Sisyphus and Life’s Drudgery

In Greek Mythology, a king named Sisyphus ruled with an iron fist through murder and deception. In various legends, he is known for tricking or persuading even gods and goddesses to do his bidding, earning him the title of “The Craftiest Man”. His hubris led him to believe that his cleverness exceeded that of Zeus. Not taking kindly to the pride of a human, Zeus punished Sisyphus with the job to roll a boulder to the top of a mountain each day, only to have it roll away from him right before he got it to the top. Thus, Sisyphus toils, day after day into eternity, never having rest, never even having the accomplishment of successfully rolling the boulder to the top.

Sometimes life can feel like that, can’t it? Day after day, going to work, sitting in front of a computer screen, mind numb, energy drained. It feels like the weight of the world rests on your shoulders, crushing the life out of you.

Why do we do this to ourselves? We haven’t been cursed by a god, consigned to endless drudgery, so why do we settle for it? Why toil endlessly, with little to show for the effort? Why do we keep pushing this boulder, without hope of ever succeeding?

As an executive coach, I see this hopelessness a lot, and I have good news! It doesn’t have to be this way! Stop pushing and start playing. Take some time, pull your head out of the drudgery and consider whether there is a better way. Enjoy your hike to the top of the mountain. Exercise your innate creativity and skillset to conquer your problems.

Sure, there will be some mundane tasks that you must get done. No one can escape these responsibilities indefinitely. But you can minimize them. You can fill the majority of your time with things you do enjoy, things that fill you with life and energy. And when the time comes to do the mundane, you can complete those tasks out of your fullness. You may find that those tasks may not be as bad as your originally thought.

So what can you do right now? Take some time to reflect. What parts of your job do you love? What can you do to do those things more? What would make the hard things easy – or at least more fun?

And, of course, if you would like some help, I’d love to help you!

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