WORK TO LIVE, NOT LIVE TO WORK

April 1, 2002

It's 5:00 o'clock in the morning; the alarm sets off. You get out of bed. You take a bath. You have your breakfast. You leave the house. You're ready to face another working day. Or are you?

When I was a kid, I would ask my mom why she and my father had to work. She would always tell me that they had to, so we could have the money to buy food, to pay for the bills, to pay for our schooling (we come from a middle income family). Both my parents worked but I'm really grateful to God; that in spite of that, we were never lacking in love, time, nor care from our parents.

As a matter of fact, my brothers and I grew up to be responsible individuals because our parents really took care of us. Although they were at the office 5 days a week from 8:00am to 5:00pm, they still found time to look after us, and teach us our lessons in the evening.

They made sure that we did our homework. They didn't pressure us to aspire for honors, but we were motivated enough to study hard so we'd get good grades. It was our way of repaying our parents who never complained about working. I guess fate has been really good to my brothers and me because, modesty aside, all of us managed to land in the top of our respective classes.

My parents taught me that one has to work in order for him to live a good life. They stressed, however, that this should not be taken as having to live just to work! They said that work should only be a part of life and it should not occupy one's whole existence.

And they lived this philosophy. At the end of the work day, they would leave all their work-related problems in the office so that at home they could be devoted to us 100%, no less.

I must say that agree with them. To this day, I still hear their message that work should be just a part of life and not life itself. I pity those people who have their way in this game called life. They have forgotten how to really live because they work too hard.

There' nothing wrong with striving at work, but people must watch out for signs that they have begun to work themselves to death. Remember that anything in excess is bad. Maybe, they want to achieve something badly, that's why they work so hard. But I believe that success in the workplace doesn't always bring happiness.

To be successful means that you have to sacrifice some things and sometimes, you end up sacrificing your family, your friends, your life; you achieve your professional goals, but you lose yourself. Then you wonder if the loss is worth the gain.

Everybody's wish, in this world, is happiness and there are many ways to be happy. But when we work too hard or worry too much, we often forget that the simple things in life are those that make us happy…. a call from a friend, a smile from a stranger, the sight of a lovely flower, a surprise gift, a filling meal, a pat on the back, etc. It doesn't require much to get these gifts. These gifts are for free, but they provide immeasurable happiness.

Work to live and not live to work. Find time for yourself, for your family, for your friends. Keep in mind that your priority is your loved ones, and not your work. Everybody deserves to be happy and I hope that everyone grows old without any regret in life.

I hope each of us will have a smile on our faces when we reminisce the old times, I hope that everyone finds living exciting, wonderful. It is my wish that we would all find the time to do the things that really matter most.

Let us work hard, not purely for our professional goals, but for a better life.

--- Author Unknown --- Submitted by Jenny Santos --- Manila, Philippines


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