My new response to “you’re always working.”
We’ve all been on the receiving end of this loaded comment, but rather than get frustrated, I wanted to share with you how I’ve been able to help this person get a glimpse into why our worldviews may be different.
At the core of this comment is an assumption that work is something negative.
This comment is often tied into other remarks around the need to find ‘work-life’ balance, but for me there’s only ever been ‘life’ and this is why I’m so vigilant in ensuring that any time I say yes, it is to something that I’m incredibly passionate about.
The below response attempts to explore whether this person’s connotation of work, might actually feel much more like passion when they are viewing it through my eyes.
If a painter commits their life to painting, they’re an artist. If an athlete keeps training even when nobody is watching, they’re a role model. Yet when I strive to continually improve my craft, even when others may have lost interest, you see this as a negative.
In the same way that a sculptor moulds a masterpiece from the smallest piece of clay, I strive to turn the tiniest of ideas into solutions that may one day change the world.
To me this is the most beautiful form of art, and the only way I can ever become a better artist is by learning from those who share this vision.
When you see me reading a blog, or trying to overcome a constraint, or bouncing ideas with a mate, this may look like work to you, but to me this is pure bliss.
When you see me heading to another conference, you see a work commitment where I see the chance to surround myself with aspiring artists who are trying to make each other better.
For you life is about living and that’s what happens after you leave the office at five. For me, waiting until five to start living sounds a hell of a lot like work.’
For some people this entire response will sound so cliché, whilst for others this will speak directly to your heart.
No matter what your view, for me this demonstrates the power of empathy. When you’re willing to see the world through the eyes of someone else, they might just show you a life full of passion that previously you mistook for pain.