“My job is my life.” We hear this statement from people we may know who work long hours and do it all again the next day. People saying this may be over-worked or may just over work. Their job crowds out all else, meaning little time for extracurricular or community activities. It may mean less time to think about life and grow beyond the boundaries of their job.
“My life is my job.” This statement may catch us off balance a little as it could mean the same as the other statement. It could be more. When people face a health or life-changing challenge, getting their life back on a recovery track may consume all their energy and time.
My brother, unfortunately, falls into this category right now. After being in an explosion, his time each day is spent gaining strength, taking care of wounds, and seeing various caregivers. His life is truly his job. It is a community of care that surrounds him, but he is diligently and positively focused on getting his life back to some sense of normal.
His situation triggered my thoughts and the distinction between these two statements, if any.
When I look back at my younger working years, I fell into the first statement. All that I did revolved around my job. My work, my friends, and my outside activities centered on my job. It was a good time; I have no real complaints. However, in looking back, I wish I would have carved out some time to engage in some community activities or explore beyond my usual boundaries of thinking. Sure, I read books, went to museums, and attended some historical events, but I didn’t stretch my thinking or activities outside my work world.
I have no real regrets. I do wish I knew then what I know now. Of course, wouldn’t everyone!
Here’s the critical nature of each statement: My job is my life, and my life is my job. What I mean is:
1.) My job is my life: We need to embrace our job as way to enable us to make a difference. Work is valuable. We have certain skills, capabilities, and talents to apply in growing an organization or moving an initiative forward. It does not end here though. We need to answer a key question: Since our daily life includes 24 hours of time, how do we manage what we do with all our life time?
Our work cannot conclude at the end of the paid work day. There is much more to manage and do, and it includes family, community, and other passions. Our job should not be a boundary around our life. We need to break through and engage outside our normal work environment.
2.) My life is my job: We need to embrace our life as our work’s masterpiece. We need to carve out time to focus on how we can make our life shine in our communities, our initiatives, and in whatever we do. We need to bring our life to the next level of learning and understanding. We need time to center our soul and spirit, listening intently to directions and inspirations.
The reality is this, maybe: The two sentences are tandem statements and efforts, one following or leading the other. It may switch from time to time. At all times, however, we need to think about if “my job is my life” is overshadowing or overpowering “my life is my job.”
We may have thought about “my job is my life” more than the other one. We shouldn’t have to be blown awake to understand the message of “my life is my job.” Our life needs to be fully embraced as our way to make the most of our time to have the biggest impact humanly possible.
Maybe there isn’t much difference between the two statements.
Maybe it just is a mindset shift that needs to happen.
Maybe it just makes us think, which is a good thing.
This all leads to the key question: Which statement applies to your life?