Great Strides And Small Steps: Defining Work

 In Great Strides and Small Steps, Living Our Best Life, Practicing Law and Life, Redefining a Successful Lawyer

What are the reasons you work? The truth is there are many reasons that we work. The question should be, “What are the purposes that you work?”

No doubt the response we all share is, to make a living. You have bills to pay, things you want to buy, people to take care of and adventures you want to take. Not only are there are too many answers to this question to try and list them all here, but the mood you are in can effect the answers you give.

Take five minutes during a coffee break or at lunch and write down all the reasons you work. Make the list as specific and exhaustive as you can. Don’t worry about answers that are similar.

Next, list what you don’t want work to be. Such as: I don’t want it to be to stressful, time consuming or overwhelming the rest of my life. I don’t want to work around people who are…… Be specific. Be picky. This is about what you don’t want. The more you write, the better.

Knowing what I don’t want is just as important as knowing what I do want. It doesn’t take much of what I don’t like  to strip the joy out of what I love doing. The more I resign my life to being a certain way, the less I will get from it.

The work-life balance discussion has been around for a long time. For me it’s not creating a work-life balance as much as it is making work and the rest of my life complimentary. It’s about work being a part of the overall process of me living my best life. If work is overrunning my life-it takes too much time or it’s too stressful- it’s not supportive to what I’m trying be within my life. It’s not about separating my work life from the other parts of life. Realizing that it is one of the many confluences that make up my life helps frame the way I see the purposes of work.

The next question is: What would the perfect job look like? What would the ideal work environment look like? One that would allow you to live your best life?

In my post Great Strides Small Steps- Factumforming, I talked about how it’s incumbent upon each one of us to create a work environment that allows us to flourish. Factumforming is when we take full responsibility for what is ours to do to live a better life through our work. It’s about the changes that we are willing to make. It’s not about waiting for someone else to be different.

What steps can you take to bring about some of those changes?

This is about you understanding what you want and then starting to be it.

Look over the lists and write out what you can become at work to encourage this best version of yourself to emerge. It can be making sure you are communicating clearly with someone about what you like or don’t like. I’ve put up with behaviors for so long that I have forgotten how important it is for me to speak my truth, respectfully, even if it may not make a difference. Others only have a chance to be something different by me articulating what is important to me first.

The greater clarity you have, the more you are able to align your life to reflect that clarity. While you don’t define all of the rules that govern work, you can define more of the relationship you have with work than you give yourself the power and right to do.

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