Do not let others hold the power over your life and death


Even so, Aoba Johsai was really strong.”

“Yeah. They were strong. Really strong. We put up a good fight this time, but I don’t know if we can do as well next time. But Aoba Johsai will consistently bring the same level of strength. Did you see them during their timeout?”

“Yeah… they almost had their meeting without the coach.”

“The coaches were watching from behind, and I’m sure they were giving advice, but the players were always thinking and responding flexibly during the match. They can probably do the same even against unknown opponents. Such stable and flexible strength…”

These are the words of Takigawa and Ukai from “Haikyuu!!”.


When it comes to work, how much control you have over your job is a crucial indicator when your mental health is at risk.

I remember when I was working at a company, I felt really frustrated with myself for having to ask my boss for permission to work overtime in response to an urgent customer inquiry. I strongly felt, “This way of working isn’t right.”

Swedish psychologist Robert Karasek clarified that the degree to which mental health is at risk in work depends on the relationship between “job demands” and “job control.”

“Job demands” include the following aspects imposed by the company or superiors:

  • Working hours

  • Workload

  • The level of tension and concentration required in the job

“Job control” refers to the ability to make decisions freely while working, including the following aspects:

  • Freedom to decide your working hours

  • Ability to determine your workload

  • Ability to choose how to handle tense or focused situations in your work

As responsibilities and the demand for results increase at work, so does stress. However, whether this stress negatively impacts your mental and physical health depends on how much control you have over your work.

There is a study by the University of London that tracked the health of civil servants divided into two groups:

  1. Those who smoke but have high autonomy at work

  2. Those who don’t smoke but have low autonomy at work

The study found that those in the second group were more likely to suffer from chronic illnesses and had a higher likelihood of deteriorating health. Job control has a greater impact on our health than smoking.

The medial prefrontal cortex and striatum in the human brain have functions to evaluate the causal relationships of our actions. When we have control over our work, it encourages positive actions and views failures in a positive light, as revealed by fMRI studies.

If you are considering a job change, I recommend checking two things: “How much freedom do you have in choosing your working hours?” and “How much is the work pace left to the discretion of the employees?”

And what is necessary to live in the future era? It is not to let the company hold the power over your life and death.