Do You Work to Live or Live to Work?

There is a fine line between being engaged in work and being consumed by work. If passion becomes preoccupation – with a disproportionate amount of time, energy, and thoughts devoted, it starts threatening your work-life balance. On the other hand, if you work just as much is required, you miss out on the fulfillment of a meaningful career.

So, what should you do? Live to work or work to live?

Attaining work-life balance in today’s fast-paced world with the cut-throat competition requires more than just setting boundaries and distributing time between personal and professional. It also involves redirecting your energy and focus on outlets that encourage contentment and overall well-being.

Over-engaging in work, too perilous?

There are some people who are career-driven. They are ambitious and live to work. They are usually high up the corporate ladder, and you can identify them by their passion to exceed their expectations. Such people live to work.

Working makes some of us super energized. Such people rely on work for gratification – you can call them workaholic, and they are indeed addicted to the adrenaline that comes with closing a sale, solving a crisis, or otherwise linking their worth to their work.

Unfortunately, such people are also on the fast-track to burnout. The long-term implications of over-engagement usually take a toll on the individual’s physiology, stress-handling abilities, and overall well-being.

When work equals paycheck, it becomes difficult to disengage from

Then there are other people, who just count days till retirement. These people, who work to live, are in majority. They are happy holding on to jobs just because jobs pay bills – and they usually envy people who truly enjoy their careers.

Then, there are individuals at the far end of this spectrum – people like surfers and snowboarders who are notorious for working odd jobs. Usually in places where they can pursue their passion. They make enough money that supports them in having a certain lifestyle.

Working in a restaurant at a ski resort might not be the best job in the world, but if it allows someone to pursue their passion for skiing throughout the season, what’s the harm?

Which path to take?

Either of the two approaches can appear appealing to different people depending on life circumstances and individual perspectives. To make it more challenging, the grass does often appears to be greener on the other side. However, the goal should be attaining a healthy lifestyle and sound well being. So aiming to achieve harmony between working just hard enough and living healthy is what we all should aim for. This can be achieved through a conscious effort to find that balance through gaining knowledge on work-life balance and consistently practicing it.

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