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Do You Live to Work or Work to Live?

By The Golden Space Indonesia

Many of us keep our job for the sake of working. Interestingly, a scene in a currently popular Netflix series, Emily in Paris, there is an anecdote about how the French tend to do the opposite: they work to live. One can always reflect upon their life from watching a TV series, but really, how have you been treating your work/business so far?

There are three types of people when it comes to this matter:


1. Treat your work as a JOB

Most people probably started out their professional life by working or building business to earn a living. We go to work and complete the tasks as per job description. We go home when the working hours end. We start the next day with the same pattern. We have one or two-day off on weekend. On Monday onwards, we do the same routines. We wait until the end of the month or the beginning of the month to receive our paycheck, and continue to do so, for some people, until the day they retire. What do you feel after reading this narrative? Can you relate to this? Would you like to stay in this category or would you be interested in expanding to another alternative? If you’re willing to try for the latter, please proceed to the next points.

2. Treat your work as a CAREER

Some people see their work as a means to increase their own quality of life. Higher position means higher power, hence more people will respect you for the role that you take. Researchers from Copenhagen Business School found that a position of power contributes to elevated self-confidence and self-esteem. Your work/business gives you values. You started to derive a higher sense of self-worth from the position that you hold. You focus on rising the bar and how you can achieve more, sometimes, than anyone else. This could involve a lot of overtime, sacrificing your personal time off work, office politics, etc. It is not impossible that the work becomes your life. You climb up the career ladder until you reach the top. If you cannot make it to the top after all the hard work, what would you feel? If you eventually make it to the top, what’s next? And will you be ready to let go of the power when you are retired? Because post power syndrome is real. Is there another alternative? Please refer to the next point.

3. Treat your work as a CALLING

This is for those who have gone beyond survival mode and do not let the work define their worth. You work for a cause or create a business because your heart wants to do it. It’s this calling that drives you to pursue the work/business because deep down, you believe that what you give will give an impact to an audience bigger than your family and friends. You believe that your contribution to the work or business can change the world for the better: humanity, animals, or the planet. You believe that you do an act of service to those in need with the gifts and skills that you have, be it for the humanity, children, women, the impoverished, animals, climate, the ocean, forest, and even the whole planet. You believe in giving a greater positive impact to those who need your help and love through your work or business. You work not only because you want to live your best life but you also help others to live to their optimum potentials! Isn’t it a win-win?


Among the three, which kind of work/business that you want to do for the rest of your life? Dive in deeper into this topic in ALIVE 2020 Online Edition on 7 November 2020!

The Golden Space Indonesia

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