Work and Psychological Well-being

“Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement.”
Alfred Adler

We live in the age of medication. There’s a pill for every ailment you can imagine. This is awesome, of course, if you get sick, you’re most likely going to survive. But at the same time, this has made us dependent on them, and, while the solution to many of our mental problems could be solved within ourselves and by ourselves. Many will still go for the pills, the easy fix, because they think that there is something wrong with them. 

It might be, you could have a chemical imbalance that mandates you to take a pill to fix it, that’s all right and necessary. But most of the time, the pills function just like an easy fix that you’ll have to keep using (Big Pharma agrees) because it is just that, an easy fix. But, cheap is always expensive in the long run. 

I want to advocate here for another solution for our mental ailments. It’s easy, its’s: one hour of daily work

Personal work

I’m not talking about cleaning your house or fixing something. I’m talking about personal work, such as writing, developing a business idea you’ve had in your mind for a while, recording a podcast about your love for pasta, it can be whatever you imagine, but it has to be yours. You need to be inclined to do it. Here, have some ideas: 

  • Do you like history? Why not explain your point of view on
  • Music? There are tons of courses on the internet, shoot a video of yourself singing every day a song while learning at the same time, then upload your journey to a blog or medium. Go to, it’s a great place to learn. 
  • Learn a new language and become a poetry translator and upload your translations to your website called 
  • Writing? Easy, open, and write about literally anything.
  • Love gaming? Why not write about it? What do you know that would help other people?

Haha, some of them are really good actually.

What do you know that other people would benefit from?

No one is asking you to do this, you have to do it on your own and you have to do it every day, for free, in the beginning at least. Now, not two persons are born the same, which is great, because that means that you are very, very unique. And you’ll definitely find something only you can contribute with because there is literally no other person like you. So, in a way, it’s kind of your duty to share with the world who you are, isn’t it? 

You can do this by working, deliberately, on something yours for one hour a day, at first.

Stop preparing to live, live.

“…what ails you and me has nothing to do with being sick…What ails us is that we are living our lives as amateurs. The solution…is that we turn pro.” Steven Pressfield, Turning Pro

It seems that we are always preparing to live. As if we weren’t living already! 

You are alive, right here, right now. 

Alcohol is so addictive because it gives you a feeling of relief. As if it tells you: ‘it’s ok, you can enjoy your life now’. But once the feeling is gone, BANG, you’re back with your anxieties and your problems. For your problems are NEVER, EVER, going to go away, until you solve them (The obstacle is the way). 

It’s so easy to say: ‘when I become a great writer’, ‘when I finally achieve that promotion or get that job, or start the business’, only then will I achieve that feeling of being ok with my life and finally begin to live it. 

And in the meantime, you feel sorry for yourself because you’re still not there. 

So what you do (because you feel sorry for yourself) is that you self-medicate, because you don’t like to feel as if you’re wasting your life (because you are, essentially). So then you grab a beer, which makes you feel good, and why not, maybe a Xanax as well and there you go, back to the quick fix I was talking about at the beginning of the article. A cycle from which it is extremely difficult to get out if you get too deep in it. 

The solution? Simple, you need to fix the problem of ‘preparing to live’ and begin fucking living already. 

You do this, first, by working on something no one is asking you to work on, and you do it for free, for an hour a day.

It’s not going to be grandiose.

 In the beginning, it’s going to be you and whatever thing you decide to do for an hour. Haha, it’s going to be funny even, for most likely it will be absolute shit. 

But hold on, hear this: 

“The first draft of anything is shit.”― Ernest Hemingway

Living, instead of preparing to live, is not how it’s pictured in the movies. Like this great instances of achievement, of appraisal, like somebody winning a race or something. That’s just a movie, they have approximately 2 hours to show you everything they need to show you, so they use every minute of the movie to make it great. 

Your life is not 2 hours long, living looks more like getting up an hour earlier and sitting down to work for the lapse of an hour for 10 years, that’s more like it.

Your work will work on you

You will find yourself hitting walls the first day you decide to do anything. You’ll realize that, no, you are not good, and there is a long way ahead to get to where you want. 

Exactly that is what you are looking for. 

This type of work, let’s call it ‘voluntary self-work’, will demand of you to grow as a person. It will make you realize things about yourself that you need to change or to improve if you want to get better, and this is how you heal correctly, not with pills. 

Let’s suppose that your imaginary podcast gets so good that someone invites you to give a presentation with 5k people. Your comfort zone will be absolutely crushed by it, and you’ll develop a new comfort zone.

Or maybe, let’s suppose that you need to share stories about yourself and you are super shy, well, you’ll have to learn how to deal with your shyness. 

See what I’m getting at? 

Your personal work will work on yourself.

Anxieties? Fears? Before, you medicated to run from them. Now? You play with them because they show you that you are pushing yourself to grow and to become better at your personal work. They were once bad omen, now they are a good omen.

“Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.”― Søren Kierkegaard

In conclusion

Find what your personal work is. It might be writing, it might be cooking, it might be whatever. How would you like your work life to be? Imagine it and then begin doing it for free, one hour a day. 

Don’t quit your job, just dedicate one hour to your personal work. Give it a couple of years (I’m serious) and slowly but surely, you’ll get, if not there, somewhere. 

Greatness does not happen one moment in time, it happens every single moment you spend being great. 

Thanks for reading, 


Subscribe and receive the Askesis (practice) e-book for free to further develop your practice of stoicism.

Subscribe here


  1. I want to get into writing full time but doing so would drastically impair our finances. Your advice is golden, will set aside one hour a day entirely for writing.

    1. Glad it helped Shelly, that’s the way to go. But what happens is that if you invest enough time in it, then you’ll be able to leave the other job and dedicate solely to writing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s