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Work to Live or Live to Work?

Work to Live or Live to Work?

Work to Live or Live to Work?Let me ask you a question. Do you work to live or do you live to work? Up until the mid 2000’s I had fallen into the trap of living to work.  I had never set out to do that. It had just sort of crept up on me.

In my last post Wisdom from a Great Mentor I shared how I had worked with Dr Fred Grosse and participated in a year long mentoring course with him which changed my life significantly. I am going to share some of what I learned over the next several posts. In this one I will share the beginning of that journey.

Dr Fred pretty much opened the first day by saying “to have money without a magnificent life is a joke”.  Dr Fred teaches  “to design a life with purpose”.

We started out by listing the things in life that make our heart sing.

He had us break this down into various activities and these have numbers.

The first one is a “10”

Dr Fred describes a “10” as something that is “an ordinary wonderful everyday magnificent experience”. These are things we can do every day and not get sick of them.

As part of our homework we were asked to come up with 500 or more things we could do each day – basically experiences that make our heart sing. Now that stumped me. 500!

Here are some of the things off my list.  They have changed a bit now but this was some of them at the time.

  • Morning exercise (yes I love exercising)
  • breakfast with my husband
  • playing with my dog (sadly she is no longer with us)
  • morning coffee
  • swimming in the ocean
  • being in nature, watching a sunrise/ sunset
  • burning candles with dinner
  • oil burners on
  •  fresh flowers in the house
  •  a glass of wine with dinner
  • listening to music
  • a hot shower
  • soaking a bath tub
  •  – and another several hundred things – yes I did get a good list but it took a bit of time.

One benefit of doing this  is that it helps us feel gratitude and focus on the things we like to do. It helped me make sure I included as many as I could each day and to weave my life around them. Since then my husband and I have adopted this language and often refer to our “tens”.

Next came 25’s

A “25” is something we like to do regularly but not every day – maybe every fortnight or once a month.

My list of these includes;

  • going to the movies
  • going to a live show
  • dinner at a restaurant
  • manicure and a range of other treatments
  • dinner with friends
  • time with family
  • having a drink at my favorite bar overlooking the ocean
  • reading a good book (well maybe that should be on the 10s list)

And then we have 50’s

A “50” is something you would do once or twice a year.

These are special events and you should have a long list so you can work your way through them. My list includes time with my family (we are spread around the country) and a long list of overseas travel I still want to do. I have things like;

  • Christmas in New York (I live in Australia and our Christmas is very hot)
  • Visiting Turkey
  • Alaskan cruise
  • Greek Island cruise
  • Taking my husband to London (I lived there for a while but he has never been)
  • Mexico and South America

And last came 100’s 

Hundreds are the same activities as 50’s BUT they are tax deductible.  Now that made my heart sing – once a CPA always one at heart – tax deductions!

For example I am building a Networking Business with a goal to build it globally so that I can travel with my business.

Can you see how this exercise can help us with  the question do we Work to Live or Live to Work? 

Our lives should not be all about work. I encourage you to make a list of your 10’s, 25’s, 50’s and 100’s.

Dr Fred said to us “if you spend all your time earning your living – when do you have time for your life?”

Make your list and please let me know some of your 10,25,50 and 100′s. What makes your heart sing?

If you enjoyed Work to Live or Live to Work please share it with your friends.

 

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Sue Price
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36 thoughts on “Work to Live or Live to Work?

    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Elaine

      I so agree with you. I think it is way too easy when we work from home to get caught up in always working. I have started having at least one day on the weekend where I do not turn my computer on.

      Thanks for dropping by here again. How are you?

      Sue

        1. Sue Price Post author

          Hi Elaine

          Good to hear your are doing well. It is so funny as our seasons are opposite. We currently have heat and humidity 🙂

          Have a nice weekend.

          Sue

  1. Sylviane Nuccio

    Hi Sue,

    It’s true that, unfortunately, most people on the planet don’t fully live, because they have to spend more than 3 quarters of their life working. Americans are like that a lot. I say Americans, because in Europe I’ve seen people enjoy life more at least.

    I remember a lady I met a while back who moved with her family from Ireland, she told me that she was so disappointed in the American way of life because “Americans didn’t believe in vacation” as she put it. She and her family had realized that they actually had more freedom back home. I certainly totally got that.

