Work to Live not Live to Work

That phrase has been on my mind a lot this past week.  The U.S. has an addiction to work…our country is full of workaholics.  When and why did this happen?  I love the fact a strong work ethic is one of the foundations of our nation, but working 50, 70, or even 90 hours a week is insane.  Off the clock, during dinner or watching TV, some people are still going through figures and problems in their head.  Do people love their jobs that much more than their families or health?  I’m guessing not…

Advertisements, movies, and our community surround us with this “American Ideal” of certain levels of success and wealth.  “If only I made six figures, I would be set” or “That position would mean I really made it in my career” infiltrate our thoughts and drive us to keep pushing forward in a job that doesn’t completely satisfy us.  Recently, I’ve had several conversations with people about their plans for retirement.  Surprisingly, retirement, to them, means to finally have the job or career of their choice without worrying about financial stability.   One person I talked to was finally doing something that made them happy after over 40 years of working.

My father always gave me the advice, when choosing a career path, to find something I love doing because I will inevitably spend more working than with my family or activities.  He considers himself lucky to have found computer programming.  My nerd of a father actually enjoys staring at computer screens all day.  I admire that he has turned down promotions that would take him away from the computer puzzles he loves to solve.  This is not to say that I don’t admire ambition…I’m just weary of some people’s motivations behind their ambition.  Money and fancy titles don’t impress me if the person is miserable.

There’s a balance that we have to strike in our lives.  Triathlons and reading won’t pay for my car insurance and groceries.  However, through exploring different career options, I found that nursing satisfies my desire to help others, allows me to pursue my other passions in life, and will conveniently also pay the rent.

What is your “retirement”  job?  If money and position were of no object…

I’d be a musician since my natural talents wouldn’t carry me very far in the real world.

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4 Responses to Work to Live not Live to Work

  1. Ryan says:

    I would write full-time! I keep wishing that someone would give me a years salary as an act of good faith in my abilities, that way I’d be able to focus on my work and get something published.

    • Courtney says:

      What would you write? Any ideas in particular? Make sure you let me know when you publish. In the mean time I’d like to read something that you wrote. I would love to publish a book! I want to do a series that would help people with their careers…advice, stories, resources, etc.

  2. Scott Sumner says:

    I would farm koi, make furniture with my hands, and run a small business.

    • Courtney says:

      You better let me know when you do. I want to be one of your first customers…for the furniture not the koi. I would probably kill the fish, I think I’m safe with a chair.

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