Crisis of Purpose - Education & Urgency

in life •  last year 


How to destroy a labor market and create a workplace of unhappy, unproductive people.

In the US, and a number of other highly industrialized nations, there is this emergent issue of a labor shortage.

Back a couple of generations ago, it was considered both rewarding and respectable to work in a trade and provide for your family. There was nothing wrong with being a truck driver, working in a factory, or being a plumber.

But when I was growing up, I was taught something a bit different. I was told that it was a shameful thing to work in these "lowly" labor intensive jobs. The only real way to get ahead is to go to college and get a real job.

And I KNOW that I am not the only one.

This has lead to an increasing shortage of workers going into blue collar positions. It is absolutely extremely easy to get this sort of job in the USA, if you're willing to work hard. The problem is everyone seems to be either seeking college positions or retail positions, because they don't actually want to work hard. I feel this is largely because of this culture that labor is shameful somehow.

Everyone I knew in high school was either talking about how they were going to get into this or that college (often with only a vague hint of what they were going to do there) or they were completely disinterested in the entire process. I definitely fell into the latter category.

We were sold this bad idea based on what was once good advice.

Between the 1940's and the 1980's it was actually quite affordable to go to college. My grandfather oft told the story of how he worked part time and paid for college while he was in school -- something that is simply not possible today.

Seeing as how it was possible though, and there were much better opportunities and wages available to those who had a college degree (which there still are, kind of), it was great advice for the time.

But things changed starting in the early 1970's, around the time when the dollar's tie to gold ended and inflation went out of control. The wages of workers were no longer keeping up with inflation and increases in cost of living.

Not only that, but the programs to control the cost of college were hollowed out during the same time period, leading to increasing costs and increasing numbers of student loans.

These problems have continued to spiral out of control to the point where now it is unjustifiably expensive to go to college, and once you get out of college the job market is saturated with people who have your same education and skillset. Most of the people who I know who went to college do not do anything related to their education.

We've been sold that this is the way through life, and when we start going through the process we find incongruencies between reality and what we've been told. I think that in reality, there are a lot of people who are much happier working outside of the office in blue collar positions.

Changing topic, back when I was 13 and I had a lot of life questions, including how I should handle this information and this idea of what a career path should be. And I had a lot of difficulty coming up with an answer to what I want to do with my life.

After going through all of this in my head and out loud with various people who couldn't really answer any of my questions satisfactorily, I kind of came to the conclusion that I didn't want what they were selling me, but I really had no clue what I did want. Since there was no financial support system for me, other than myself, I simply went to work and concentrated on that.

We were all told that we need to do what we love, but we weren't told how to decide what that is. We were all told that we need to accept who we are and be comfortable with ourselves, but we were never educated on how to figure out our place in the world.

Not all of us, of course. But there is a pretty significant contingent of young people that clearly aren't satisfied with the status quo, and have no idea what they want out of life.

There have been huge increases in the incidence of all sorts of mental health issues over the past decade or so, including major depression, serious psychological distress, anxiety, and suicide.


75% of Gen-Z and 50% of Millennials have left past roles for mental health related reasons.


The rates of basically every form of depression, anxiety, and other mental illness are much higher for millennials and gen Z. Particularly the rates of anxiety are sky high with millennials, and they're only rising for the time being.

Clearly, there is an issue here.

I think there is a significant portion of people that haven't really learned to define themselves, their identity, and their goals. They haven't figured out what fulfills them and what their place in the world is.

Confidence in your vision and in your place in the world are pretty much essential to being confident in general. The opposite is being anxious about things.

To feel happy and fulfilled, in our careers and in our lives, we need to feel that we're moving towards something with meaning. We can define that however we want, but we have to have some sort of meaning to our actions. Be it simply a goal that we have fleshed out, a plan to do something important, or some sort of greater life meaning -- it doesn't matter.

That's one of the reasons why I recommended the self-authoring suite so highly in my last post.

It's basically directly designed to tackle this issue. It helps you to deal with trauma from your past, accept and understand both your good and bad traits currently, and map out a future. All of these things tie together to help you to identify your place in the world, and where you're headed.

Just to be clear: I'm not selling anything here; I just am saying it because I care and it's helped me.

A link, once again

I think this is an issue worth tackling. For those of us who didn't have people around in our lives who could explain these things to us, there has to be an external source.

There are also other resources available, such as books like the anxiety book I mentioned last time, but I have confidence in your ability to find and research those resources on your own.

Thanks for coming by! Stay cool, calm, and collected.

- Guurg

external link

This is part 3 out of a 3 part series:
Pt 1: Commercialized mental health
Pt 2: Therapy in the modern day
Pt 3: A crisis of purpose

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the worse time the world is going through for sure without a doubt the govt all across can debate all day long how good is their economies are but i fear the time that it will come again where everything will collapse again but this time fiat won't be helping out they need big solution which they haven't got in a decade

Part of the problem is how they measure the economy... We look at how the stock market is doing and a bunch of meaningless, fabricated statistics (such as unemployment rates -- it doesn't mean what it sounds like). Then we completely ignore wages vs. inflation, and how the middle economy is doing.

We only look at the bottom and at the top, even though the middle is by far the most important part of the economy.