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The Beauty of Work

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The Beauty of Work

I’m not sure where I got this idea from, but a substantial amount of the stress I’ve experienced in my life was the result of me thinking that “leisure” and “retirement” were the ultimate goals of a happy life.

Maybe it was from the baby boomer mindset of “if you work hard enough then one day you get to retire!”

Maybe it was the entrepreneurial dream of my venture capital friends saying “it only takes one great idea and you can be rich by the time you’re 30!”

Maybe it was the escalator mentality of an entitled younger generation always convinced there is a “shortcut” or an easy way.

Whatever it was though that gave me the idea that permanent leisure was the ultimate goal in life was incredibly wrong.

Have you ever taken a 10-day cruise? Have you ever been bed-ridden for a few weeks or even a few days? Do you know anyone that retired at 30?

If so, then you know there are only so many margaritas you can drink, so many hours of catching up on sleep, and so many reruns you can watch before something awful happens…you get bored out of your mind!

I am all about working hard and enjoying your pay-off. I believe in pursuing a smarter and better way. I am a supporter of pursuing your dreams and manifesting your ideas into reality. I am an advocate of making time to do the things you enjoy. And I certainly believe in the value of you having more money than you know what to do with.

But it took me spending time with real Multipliers to realize that work isn’t something to be endured that we should try to avoid whenever possible, and it isn’t something that should have a finish line that you race to so that one day you can stop.

Work is a fundamental part of life and source of deep satisfaction.

We were created to work. Work produces happiness and great rewards that fill our lives with joy. Work is one of the most honoring forms of worship that we have!

Not only were we created to work, we’ve been instructed and warned about the dangers of not working. Do you know that according to Nielsen the average person over the age of 65 watches 48 hours of television per week! That is nearly seven hours a day.[1] That doesn’t sound very rewarding, if you ask me.

Being a great parent takes work. Being a great leader takes work. Being great at anything takes work. Who do you know that doesn’t work at anything in their life, or never worked for the good of another person, whom you look up to? Who is there worth emulating who does not work?

No one.

Why, then, do we subscribe to this myth that somehow our lives would be better if we had less work?

It’s another misleading misconception that we carry in the back of our minds holding ourselves up as failures and examples of how we aren’t living the right life just because we are working a lot.

I love how author Timothy Keller describes the goodness of our work in his book Every Good Endeavor:

The book of Genesis leaves us with a striking truth – work was part of paradise.

…We so often think of work as a necessary evil or even punishment. Yet we do not see work brought into our human story after the fall of Adam, as part of the resulting brokenness and curse; it is part of the blessedness of the garden of God. Work is as much a basic human need as food, beauty, rest, friendship, prayer, and sexuality; it is not simply medicine but food for our soul.

Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, I hope that you can see the value in this attitude toward work because it mimics the same view that ultra-performing Multipliers have – regardless of their religious faith.

I am not saying that life should only be about work. But proper and appropriate amounts of work are a critical part of a satisfied life.

Work is integral.

Work is freedom.

When done the right way, work is joy.

 

Rory Vaden Rory Vaden, MBA is Cofounder of Southwestern Consulting, Self-Discipline Strategist and Speaker, and New York Times bestselling author of "Take the Stairs". Find out more at www.roryvaden.com
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