better time. I’m turning 27 in a few days and I’ve been on that omg I should be further I need to do some more kick ass things before 30. This was much needed!! Thank you!! ☺️

  11. Well said, Darius! An excerpt from your article made it’s way into my own personal daily journal. And I see from the other comments that you’ve delivered something a lot of us needed to hear today! I am enjoying your posts and your podcasts – LOVE your honest integrity!

  12. Wow, Darius. This is another post I will be printing out and underlining (and memorizing). It’s refreshing, powerful, affirming. I loved your quotes about productivity and the reminders to stop comparing ourselves but focus on showing up, every day, making small steps towards making a difference, not just accomplishing “tasks.” Thank you!

  13. Thank you so much for this post, Darius. I am also guilty of comparing my life to others. I turned 50 last year and I also asked those questions about my life — sometimes it feels that you are trapped in your own boring life. Why not this, why not that. And you know what? I had to sit down with myself with a urgent chat. I realised life is not about what other people think of me. Life is about my personal goals in life, what I want to achieve in life. For me, it’s important to be able to travel at least once a year to a country far, far away. Because travel is my best life coach. And at this stage of my life, is liberating not to worry about what other people think of me or my lifestyle. Because my life matters. To me.

  14. It’s funny how the universe works to get things across to you when you need them and in the way it would make sense to you. Couple of weeks back I was sort of depressed because I looked back on how I’d pictured my life to be by this time and it’s not yet that way, I have a couple of things I still want to do before settling down but I can’t afford to do them financially all these kept on going round in my head and eventually found its way to my work life invariably my boss noticed it and I began to feel bad for letting my personal life disrupt my work. I have been working to get out of the zone and this post has done a great deal more than you can possibly know. Darius I live in a different culture and continent from you but your words do heal me. Thank you for this piece.👌

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