Work-Life Integration

Work-Life Integration Is Not a Goal

Your goal should be to do only the work you love. The result could be true work-life integration.

Recently someone told me that “work-life integration” is not desirable for most people because, as he repeated to me, nobody has ever said on their deathbeds, “I wish I had spent more time at the office.”

I see two problems with this view:

First, it assumes that work happens at the office. But that does not apply to me, and it does not apply for many other creative networkers in the world. Work happens whenever I want it, and wherever I go. The world and my life are my office.

Second, it is a well-researched fact that most people don’t like their jobs. Of course it makes perfect sense that those people prefer not to spend more time doing work that doesn’t motivate them, and they would rather not waste their lives in an environment they hate.

I agree, such people should not pursue work-life integration.

Instead, everyone should stop doing work they hate (or else, stop complaining about it, and start changing their organizations). They shouldn’t be making up all kinds of excuses for not quitting their jobs, and instead make their own lives a better place to live. Start doing the work you love!

Yes, it can be hard.

No, it’s not impossible.

It’s your work and your life, not somebody else’s.

The outcome of such bold steps, to take full control of your own work-life, could be true work-life integration, where you get paid to do what you truly love. And maybe, on your deathbed, you might say, “Thank God, I was able to do such great work. It was the best life ever.”

(image: (c) 2014 Jurgen Appelo)


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  • Pia-Maria Thoren

    Agree, agree, agree – my point is that if you cannot find anything nice in your work, then you should definitely quit and look for something else (look for something else first would be the wise option). If you like some things about your work, focus on them and make them bigger, start looking for even more things you like in a new job but most important: DON’T COMPLAIN – you chose to do what you do every day, nobody is forcing you. The only thing you need to focus on is how you can make things even better, a little bit every day. Great post (and photo 🙂

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