Living to Work? Working to Live?
by Dr. Brian S. Seaman, DC, FRCCSS(C), FICC

Interesting points to ponder, aren’t they?

Do you live to work?

Or do you work to live?

These statements likely become more important as one gets closer to retirement. Oh, in case you are wondering, I am not there yet!

Living to Work

If you are fortunate, you are working, or have worked in a position that provides job satisfaction, is fun, and is a positive experience. Obviously not every day is perfect but overall it is for the most part positive.

The people around you can make a big difference as well. Colleagues, associates, assistants, support staff and people you serve (ie. patients, clients, customers, etc) can all have an impact on how you view your job. I know they have with me.

Obviously everyone is different. Different things ‘make us tick’ and different things motivate us to succeed.

And what is success?

Again, this is different for different people. Some people have an inherent drive to succeed in all aspects of their lives including the accumulation of material things. Others like to travel and see the world. Many strive for a great family life, living in a nice neighbourhood, spending time with your children and/or grandchildren, being around your friends and enjoying helping people in whatever way you can.

Helping people is a great feeling. As a health care professional, I get to do this every day. Your chiropractor, dentist, family physician, massage therapist, optometrist and physiotherapist all will experience the same feeling – multiple times every day.

Others help people in other ways too.

Your religious or spiritual mentor can be part of our lives and in many instances in very trying times. The ‘men and women of the cloth’ can be part of our lives at the very highs (baptism of a new child or wedding) or the very lows (illness or death of a loved one). As with each of us, these special people serve a very important role in many of our lives.

Emotional well-being is also an important part of life. Our parents, siblings, friends, children, coworkers and colleagues, all contribute to this part of our lives. So each of us lives to contribute to others – but none of us would consider it to be work.

Perhaps instead of ‘living to work’ it should be ‘living to contribute’…contributing to the health, well being and betterment of society as well as our neighbours and friends.

Working to Live?

So what is the difference? Well philosophically, there are differences and it could be argued there are positive attributes for both. Are you just working enough to pay the bills with very little left over?

On the other hand, working may provide an individual with a level of emotional, spiritual and societal well being which in turn becomes part of who they are.

So what does this all mean?

Be happy with what you are doing and what life brings to you. Regardless if ‘living to work, or ‘working to live’, hopefully your work is, or has been, satisfying and meaningful.

Enjoy the moment and live for the day but also plan for the future. Take care of your health and be sure that you and your family are financially prepared as much as possible for the years ahead.

Reprinted with permission of
The Seniors' Advocate. P.O. Box 5005, Waverly, Nova Scotia, B2R 1S2

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