    When my mom and aunt came to visit me, up until very recent years people would often asked me how they could be off work for so long, beause they would stay 3 months at the time. Because of the fact that they still looked young, people assumed that they should be working. LOL, I still get a laugh thinking of this.

    Thanks for those lists, too 🙂
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    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Sylviane

      I think many Europeans have a more balance life than in the US for sure. While I have not lived in America I used to visit frequently for business and have worked with so many Americans. Australians do work long hours but we do also have more holidays. In Australia all employees get at least 4 weeks annual vacation. Some people get more. I was shocked to learn what Americans get.

      Australians also travel a lot. You do not meet too many people that have not been overseas. I know that is very different in America.

      I imagine your Mom looks young. That European skin is a good thing 🙂

      Thanks for your comment Sylviane.

      I missed our hangout this week. I really enjoy them.

      Sue

    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Linda

      So good to see you back here. Yes it has been way too long.

      The whole concept of doing the 10’s does help get you in touch with as you say what you love about your life. It is amazing how many you do get to come up with as you go through your day.

      How are you? So good to see your face here 🙂

      Big hug

      Sue

  2. Adrienne

    Oh my goodness Sue, I’ll never be able to come up with 500 things. I don’t get out much each day, it’s spent on this computer. I guess I just told on myself.

    I understand what he’s saying. As a first time entrepreneur I’ve fallen into the trap of living to work. But the good news is that I love what I do. Love love love it so to me it’s not work. I also love my life, love love love it so I have the best of both worlds.

    Do I want more? A few things but not really much. I’m a homebody pretty much and I do get out and do what I want when I want. Some of the benefits of working at home. I’m definitely working towards slacking off more though.

    I’ll look forward to what else you’ll share and in the meantime Sue, I’m going to see what I can’t do about making a list. Or many… Just for the sake of it. 🙂

    ~Adrienne
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    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Adrienne

      You will surprise yourself if you start to write your list. I too did not think I could get anywhere near 500 but I just kept adding to it.
      Of course you love your work and you do have a life.

      Making the list helps us focus on what we are grateful for too. And many of them are little things. Like I love my morning cup of coffee. I only have one a day but I do love it. Just do it as you go through your day and you will surprise yourself.

      I have a few good things to share from what I learned from Dr Fred 🙂

      Thanks for your comment.

      I hope you are having a good week Adrienne. I missed seeing everyone on our hangout.

      Sue

  3. Carol Minarcik

    Hey Sue, You know I never thought of listing things in this order and giving them so much thought. In fact I sat down this afternoon and ran through and made a list of a similar exercise. Interesting. I enjoyed your article and thanks for sharing these thoughts. It really made me feel almost “organized”. I am sorta like Adrienne tho, I love my work, and my work is like my enjoyment….but we all need a change of pace once in awhile no matter what schedule we follow. Have a Great Day!
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    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Carol

      I found that making this list helped me focus on what I am grateful for. There are many little things in all our lives we do not stop to appreciate.

      I actually found that making a list of the 25s, the things you do say once every other week or month really good for me. It made my schedule things like going to a movie. Otherwise both my husband and I can fall into just working too much. I think even when we love our work we need time out.

      Thanks for your comment Carol. Have a great day.

      Sue

  4. Barry Wells

    Hi Sue,

    That sounds like a really good exercise to get ourselves focused. Not sure I could come up with anything near 500 though.

    I don’t tend to do a lot as I’m home all day, working on various projects but even when I do go out and about 8 times out 10 I’d rather be back at home in my family bubble.

    When I was working full time, before my injury, I’d work every hour I could and spent very little time at home. Now that I’m trying to create a business of my own I tend to work throughout the day but spend the evenings with my wife and kids (when they’re home).

    I’ll have to give the exercise a go and see what I can come up with…. maybe 10 ha ha.

    Looking forward to the following post Sue 😉

    Barry
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    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Barry

      I know what you mean about preferring to be at home after years of not being there. For the last 10 years that I was working in offices I spent much of the time traveling interstate so hotel beds much of my life. I used to really miss my daughter and husband. Now it is just my husband and I at home and we both work from here.

      I reckon you would still have a bunch of tens you love every day. Just simple things and they do not have to be “out” things. I guess the 25s and 50s etc are more experiences but they could be anything. Give it a go. I would love to know how you go.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting Barry.

