Do You Live To Work Or Work To Live?

I was having a discussion with my lovely wife about our workplaces and the difference mentalities that exist there. We were talking about going on vacation, which we are about to embark. Many of the people were automatically negative for a variety of reasons. One was, “I would never go on a cruise ship, you’ll catch something and maybe die!” Another one commented that “Vacation is so you can get rested and refreshed and come back ready to work harder.”  There were others, but these struck me as particularly negative. The first one was obvious, but the second one appears okay on the surface, but when you really look at the thought, it’s backwards. We should not look at vacation as merely a time to recharge so we can work more, but I suggest that we work to make a time for vacation to travel, relax, educate and entertain ourselves and spend time with our loved ones.

Do you live to work or work to live? Our challenge this week is pick an area of our life that we can improve. It doesn’t have to be a huge change. It could be as simple as deciding to look at things in a more positive light. I think you will find life is more fulfilling with a positive outlook. What do you think?

Please leave your thoughts. I will apologize in advance for not answering your comments right away as we are on vacation and away from internet service much of the time.

12 thoughts on “Do You Live To Work Or Work To Live?

  1. Ana

    Work to live. They say that nobody on their deathbed looked back and thought: I should have worked harder…

  2. thewhiteboardpig

    I can’t stand when people say the typical “recharge and come back to work refreshed.” I don’t even think the people saying it realize what it implies.

  3. barbtaub

    Whether you think it should or not, the job we do does so much to define us. I was incredibly fortunate to (most of the time) have jobs I really loved. So it wasn’t a matter of work to live vs live to work. Instead, my job was an important part of what I wanted out of my life. It was often a LOT more fun than vacations. But let’s face it: I didn’t take vacations (camping with the kids, doing the Mouse, etc.) because of their vast fun appeal. They were because I wanted to spend time with the other, most important, part of my life—my family. I feel good about the job I did, and about the family I raised. Although like every working parent, I had to juggle, I was so lucky that I liked all the balls I was keeping up in the air.

    1. shawn

      Thats great Barb! I alwaus try to to have a positive outlook and have also been fortunate to have loved my work. I still work to live though. 🙂

  4. fillyourownglass

    Work to live. I left my most recent job after quickly realizing that the “norm” was to receive emails from co-workers at 2:30 am on a Saturday (including on holiday weekends). Thank you, but no thank you. I will work hard for my employer, but time away from a job is far more important. Now we work to save money to travel. Life is about the experiences so let’s get out there and live it!

  5. betsywuebker

    We’ve been preaching work-life integration since 2008 on our blog, PassingThru. Work-life balance by its very definition is impossible to achieve; you’ll always be robbing one to pay the other. The upshot is we designed a life that we didn’t need to vacation from and are traveling the world full time. Don’t pay attention to the naysayers. They’ll still be negative while you’ve moved on to do what you’re dreaming of doing. Aloha.


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