How to make the most out of the time you have to spend at work.
If there’s one universal truth that I have observed, it’s that people want to have a sense of purpose or meaning in their life. Of course, what that actually means to each person can be wildly different, and can even change over time. Our personal values and beliefs, our dreams, and life events like starting a family, or commitments to look after others, can greatly influence what is important to us in life, and people start to fall into one of two broad categories:
Work to live: These are the people whose priorities in life mostly fall outside of what they do as a job. To them, the job is a means by which they earn the money to achieve their real goals in life.
Live to work: These are the people who find work in that area which is high on their list of personal priorities. To them, the job is more than simply earning a wage; the job itself is a fulfilling and satisfying experience.
The story of Carl Jones
Of course, these are just the extremes. It’s not black and white, and for many people their work might be a bit of both.
Probably the greatest example of this that I have ever heard is the story of Carl Jones. Carl has won awards for running wildlife conservation programmes, and is widely recognised as having brought the world’s most endangered bird, the Mauritius Kestrel, back from the brink of extinction.
Carl went to Mauritius in the 1970’s with the job to shut down the failing bird sanctuary there, but on arrival decided instead to take it over himself and turned it into a massive success. Now here, you might think, is someone who has truly found the key to the “live to work” concept. What could be more satisfying than spending your working life doing something you passionately believe in, and succeeding at it?
How to maximise meaning
The reality, however, is that Carl spent at least half of his time reluctantly traveling around the world trying to get enough cash from sponsors so that he…