Author: Randy Clark

Recently, over lunch, Greg asked if I would guest post about separating work and Life. As I considered what I would like to share, I realized how many different approaches were available on this subject. Do I talk of social media and how difficult it is to separate work from social media 247? How about strategies to balance your life? How to make work fun or eliminate stress? I could talk about balancing work, family, spiritual, and personal time. Should I explore employee and employer responsibilities?

I once took a position working fewer hours and making less income. I did this to put my life in balance. But there was a larger consideration. Although I believed in the ethics, mission, and vision of the organization, I was no longer passionate about my responsibilities within the organization. It was a disservice to the company and myself to stay. It was not my happy place. Should we expect work to make us happy? Can we make work a happy place?

During the industrial revolution when it was not uncommon to work sun up to sun down, 6-7 days a week, in poor, unsafe, and unhealthy working conditions, it was thought by many thinkers of the day that “free” time would make people happier. This is not always the case.

In our society it is a commonly held belief that money makes us happy. Yes, I know we give lip service to the ideal that money can’t bring happiness, but lets look at actions not words. Would you consider a significant cut in pay to be happy? Could you afford to?

So what does make us happy? Passion. Believing in what we are doing, in and out of work. Being part of a team. Having others we can talk to and count on. Knowing “this” (whatever this is) is important. How is this accomplished?

Make your passion your work…

What do you love? How can you be paid to do what you love? Who is paid to do what you love? Brad Stevens, the Butler basketball coach, left a lucrative position with Eli Lilly’s to be coordinator of basketball operations; I believe this was an unpaid position. You may have to start small, part time, on the side, or for less money.

…or be passionate about your work

  • Do your best at whatever you do, earn that wonderful feeling of accomplishment
  • Act with passion, spread positive energy
  • Bring or support innovation, creativity, and originally to projects
  • Refresh – take breaks, gear back up
  • Learn something new – take a class, study on line or go to a seminar.
  • Engage others – be an advocate
  • Understand the vision, mission, and direction of the organization
  • Speak your mind, politely, but with passion and truth.

This post is probably not what Greg had in mind. It really is not about how to separate work from life. It is how to be happier by making work a fulfilling, happy part of your life, not just a paycheck. Are you happy at work, why or why not?