Have you ever heard people talk about having a work/life balance? I used to think this idea was good because it means you should have time for your life outside of work and not spend all of your time at work. Saying it like that does not sound bad at first but think about it. The concept means put your life on hold and go to work and do what you have to do and when you get home you can resume your life.
There are so many people that go to work because they have to, but why not look at work like a “get to” instead of a “have to.” I am not suggesting just “change your mindset and your job will be all of the sudden happy clappy” or “fake it ’till you make it.” But I am making the point that there is so much more to life and why waste a 1/3rd of it doing something that you don’t want to do? Everyone ought to get fulfillment out of their work and it is not the task that matters but why you do what you do. Here is a great story that gives a different perspective on what may seem to be meaningless work.
While JFK was visiting the NASA headquarters he stopped a janitor who was mopping the floor and asked him what he did at NASA. The janitor replied “I’m helping put a man on the moon!” Instead of just seeing dirty floors that needed mopping or worse knowing that he will never get into outer space, he realized that he was part of the team to get a man on the moon. He could have had the negative attitude that he is not smart enough or good enough to be apart of the NASA team but instead he saw his contribution as part of the teamwork necessary to get a man on the moon which it was. It takes teams of people to create the society we live in and everyone positively or negatively affects how our society moves forward.
So my challenge is let’s find meaning in our work, be generous to the people around you, and build your teammates up even if they feel like the competition at times. If you want great relationships, give people the gift of attention and if you want to make friends, you must show yourself friendly. Build people up and encourage people around you and I bet your work/life balance you are trying to keep will just become life and it will be more meaningful. Zig Ziglar is known for saying “you can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” Finally, see your workplace as a place to make change in the world and look at your work you produce as a contribution to something greater than just doing something to receive a paycheck just like the janitor at NASA.