11 Nov “Are You One Of Those Guys Who Just Works All The Time?”
On a Friday afternoon, I stopped for my daily YOUzone (alone time) at a Milwaukee coffee destination, Colectivo. Anticipating an afternoon filled with efficiency, I ordered a medium roast coffee — with no room for cream and straight black —, settled in to a place free from distraction, fired up my laptop and set out some business articles that I intended to read. As I began working, I started to notice that the gentleman in his mid-60s at the table next to me was constantly watching me work. After about fifteen minutes passed, I began to wonder why he was studying me. I received my answer when he asked me — without introducing himself to me and with a mouth full of scone, mind you — “Are you one of those guys who just works all the time?” My immediate reaction was sheer surprise. I pondered the question for a moment after realizing that it was actually a great question. I shook my head to disagree and proceeded to tell him about my family and career. After the gentleman left, I paused in my work and reflected on the question, “Are you one of those guys who just works all the time?”
For the next half hour, I mused over the blending of work and life in order to lead a happier and more results-driven life. I left that afternoon realizing that my life was not about work-life balance, rather it was about life. What do I mean by “life”? I mean the “fusing” of your personal values no matter if you are at home or work. I call this “work-life fusion”. This quote by author James A. Michener says it best, “The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him, he is always doing both.” If you’re truly loving your life, work-life fusion comes in to play. My three values are attitude, passions (relationships, wellness, growth) and execution. The intersection of these values is my life. These three values in turn lead to daily impact actions: spending time with family, praying, exercising, nutrition, reading, writing, thinking, applying and sharing. Each of these daily impact actions is fluid and consistent both inside and outside of work. My relationships are my relationships in and out of work. To be healthy, I must constantly be cognizant of my choices. To be a leader and grow both at work and at home, I must continually study, read, apply, write, reflect and share.
You see, all parts of your life are interconnected. If you’re struggling in one area, you’re probably struggling in many. If you’re wishing for a day between Saturday and Sunday, you’re probably not living a fused life. Instead of clocking in and out, create a life that you don’t want to run away from.
ACTION: Stop living a balanced life and start living a fused one. Take the first step toward work-life fusion by finding your BIG 3 personal values using page two of the “Fusion” worksheet. After you find your BIG 3, think about how you will follow through and evaluate each day in light of your values.
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