Mastering the Art of Living: Dissolving the Boundaries Between Work and Play
A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both. -L.P. Jacks
Are you a master in the art of living?
Many of us have accepted the belief that we must work hard to be successful. Or that we must find work that will produce enough income so we can do things with our money that will then make us happy.
Yet, as you've probably discovered, the happiness derived from the things you buy is not lasting. You can buy a nice home and fill it with beautiful things to comfort you and please your senses, and before long, your attention will be on what's missing and what it needs to be more comfortable and more pleasing.
The cars, clothes, and gadgets are fun when we first buy them but lose their luster when the newness wears off and newer models, styles, and technologies are introduced.
The same is true of the experiences we purchase with our hard-earned money. The joy and freedom experienced while on vacation is soon forgotten when we return to the day-to-day grind, and hardly any time passes before we are planning the next trip.
We fall into the cycle of working jobs that are boring or stressful and rewarding ourselves with things and experiences to make up for it. Work. Reward. Work. Relief. On it goes.
Deep down there's a sense that this doesn't make sense.
A part of you realizes that fleeting comfort and fleeting happiness don't lead to lasting joy and fulfillment.
So what does?
A master in the art of living understands the distinction between working to earn a living and working to make a contribution.
Making a contribution has nothing to do with performing the duties of your job.
Making a contribution comes from giving your whole self, which means sharing from the natural storehouse of your gifts, talents, and abilities in ways that are enjoyable to you and that serve a purpose that is meaningful to you.
It's the kind of work that feels like play.
It's the work you would choose if you weren't so focused on earning a living.
Finding it requires examining the beliefs you have around work, money, success, and security and recognizing that most of the ones you have are based on the work-before-play model our parents, teachers, and society have taught us, rather than a work-as-play model a master experiences.
It also requires letting go of the belief that you don't know what your calling or purpose is.
Your calling, your purpose is to make a contribution: To share your authentic self in ways that are enjoyable and meaningful to you. It's not more complicated than that.
But what about the money?
A funny thing happens when you begin making a contribution. (Two, actually.)
The first thing is that many of the things and experiences you require now as rewards for and relief from your work are no longer required.
The second thing is, there is a universal "value bank" that exists that is never depleted of the resources you need as long as you are making a contribution.
I can't explain how it works; I can only confirm that it does. I have experienced over and over in my own life and have seen it at work - without fail - in the lives of others who decide to contribute.
When you are ready to examine the beliefs that do not serve to satisfy you and make a contribution that does, I would be honored to help you get started. Feel free to meet me on my calendar.
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