Work Life vs Life's Work
We all get sucked into work becoming our life at some point, which makes it hard to leave a legacy if all we do is work. Like many others, I call this the ‘work life.’
Not only do we need to pay the bills and have money for food, but we also set goals to reach higher, achieve more, and, of course, gain more monetary benefits.
As I did, most of us tend to think we’ll be more fulfilled when we reach the next level and that paycheck increases.
Today, I want to focus in on the fulfillment we seek in our careers, the difference between work life and doing our life’s work, and why you may become lost somewhere in your career journey after achieving some of your biggest career goals, if they are not aligned with your life’s work. Also, how this all ties into the importance of how to leave a legacy you want to be remembered for by generations to come.
Then, how to prevent from becoming lost, or find your path again if you currently feel lost in your career, using one question.
So, let’s get started!
Work Life: Is this Really It?
Wether it is working toward a promotion to have the sense of achievement, earning money to feed your activities we love like shopping or traveling, or maybe working toward a goal to finally pay off the debt that’s been haunting you and become financially free… we turn to working hard in a career we choose when we are between the young ages of 18-24 as the medium to make this happen.
Unfortunately, we all fall into the same trap of the ‘work life’, or creating a life around our work and career.
We double down on our work at our 9-5 and hope it gets noticed by our peers and people above us. We hope we are rewarded for our work and that those rewards satisfy our desires and needs as humans.
Yet, at some point or another, we begin to question our life somewhere along the lines with the question like “Is this really all life is about? Working life away?”
We wake up, go to work all day, get home to have dinner, then spending a few hours a day doing mindless activities like playing video games or watching YouTube videos, because we are too exhausted from work. And, that is if we don’t have kids yet, otherwise we may not have any time to ourselves. Then, head to bed, wake up, and let history repeat itself until the weekend comes, where we can finally let loose for 48 hours before diving on in.
We let the company tell us how long we can take off each year vacations. We live by their limits of how much time we can take for situations like when a child is born into your life or a parent passes away.
“Is that really how life should be? Is this really it?”
Letting Work Control Your Life
I personally asked this question throughout the last 8 years since I left college. I thought chasing that new job or promotion would satisfy that desire for more. My income quadrupled from $40K to almost $160K in 8 years, yet I was still felt lost. I had 5 days when my brother passed away to grieve his loss and 5 days to travel home from Silicon Valley when my father passed away, then resorted to using vacation time to handle everything beyond the 5 days in each of those situations.
I found myself tired and exhausted at work, waiting for more vacation time so I could take a few day break, just to repeat the cycle again once I returned to work.
In my daily work life, I found myself in arguments with people I didn’t really even know who worked at suppliers over trying to get cost reductions worth pennies per product, while in the back of my head I wondered how pointless this first world problem really was.
Time and time again, I questioned what I was doing and how I felt trapped in my career due to having to make payments on my $80-90K in debt. And, time and time again, I wanted to make a change, but didn’t have the energy to see there are better opportunities for me to be doing my life’s work, while still being able to pay the bills.
It is easy to look back and asks questions.
- If I would have just stuck with that website back in college 8 years ago, where would I be with my life’s work today that would have never lead me down the work life trap.
- If I had stuck with my routine of spending 30 minutes a day writing, how many books would I have published by now?
- If I had budgeted better in college or even right out of college, would I have made the same decision to work toward a job at Apple, signing up to work 60-80 hours a week, thousands of miles away from all of my family… or would I have done something else?
But, if you continue to look back, you will never figure out the future to make changes.
Leaving a Legacy Behind by Aligning to Life's Work
Since June of 2018, I have been on a non-stop path of making changes to better align myself with my life’s work, so I never have another day that feels like I am living a work life.
My goal is to help as many people figure out their careers and personal finances, so they can lead a happy life that they want to live – whatever that may mean for them.
I’ve completely put money, something I chased earning more of the last 8 years, far behind my priorities of spending more time with family and helping others.
The last 8 months have been a huge transition for my fiancee and I. We launched a natural and organic supplement company called Mindzymes to help people naturally gain more clarity, energy, focus, and a more stable mood. We then bought a school bus to convert into a tiny home so we can reduce our living expenses and become more mobile, giving us the ability to live more financially stress free, while also being able to travel anywhere at any time. I then turned to creating courses, this podcast, and writing an upcoming book.
