Five True Things about Life and Work

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Now that we are gearing up for the Thanksgiving holidays, why not take a second to remember the importance of a healthy work-life balance? Here are five true things about life and work that you should know. 

  1. Your boss at work is not the boss of your life

img-collaboratingSure, you have a boss. He or she plays a managing role in at your workplace. But you are the person who manages your life, your time, and your career. You alone manage how well you do your job, how you present yourself to others, and how others perceive you.

The only person who knows everything about you is you. The only person who’s seen everything you’ve ever done is you, from every email you’ve ever written, to every proposal you’ve ever presented and every meeting you’ve ever been to. You are in charge of your destiny. Never forget it.

  1. You are not your resume

This may be a bit morbid to think about, but when you die, nobody is going to read your resume at your funeral. “His crowning achievement was when he made Senior Vice President. His Porsche Cayenne was tangible proof of his success and greatness as a human being. He is especially remembered for having over 2500 Facebook friends.”

No matter how much time you spend burning the candle at both ends, chasing a toxic definition of success and generally missing out on life, your eulogy is always going to be about the truly important things: what you gave to others, how you connected, how much you meant to the lives of the people around you, small kindnesses, lifelong passions and what made you laugh. That is who you are.

  1. Being busy is not the same thing as being productive

The people around you all seem so busy, running from meeting to meeting and firing off emails. Yet how many of them are really producing, really succeeding at a high level? Success isn’t the result of mere movement and activity. It comes from using your time efficiently and productively.

You have the same number of hours in the day as everyone else. Use yours wisely. Because you’re the product of what you actually achieve, not of how busy you appear to be. Dedicate your energy to tasks that get results.

  1. Your salary is a not a measure of your success

Don’t be content to work only for money. Because money is never enough. Of course you want to earn enough to pay your bills and live in reasonable comfort. But if money is the only reason you go to work every day, you’re wasting your life.

Be inspired at work, not just content. Do what you do because it brings you satisfaction, not because it’s a job. And if your job ceases to bring you happiness, think about how you can remodel it or change it… or even leave it for a different one.

  1. Work without laughter is no life at all

It’s difficult to understand why so many people believe that laughing means not taking the matter at hand seriously. The best ideas come through ease. The best flow happens in moments of joy. Human connections begin with laughter, and to laugh while working or solving a problem is to be open to new possibilities.

Some people never learn this—they become grumpy and bitter. But one of the greatest joys in life is having fun. And to have fun doesn’t mean, by default, that you’re not “getting anything done.” On the contrary, having fun can make you more productive than you ever thought possible.

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