September 6, 2010

5 Ways to Take the Work Out of Work and Connect with Life

published this at 8:58 am

Some Folks Have All Fun


Ever notice that some of us live, some of work to live, some of us live to work … and one or two of us seem to BE a piece of work?

Other living species don’t think their way into this problem. Why should we?


Once upon a time there was a moment when the idea of work didn’t exist. Life was life and we lived it. Some of us only experience that in early childhood. Some of keep that secret with us and carry it through every moment we’re here.

5 Ways to Take the Work Out of Work and Connect with Life

It’s no secret that we’ve added negative connotations that bend the word work to define only some energy we invest or that work is often described as the opposite of play. And it’s fairly obvious to most of us that we often invest as much or more of our energy in things that we call something other than work … love, passion, sports, games, hobbies … life.

We’ve managed to disconnect what we call “work” from our life.

We frame it inside the idea of work-life balance — as if we could separate the working part from the living part and put each on the other side of a scale. Even if we could segment our lives so dicretely, each of us seems have a different definition of which exertion belongs in which category on which day.

The “who” of “Who puts the work in work?” is us. It follows that we’re the ones who, in the same way, can take the “work” out of work and get on to being fully connected to every breath that we take.

Here are five ways that I connect with life.

It’s the way we connect to our life that determines what we value, who we give ourselves and our time to, and what we consider work or fun. Connect to your life. Aspire (breathe toward) with intention to get closer to the people and ideas that invigorate and energize you.

As we live for the people and the moments that fuel us, life becomes simpler, easier, more fun — even when it’s not. We connect more deeply to the people we value, to the world, to ourselves and to our dreams.

Suddenly we find it’s never been a problem of finding a balance between work and life, but simply a problem of connecting and savoring the time of our lives.

How do you take the work out of work and connect with life?

–ME “Liz” Strauss
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Filed under Motivation, Successful Blog | 17 Comments »

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17 Comments to “5 Ways to Take the Work Out of Work and Connect with Life”

  1. September 6th, 2010 at 10:58 am
    James said

    I like to concentrate on where I plan to go from here. There may be some unpleasant things I need to do to get where I am going but I know if I get them done, I’ll get to the point where those things don’t matter anymore.
    It’s a bit like the “Want to” you mentioned. In this case the want to may not be related to the work I am doing at all.

  2. September 6th, 2010 at 12:25 pm
    Ali Davies said

    I am not a fan of the whole work life balance obsession. I think it encourages folk to see work as something separate to themselves and their life. I choose to think of life as something we can design of which work is an aspect along with family life, relationships, lifestyle and so on. If we then design our life, and all it’s component parts, around our core values and how we want our life to really be we are far more likely to live our ideal life.

  3. September 6th, 2010 at 8:07 pm
    Jon Prial said

    We spend too many hours of our life working, that it is important to try to make the work side of your work-life spectrum exciting and something that fuels your passions. With that, you still have to care about your life (partner, children, family) and yourself and never let work overrun the life side. Getting both right is hard and is the real challenge of work-life balance.

  4. September 6th, 2010 at 8:45 pm
    @Iconic88 said

    Great post Liz!! Thank you.

    Connecting into life and those that matter is the juice.

    We need to transform work into passion. Passion into connecting to make a positive difference in our own lives and life times.

    When we help others, we help ourselves. Odd connection that 😉

    All the best.

  5. September 6th, 2010 at 11:29 pm
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Hi Jon!
    I agree that we have to find a harmony (I like that word more than balance) in blending our work more easily into our lives in ways that fuel us … so that we can spend quality time with our friends and family, appreciating them, sharing with them the time of our lives.

