Is that all there is?

unhappy face because unhappy with jobTake steps to change if you’re feeling genuinely unhappy in your job, Alun Rees says.

Famous as the title of a jazz standard song, or rather spoken, by Peggy Lee 50 years ago: ‘Is that all there is?’.

It has become the mantra of the disappointed.

The song describes a house fire, a trip to the circus and falling in and then out of love.

It is ultimately a song of disillusion.

It’s a question that we have all asked ourselves at some point about work, a relationship or our direction.

In the past, it was associated with that spectre at the feast, the mid-life crisis.

A fool’s errand

I’ve no doubt many, staring at the long dark tunnel until Christmas are wondering: ‘Is this is all there is?’

Janan Ganesh wrote in the Financial Times: ‘The search for pleasure and meaning in work is, beyond a certain point, a fool’s errand’.

No matter how much we enjoy our work, there is a limit to the joy and satisfaction it can bring.

The more I listen to younger dentists, I hear their stories of disappointment.

Their feelings of broken promises that the fulfilling life, sold to them, is not really what they are experiencing.

This is more than is dismissed as entitlement; neither is it laziness or other easy insults aimed at millennials.

What I observe is that expectations are built and broken by educators, politicians and uninspired leaders who put their own agendas first.

Of course, there are happy and fulfilled individuals, but with many associates little more than employees, they are often the minority.

If you are doing something that you already dread, that is causing genuine unhappiness, then take steps to change.

Life’s too short to accept that is all there is.

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