Why is our work so important to us?
We are fixated on work. The challenges and anxieties we face at work disrupt the rest of our lives. Work affects our relationships, how we sleep, the way we see ourselves. When we are introduced to someone for the first time, work is often one of the first things we talk about with them.
Our work influences our entire lives. As children, people ask us what work we want to do when we are older. We spend years in school deciding what work we want to do and preparing to do it. We plan our careers, considering whether we want to change jobs and what work we find most fulfilling. We look for our dream job. We often do not take even the time away from work we have coming to us. Even as we count the years to retirement, we wonder who we will be when our work no longer defines us.
We forget how work absorbs us. We are immersed in work, and in a society that worships work. Hard work is part of our cultural DNA. We believe that hard work is what makes the American Dream possible. We believe in the value and the virtue of our own hard work. We believe we are earning the rewards we receive.
Even when we are not at work, we think about our work. We squeeze work into every spare moment, every opportunity. Work is the air we breathe, the ocean in which we swim.
We do not take time to rest. We do not take time to reflect. We do not take time to listen. We are working ourselves to death.
We see ourselves defined by our work, when can be so much more.
How does your work absorb your life?
When do you take time to rest and to reflect?
[Image by @Saigon]