Perhaps I only believe this idea to validate when I do not want to do something I should do, but I'd like to believe that it also holds some truth.
We live in a country where "The American Dream" is still held to a significantly high esteem. Sayings such as, "work hard, play hard" are taken quite literally in society. We are all accustomed to the idea of a strong cocktail at the end of a long day at work.
To demonstrate my ever-growing pessimistic side, I must point out that alcohol is literally a poison. So, at the end of a long day at work, we try to reward ourselves for enduring such stress by poisoning ourselves. Not to condemn anyone who drinks (after all, I do too,) but this idea just does not have much logic.
I once had a very dear friend wake up this theory in me, and ever since then I can't help but wonder if our obligations to force ourselves to participate in jobs we hate is not actually necessary at all. For 21 years of my life, I had convinced myself that misery in achieving happiness was a requirement.
My friend opened my eyes and told me that life did not have to be that way at all. I could actually have a job that I genuinely enjoyed while making money. At first, I denied this, as I'm sure you are while reading this. At that point, I convinced myself I HAD to endure an abusive environment to be happy in the future, and that I HAD to wait out my happiness for a few more years.
I've heard that delayed gratification is the true sign of maturity, but how long is too long when it comes to our own happiness? Maybe this is the exhausted college student inside me speaking, but I would truly rather live a life making just enough money to get by while doing things that inspire me and give me peace rather than making an abundance of money while surrounding myself with stress.
I feel weak for saying that, but I think the society we live in has convinced me, and others, that in making our happiness and fulfillment a priority, we are weak. Miserable, hard work has become something to be treasured and valued. When put into words like that, it sounds rather silly, but perhaps my college-blues have permanently blinded me.