Work is the release of potential; it is the production or creation of a reality that could be created and wouldn’t have been created except effort is exerted. This is seen from simple tasks like “producing” a clean dish that would have remained dirty if effort wasn’t exerted or to more strenuous exercises like moving a crane that would have remained unmoved without effort being applied.
This doesn’t mean, however, that just any exertion of energy is work. Work must be directed towards achieving certain goals.
The dictionary defines work as any activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result.
Benefits of Working
Work benefits the society, and the individual worker both psychologically, mentally, health-wise, and otherwise. Here are some of the benefits of work.
1. Work releases your potential
Since work is the release of potential, all your potential will be trapped within you without work. Not releasing your potential is as grave as a car that doesn’t move— it doesn’t fulfill its purpose and can almost be considered useless.
Work is the only platform through which you can become what you were created to become. It is the only platform through which you can fulfill your purpose of existing.
2. Work benefits posterity and society
Everything we see, admire and benefit from exists as a result of someone’s work. First, God’s work in making the universe exist, then the work of generations of humans that have built all the systems, structures, ideologies, artworks and inventions that exist.
If you don’t work, society won’t benefit from what you would have contributed and the next generation won’t meet anything better than what we currently have. Work is the only platform to contribute your quota.
3. Work refines your skills
Structured practice makes perfect. The more you exercise your skills through work, the better you get at them. As against reading and learning that seeks to ‘feed’ you with the skills, work releases the skills, and it is in the release or active use of the skills that sophistication and expertise is developed.
4. Work makes resources available
In every labor, there is profit. From paychecks to more sales, and the availability of more products, work is necessary for resources to abound. Since work is production (of anything at all), the more you produce, the more resources you have.
5. Work builds self-esteem
It has been found that the more people work, the better view that have of themselves. Although it is popularly believed that a person’s work does not define his worth, we still largely attach our sense of significance to what we can contribute.
Really, for a person to be significant, it means their presence is making an impact, but impact cannot be made without work. So the more you work (produce, contribute), the better value you give to yourself.
6. Work gives a sense of purpose and fulfillment
People who don’t work, produce or contribute anything to society usually have a feeling of purposelessness and emptiness. If you don’t work, there’s usually nothing to wake up to in the morning, and this lack of drive can further lead to other psychological issues like depression and loneliness.
This effect of not working is clearly seen in retired employees who don’t engage in anything else after retirement.
7. Work saves from atrophy
Atrophy is the gradual decline or reduction in the functioning of an organ due to lack of use. If you continually don’t work, over time, your physical and mental energies will fade away.
Work is necessary to keep the body active. Like a building will collapse without inhabitants, a body that doesn’t work will wear out.
8. Work gives better rest and sleep
A study shows that exercise or the use of the body, improved the quality of sleep experienced even among people that had sleep problems. It is obvious enough that the more tired you get, the deeper your sleep will be compared to someone who has been idle and doing nothing all day.
9. Work brings fulfilled dreams
If you don’t work, all the dreams you have, like unreleased potential, will remain within you. Work is production, including producing the ideas you have conceived. The harder to work, the faster and easier your dreams get fulfilled.
10. Work helps you discover your talents and abilities
Because work is usually complex, what you end up doing to get a task done is not limited to just getting the task done. For example, to draw a piece of artwork, you don’t just draw the piece. In the process you will learn hand coordination, space management, brush type and effect, body posture etc.
Now on a broader sense, there are many things you could do that you never knew; work will help you discover them when the work you are doing requires such abilities.
11. Work earns you the respect of others
It’s as simple as ‘the world hates laziness’. The more you work, the more things you produce, the more achievements and accomplishments you get, the more recognitions you receive, the more respect you get.
Awards simply mean ‘we recognize and respect your work’, but even if you aren’t given physical awards, humans in general, respect (hard) work.
Some of the psychological benefits of work include higher self-esteem, a sense of purpose and fulfillment, and more respect from others.
Some of the health benefits of work include better rest and sleep and avoidance of atrophy (the decline of biological functioning due to lack of use).
Work benefits the person and society, in that it fosters the availability of resources, the release of potential, the discovery and improvement of talents and skills, and making the world better for posterity.
Olusegun Iyejare is a career coach and certified counselor. He helps individuals discover and maximize their potential to live satisfying lives regardless of obvious limitations holding them back.