A woman who has spent four months at her job asked me a question, sobbing.
When I am about to go to work in the morning, I am so distressed that I want to cry. I break down into tears at work, feel pathetic, and I feel a pressure on my chest when returning home. I want to quit my job, but everyone around me says to hold out because it's hard to enter a major company like this, especially since it is so difficult to get a job these days. And it's a kind of job where women can work for a long time as well. But going every day feels so painful I don't know what to do.
Someone says to a friend who doesn't smoke, "This cigarette is nice. Try one." The friend tries it, but it gives him a stinging sensation in his throat and makes him cry. Nevertheless, he keeps trying it because his friend dares him to smoke. He keeps smoking, shedding tears, having coughing fits. He could just quit, but he doesn't want to waste the cigarette because his friend tells him that it is a really good one. He keeps smoking although it makes his throat burn because he just doesn't want to put it out. What a foolish person.
A similar thing happens when people try to stop you from quitting your job because it is a great job. It doesn't matter how great it is if you don't want it. If you are too stressed, then you should quit. It is your life. Why care about the opinions of others? Go to work tomorrow morning and say "goodbye."
If you cannot do so, try to think, "Why can't I give it up?" If it is because of money, you could earn money doing something like a housekeeping job. You think being a housekeeper would not help you save face? How about a janitor? Still not enough? Then think about other jobs you could do, and examine yourself.
Afterward, if you think that keeping this job is better than being a housekeeper or a cleaning lady, then just keep doing what you are doing. If you think, however, "I don't want this even if it pays me millions and treats me well," then there is no need to linger. You don't need to cry. Crying means that you don't want the job, yet you don't want to waste the opportunity either. The central issue here is greed. That is what you need to put down.
If you cannot choose either way, come to Mungyeong. We have a program in which you can meditate in seclusion for 100 days. Try living as a monk for 100 days. Get up at dawn to pray, clean, wash dishes and work all day. When you go to bed exhausted at night, another day will begin in no time. Living like this may open your eyes and give you wisdom. If 100 days is not enough, then try another 100 days. If that is still not enough, try another 100 days. One year may open your eyes, and three years may change your entire perception of life. Afraid to fall three years behind? Living like this for three years will actually save you much more time than wandering about your entire life.
If you are not able to say "goodbye" to your job, then make yourself change your mind. Compare your job to a day of labor on construction sites. Go to work thinking, "I'll make $70 today whereas I'd make only $50 doing a construction job."
You are the host of your life. No one else is responsible for it. Live your life making your own decisions instead of letting others control it for you. If you cannot make a decision, toss a coin. If it comes up heads, quit; if it comes up tails, keep your job. It is not worth worrying so much over life. Just live it. I don't mean that you should live carelessly. Live with ease, that's all. Life is very simple.
Why do we feel, then, that life and the world are so complicated? Because your head is cluttered, not the world. Try to abandon your greed and make simple decisions. You'll keep your head clear and simple, too.
This blog post was translated from Korean and was originally published on HuffPost Korea.