I went from feeling lost, tired, stressed out, and worried about my family thousands of miles away being a Global Supply Manager on the iPhone Team at Apple, to a less stressed, more energetic, and free entrepreneur, podcaster, writer, and educator who will soon be living in a school bus converted tiny house traveling North America, having the flexibility to spend more time with family and nobody telling us what we can and can’t do – staying within the limits of some laws, of course. Yeah, I said some.
I used to work 10-14 hours a day at Apple, while now I can easily put in 16 hour days working on my projects – yet, I never once feel anywhere near as stressed or burnt out as I was at Apple.
With that said, I want to share with you what I did to begin making these changes and how I am working to prevent the feeling of being unfulfilled from ever crossing my mind again.
How to Align to Leave a Legacy and Prevent from Feeling Unfulfilled
- Never stop questioning your decision and the path you are on. You should always continue to question your previous decisions and if where you are and what you are doing with you life makes you truly happy.
- Listen to how your brain answers the questions you ask it about your career and life.
- Are you comfortable, confident, and happy with what you are doing or where you are at? If you can answer with a solid YES – Perfect! You are amongst the small percentage of people who have figured out their life. You can probably stop listening to this episode, if you haven’t already.
- But, if even continue to question the ‘work life’ we as humans follow, or you are feeling lost, stressed, confused, bored, or even depressed about your career… Then you have some additional work to do.
- For those feeling any sort of negativity about their career, think about the legacy you want to leave behind. Now, this gets pretty deep, but getting deep and real with yourself is the only way to figure out what you need to do in order to get away from feeling like a career or job is work life and you are doing your life’s work.
- Think about the legacy you will leave behind if you were to pass away today. This can be hard to think about, but it can easily boil down to one question:
How do you want to live your life today, in which you will be remembered by for generations to come?
- As an example, I recently found out my great, great grandfather owned a candy store back in the early 1900s. His legacy of bringing joy to kids who would rush to his store after school, including my grandfather and his siblings, are still talked about at family gatherings today.
- I also found a common thread in my family that my love for entrepreneurship goes back generations beyond my grandfather’s machine shop and great uncles estate sale business, to this candy shop two generations before theirs.
- What would you want your great, great grandchildren to talk about for you?
- What interest or experience do you want to pursue that is more aligned with who you are, which generations to come may look back and find common ground with you, long after you are gone.
- This one takes days, weeks, maybe even months or years to figure out. For some, we may never truly figure it out in our lifetime. But, we would not be doing our life justice if we turned away from working to figure this out and you will not figure it out unless you focus on asking yourself the questions and thinking about it on a regular basis.
- As you start to navigate through deciding if your current career and decisions of today are lining you up to having that legacy you want to have, you may find that you are already somewhat on the right path… or, maybe that you not living the life you nowhere near the life you truly want to lead.
- If you feel like you are living the wrong life in a career that you do not thoroughly enjoy, or a job that sucks the life right out of you every day, don’t delay on making changes!
- Start making daily changes, even just small ones, that will lead you to a big change to get on track with your life’s work.
- Start pursuing your hobbies on the side. Build a side hustle out of it. Work to create more time for family, friends, and fun. Stop stressing over money or getting more tangible items, because as my great uncles says, you can’t take a Uhaul to the grave with you.
- When comes down to it, family, wether it is the family you came from, friends who are more like family to you, or the family you create and leave your legacy with… that is what matter most. Not the work life. Begin transitioning your work life into pursuing your life’s work, keeping family at the top of your priority list.
What Legacy Do You Want to Leave Behind?
Until next week, work on answering the questions we discussed:
- How do you want to live your life today to leave a legacy, in which you will be remembered by for generations to come?
- Is your life currently aligned with the legacy you want to leave, or do you need to begin making some changes?
In the next few episodes for this month starting with next week, I will go over some ways you can begin creating a career around your life’s work and start transitioning away from the work life, so you can begin to leaving a legacy for future generations.
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I’ll see you next week!