      Sue

  5. Carolyn

    Hi Sue, I love this idea. You not only get organized, but you prioritize as well. In doing so, you appreciate what may seem to be routine, but actually is important. People who are suffering post Hurricane Sandy would love to be able to go back to their everyday lives. A list like this could help them realize how far they have come as they recover.

    I hope by the time you visit New York for Christmas that things are back to normal there!
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    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Carolyn

      I am glad you love the idea and yes it has all the benefits you have said. I agree I am sure there are many people post Hurricane Sandy that just want the normal things in their lives back. I think most of us take so many things like electricity for granted. It is only when we do not have it we realise how much it supports our life.

      I too hope NY is back to normal very soon. I am not sure I am going to make it this Christmas it will more likely be the one after. Maybe the way things are that is not so bad.

      Thanks for your feedback here Carolyn and I hope you are having a nice weekend.

      Sue

  6. Cat Alexandra

    Hi Sue,

    Oh I love the refocus assistance here in this topic you’ve chosen! This is one which I feel SO MANY people could benefit from in large ways.

    I am a person who absolutely can relate to you on the past “live to work” lifestyle as I have also walked in those shoes! What an unfulfilled experience it ended up being for me. I am not sure where it happened but my over-zealous nature took over and at some point the workload took on a literal life of its own and then I found that I really had “no life” outside of work to speak of.

    I believe I am a good example of what Dr. Grosse was saying about having money and no life…that was me for awhile!

    I personally love your list! It sounds like we both enjoy a good deal of the same activities. I noticed that you put morning coffee as number 4 and that made me smile, as I often see that as the #1 thing people do to start the day! lol

    …and how often do we get to see a word like fortnight used so skillfully? lol Like never, that’s when! 😉

    I do enjoy your style, Sue!

    Incidentally, I have made quite a number ofl lists similar to your “what makes your heart sing” list as of late as I was taking inventory of my life and the many things I have to be so grateful for.

    I have to say that at the top of that list is being able to wake up healthy and feel the sun on my skin. It really energizes me to experience that, staring the day in the face and making the most of that day with my loved ones!

    Thanks for such a great reminder of all these savory bits that TRULY make life delicious, Sue.

    Cat 😀
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    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Cat

      So good to see you here and thanks for your comment. I think many of us have been down the path of making work our focus. I too at one point had a lot of money rolling in but no time with my family or people I loved. It is a sad way to live.

      Oh and using the word fortnight – I forget it is one that you do not use in America. In Australia and the UK it is often referred to. Canadians get it but many people from the USA have not heard the word. So if anyone else reads this that does not know the word I will say it is every two weeks 🙂

      I am sure you have really thought out what makes your heart sing and what you are grateful for Cat. It was so good seeing you on video again.

      Take care of you and thanks again for dropping by here.

      Sue

  7. Viola Tam

    Hi Sue,

    Thank you for sharing Dr. Fred’s wisdom – “If you spend all your time earning your living – when do you have time for your life?”

    Coming from a Chinese family, I tend to value hard work. Fortunately, my dad was a person who knew that life had to be appreciated every day. I ‘inherited’ his philosophy of ‘Treating Myself Well’. I value family life and quality time with friends and relatives. I guess this is why I love Network Marketing so much! There is so much flexiblity in what we do 🙂

    I have not thought about doing the 10, 25, 50, 100 lists though. Very interesting! My husband and I will have some fun designing those lists 🙂

    I appreciate your sharing, Sue.

    Viola Tam
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    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Viola

      I know the Chinese have an amazing work ethic. It is visible at schools which is probably also a high regard for education. I am glad you inherited your Dad’s philosophy of treating yourself well. That is a wonderful thing for a father to instil in his child.

      My daughter in law is Chinese. She has worked for us in a previous company for many years. She is a real worker but she still does live her life and incorporates all sorts of activities, including being a mother now.

      I agree that network marketing does give us the ability to have a nice life with flexibility.

      If you have done the 10, 25 etc with your husband I hope you had fun. We have been revisiting ours.

      Thanks for your comment Viola.

      Sue

  8. Mary Stephenson

    Hi Sue

    500 things? There are so many things I would like to do, but don’t have the time to do them. But, what I am doing now is much more enjoyable than working for an unappreciative employer and that it was only for a paycheck. The stress was not worth it and yet some how I will rise above all of this and will actually get to do the things I would like to do. But for now I sit in front of my computer screen and type. Each day is a learning experience…but I am learning what I want not what someone else wants me to learn. The learning will be what I can use to eventually have a better income than a boss will ever be able to provide. I believe it to be achievable so with action and the right knowledge it is something that I can accomplish. It might take longer to get to that point but it is a lot less stressful than what I was doing.
    I shall have to think of a list. But for now each end of day I try to write down 10 things I am grateful for.