  6. September 6th, 2010 at 11:32 pm
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Hello there, Iconic88!!
    I love your use of the word transform ! It so perfectly fits what I was reaching out to say here. Thank you for extending my thoughts in such a beautiful, deep way. If I might build on your odd connections, I believe there is no act of generosity that doesn’t go both ways. :)

  7. September 7th, 2010 at 9:46 am
    [email protected] said

    Perfect post for me to read after falling out of every balancing pose in yoga today and, unfortunately, that’s not unique for me.
    And I loved the pic. cherry

  8. September 7th, 2010 at 10:45 am
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Hi Cherry!
    Balance is a state of mind … not body. heh heh

  9. September 7th, 2010 at 10:55 am
    Judy Martin said

    Hi Liz,
    I enjoyed your insightful post.

    Your line said it all..
    “It’s the way we connect to our life that determines what we value, who we give ourselves and our time to, and what we consider work or fun. Connect to your life.”

    Some are so concerned with separating career and life that we don’t often breath passion into our work. When we infuse the human element into our work life it becomes vocation. Breathing passion or as you put it “aspiring” to connect with ideas and people who you resonate with enhances the experience of the work life merge that many are so desperately trying to navigate with grace in our 24/7 world.

  10. September 7th, 2010 at 11:24 am
    Andrew @ Blogging Guide said

    Connect to the “want to” of everything. I really like this. Don’t see work as work but see work as play. There is really no easy work, every kind of job is difficult no matter how high or low it is. So be content of the work you have now, if not, look for something you know you will enjoy and start living your life with passion. Do it with less complaining and you’ll see you’re doing what you’re suppose to be really doing.

  11. September 7th, 2010 at 10:35 pm
    @Iconic88 said

    Thanks Liz!

    ” I believe there is no act of generosity that doesn’t go both ways.” How right you are! even when let rip with altruistic acts of kindness, life tends to love you right back 😉

    Thank you! Love your beautiful thoughts 😉

  12. September 8th, 2010 at 6:39 am
    [email protected] said

    Only 20% of the workforce has the luxury of a stay at home parent. Since women tend to be the caretakers of children, elders, home and also their jobs, where is the limit on what a person can realistically achieve and still remain happy and healthy?

  13. September 8th, 2010 at 9:55 am
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Hi Judy!
    I see so many people who have separate their life into boxes and containers that nothing seems to be connected to any other thing. It’s no wonder that they can’t feel any control or balance. It’s got to be hard to even understand what all of the pieces are. From where I sit it seems that once we get ourselves and our life integrated into a whole we might be more able to know what we bring and aspire to get from all of it and with every breath.

  14. September 8th, 2010 at 9:59 am
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Hello Andrew!
    Every job requires some sort of energy investment, but imagine how bored we’d all be if we had to sit all day with nothing on which to spend that energy! Yeah, I agree. When we switch from complaining to seeing the upside of things, we actually get better at finding the upside and focusing on it. We also attract people who want to be with people who are positive. Better and more positive things happen with positive people around us. Go figure! :)

  15. September 8th, 2010 at 1:16 pm
    Rosemary ONeill said

    Great subject, and great insights as always Liz! Have you been watching “The Big C” (new show on Showtime)? It’s about a woman who is diagnosed with terminal cancer and decides to live life in a new way. One great quote from the show is her brother, noticing her new behavior: “you’ve gotten your weirdness back, sis!” For some reason, that has really resonated with me lately. I think we should all reconnect with our “weirdness.” The woman in the show manifests that as riding her old tandem bike to the ice cream shop, sunbathing naked, and keeping her son home from soccer camp. I’ve been pondering what things I would do differently if I knew I only had a certain amount of time left. We all need more “weirdness.”

  16. September 8th, 2010 at 6:48 pm
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Hi Jacqueline,
    That’s just it. It might be that we’re too focused on what we achieve and not focused enough on living and being connected to the people around us. Do that would be achieving a life. It’s my point. :)

  17. September 9th, 2010 at 7:59 am
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Hi Rosemary!
    What a great idea! We need our weirdness back, for sure! It’s what defines each of us as unique. I wonder if we valued our weirdness more that we wouldn’t discover something in it that might change the world?

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