What Does Work Mean to You?

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I had lunch with a friend of mine the other day and she said something that I found startling: "Work is paid slavery.
" My friend wanted more control over her work hours, income, etc.
, but you can imagine that if "work is serving someone," she won't have much luck until that belief changes.
When I asked her where that belief came from, she said her father.
Most of us spend many of our waking hours at work.
How we think about those hours will determine how good or bad we feel about our lives.
How would you complete the sentence: "Work is..
"? How many of us say that work is fullfilling? How many say work is fun? Changing Limiting Beliefs Almost everyone I talk to has limiting beliefs about money and/or work.
I worked with my friend using the walking belief change described in Debug Your Mental Software.
When it came time to come up with a new belief, she struggled.
She even asked me: "What's the opposite of slavery?" So strong was the old belief that she couldn't think of the opposite.
I said: "Oh, you mean work is freedom.
" She was stunned.
I continued: freedom to set your own hours, your level of income, your free time..
We talked about it some more and then I walked her through installing the new belief.
Your Family Can Be Your Biggest Critic She went home that evening and put sticky notes everywhere with the message "work is freedom.
" Her husband saw the notes and laughed out loud.
He said: "That's what the Nazi's wrote over the entry to Auschwitz.
" In a matter of seconds, he'd reframed "work is freedom" into Nazi logic.
She was crushed.
The phrase"Arbeit Macht Frei" actually means work will set you free or work is liberation, not work is freedom.
When I saw her the next week, I had to do some reframing of my own to help her embrace the fledgling belief.
We tweaked it to "purposeful work is freedom.
" Many of us remember a parent fearing we wouldn't get a job after high school or college.
Sometimes this fear leads to fear of work or fear of not finding a job.
How our parents, significant others, and peers talk about work influences how quickly or slowly we jump into the work force.
Add that fact to current market conditions, and many young people do not have the luxury of deciding what kind of job they want.
What's Your Work Belief? If you think work is bad, you'll end up working in an unfulfilling job regardless of how much it pays.
If you think work is freedom, you'll enjoy your work because it fulfills you.
I call it "soul work.
" If you're doing the work you love, it will be energizing, freeing.
Much of our work ethic starts in childhood by watching our parents.
How did they talk about work? Did they hate it, or did they love it? The truth is probably somewhere in between.
Many of us say we don't want a job "like my parent had" or a job where they're stuck inside a cubicle.
But many of us end up with jobs like that.
Sometimes it's how we approach the tasks of our jobs that make the difference.
It's possible to make even the most mundane job meaningful and fullfilling.
If it isn't possible for you to do that, then it is time to think about "evolving" out of the job.
Sometimes just quitting a job because it's boring is the wrong thing to do, but thinking about where you want to be and if you need more education is good planning.
Some young people seem to have trouble starting jobs or finishing college.
Has our economy discouraged them? A recent movie I saw had a grown man (over thirty) telling his friends that he's a "stay-at-home-son.
" Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.
In 2000, jobs were plentiful and people job-hopped to get better and better pay, sometimes hardly having to work at their current jobs.
Americans are evolving their belives about work, and rightly so.
I had breakfast at my local Perkins yesterday.
Kristin took my order.
She was bubbly and full of energy compared to the other waitresses.
I watched as she remembered everything a family of four staying at a neighboring hotel had ordered the day before.
Kristin loved people and loved her job.
She has the kind of attitude and work ethic that employers crave.
What's your work belief? Does it limit you? Could you tune it up to live a better life right now? If most of us are going to spend 30 years working, shouldn't we try to make it enjoyable? Could it be that work is freedom or right work is energizing or something even better?
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