What will you make of your work
No matter the number of days or measure of hours, work is part of your life. Whether you volunteer your time, punch a clock, or earn a salary, you give away part of your time, your life, to someone else.
For most of us the exchange is a third of our life marked by trading time for money. Certainly for some this is an acceptable means to some end. But I ask you
Is that how you want a third of your life to be characterized?
Let’s color this with some numbers. The average white female in the U.S lives to 81. The average black male in the U.S lives to 70. Basic math shows that a third of 81 is 27 years. A third of 70 is 23. Certainly woman and men work longer than 23-27 years.
Referring to my previous question, let me add a qualifier. How do you want 23+ years of your work life to be characterized?
Do you want to spend 23+ years working to put food on the table? Or do you want to spend 23+ years exploring how to make things better for others? Certainly the work you do impacts others. How could it not? You don’t live in a bubble.
Seth Godin refers to work as art. It’s a beautiful term for something we do with great regularity. You pour your skill, you invest your time into doing something for others. That is art. Whether you present it understatedly or with an exclamation point, your work – your art – is a statement of your character.
Are you your work? Maybe yes. Maybe no.
Regardless, your work is an extension of your talents. Certainly that is worthy of stamping what you produce with a statement of what your work means to you.
Photo by Hayley Barnes