How many times have you heard people say about their work, “Well, at least I’m making a living”? Maybe it would be more accurate to say, “I’m making a dying.” The work they describe is unfulfilling, boring, and stressful. They dread going in on Monday morning and every other morning. Often they are embarrassed about their work and admit readily they are doing nothing meaningful, only extracting a paycheck in exchange for their time.
Does that sound like making a living? I don’t think so. They may brush it off as just something we all do; work is never going to be purposeful and enjoyable. They may pretend it doesn’t really matter. But then I hear painful comments like, “I feel like my soul is being sucked out of me,” or “I feel like a prostitute—in exchange for my life I’m getting a paycheck.”
If you’re caught up in the typical American view of work, you may say you’re making a living when in truth something inside you is being killed each day. Every day, millions of people rush to get to jobs they don’t love, and yet those people defend their choices as responsible, practical, and realistic. How can it be responsible to live the biggest part of our lives devoid of meaning, joy, and purpose?
“Making a living” implies that you are releasing those skills and talents that make you fully alive. Doing work where the time just flies by—work that you would want to do even if you were not paid for it. Work that is meaningful, fulfilling, purposeful, and profitable.
In a recent issue of his ministry newsletter, Rick Warren, the author of The Purpose Driven Life, was talking about this idea of meaningful work. He referenced this verse from Ecclesiastes: “Only someone too stupid to find his way home would wear himself out with work” (Ecclesiastes 10:15 tev). How do you like that? Have you been worn out at work lately? Did you know that you’ve just been put in the category of being “too stupid to find your way home”?
Well, maybe that’s a little harsher than it was intended to be and you’ll find softer language in other Bible translations, but I like the message. I have a little needlework in my office that someone gave me that says, “Please help me not to be so busy making a living I forget to make a life.”
And I don’t even have space here to describe what most people are doing to themselves when they think they’re making a killing.
Are you making a living when you work?
Is your work energizing and utilizing your best God-given talents?
Dan Miller, President of 48 Days LLC, specializes in creative thinking for increased personal and business success. He believes that meaningful work blends our natural skills and abilities, our unique personality traits and our dreams and passions. Dan is active in helping individuals redirect careers, evaluate new income sources, and achieve balanced living. He believes that a clear sense of direction can help us become all that God designed us to be. Dan is the author of the widely acclaimed 48 Days to The Work You Love and No More Mondays. He writes regularly for many popular magazines and web portals, including CBN.com, Crosswalk.com, In Touch, AARP and Success magazines and the Zig Ziglar newsletter. He has been a guest on CBS’ ‘The Early Show,’ MSNBC’s ‘Hardball with Chris Mathews,’ 700 Club’s Living the Life and Fox Business News with Dave Ramsey Show, to hit some highlights. He hosts a weekly podcast that is consistently ranked #1 under Careers on iTunes. Dan is also a frequent speaker and guest on popular radio programs like Moody Broadcasting, Crown Financial, Janet Parshall’s America, American Family Radio, and Prime Time Chicago. Committed to personal priorities, Dan and wife Joanne have been happily married for over 42 years. They have three grown children, all entrepreneurs, and they enjoy spending time with their eleven grandchildren. Visit his website at: http://www.48days.com/wisdommeetspassion.
Publication date: July 17, 2012