I was told that work was supposed to be hard. You knew it was “work” because you would not be doing it unless someone was paying you for it. Work was not intended to feel good; it was intended to be productive.
I was told that the reward for working was financial.
Work was very individual. It was about me doing my work.
Work hard today. You can rest later.
You work hard five or six days a week for 30 or 40 years, then you can retire to do what you really want to do.
You could take satisfaction in doing your work well, but there was nothing to be proud of in merely meeting expectations.
Work was a jackhammer on concrete, or a pickaxe on a stone.
I have learned most of what I believe now about the spirit of work from Benedictine monks.
Work is deeper, more spiritual, than the actions we take. Work is about translating our deepest selves into practice. Work is how we share our core values with other people.
Work builds community.
Work is not just about accomplishing a set of tasks. Work is about doing things well and learning how to work better.
Work is more than surviving until I can retire. Work is more like breathing in and breathing out, finding the unforced rhythms of life and grace. Work balances with rest and play. Our bodies, minds, hearts, and spirits work in concert. Doing work is a way of being.
Working well is its own reward.
Work is rain falling on the surface of a lake. Our work sends out ripples that continue to spread even when we pause in our own efforts.
What do you believe about work?
How does your work reflect your deepest self?
[Image by Peter Grima]