    Mary
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    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Mary

      I just found your comment here in my spam. I have no idea why it ended up there so apologies for my late reply.

      Yes 500 seems an awful lot but once you start it is amazing how many little things we do everyday that we do not stop to appreciate. Try and see how you go.

      Well good on you for taking the steps to do your own business online and for not working for the unappreciative employer. There is a big learning curve for sure when we start online and it takes time before we can have the life we truly want. The main thing is to keep working towards it and know what you want.

      All the best with your business Mary.

      Thanks for your comment.

      Sue

  9. Carol Lynn

    Wow, that’s a heck of a list! 500 things… now I want to try it just to see what I can come up with! This is a really neat exercise and makes you think about your life and things you appreciate and definitely things you should be grateful for. It reminds me a little of a book, something like “1000 things to be happy about”. Love it, and thanks for the inspiration today. I’m already writing the list in my head!
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    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Carol

      It is pretty amazing really that it is not difficult to keep adding to the list once you get started. I love it as it does put me into the attitude of gratitude. There are so many things that are simple things that we often take for granted. I am sure all the people without power from the hurricane were very grateful when they got their electricity back.

      I remember when I first did this I was commuting to my office for at least 2 hours a day and used to complain. So I started listing things in my head I liked and it helped with the commute. Wow that is something I do not miss!

      Thanks for your comment Carol and I would love to know how you go with your list.

      Sue

  10. jenny leather

    Great reminder Sue, When I first did this with Fred realised I was inviting my own life force particles to come back to ME. We spend so much of our day doing and giving to others along with allowing life to steal our power. These lists started me making me a priority consciously. Sometimes Gary would sit quietly and imagine all these little golden men running back into his heart and feel refuel and empowered after. (5 mins is all it takes, this was one of his 10 point steps)
    It is interesting how we learn these stratgies and then let them go over time. Time to get out the lists again thanks for the reminder.
    Love always
    Jenny
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    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Jenny

      It is great to see you here given you have experienced Dr Fred’s work. I love what Gary used to do there with the little golden men. I am going to try that!

      I agree Jen we do learn so many good things and then can let them slip. You know the really sad bit Ivan and I just realised is that when we have had struggles in our life we do all the things we know to do to get ourselves out of the situation and then when we are doing well again we let them slip. That was a big realisation for us.

      I hope all is going well with you and Gary.

      Love to you too Jen.

      Sue

  11. Sonia

    I have heard that term before and it is amazing how easily we get caught up in our own lives. When I feel as if I am living life is when I can get away from the computer and just be. Watch TV, laugh with friends and be with my family. But when something tragic happens, I remember how blessed I already was. I am going to do this exercise you mentioned and apply it to my life. I love working, but I love my life with my family more. Work will always be there, but family is my life. Thanks Sue for the reminder and this neat exercise.
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    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Sonia

      Oh yes we can get caught up in our own life that is for sure. I am glad you are going to do the exercise as it helps us get really clear with what makes our heart sing. I think it is great to love our work and working but not let it take over our life. You seem to have your priorities pretty clear Sonia. That is a good thing 🙂

      Thanks for your comment. Have a great rest of your week.

      Sue

  12. ileane

    Hi Sue, this is a great lesson. If this is only the beginning I can see why you say that Dr. Fred had such an impact on you. I enjoy hearing about this journey that are on and I feel like I’m along for the ride.

    My favorite thing is just the whole concept of writing down things we need to be more appreciative of. It’s almost like making a bucket list in reverse.

    Thanks for sharing this.
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    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Ileane

      I agree with you that writing down things we need to be appreciative of is very helpful. Dr Fred did certainly have an impact on me and I am enjoying revisiting his teaching.

      Thanks for your feedback here.

      Have a great week.

      Sue

    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi I am unsure of your name. I know it is not web design 🙂 Is it Nadia?

      Thanks for your comment and I am glad you can see the value in writing things down so we can accomplish the things that are important to us.

      Sue
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    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Cammie

      I agree with you on that one. It is a trap when we work on the internet to be on it more than we should. But there are also so many benefits don’t you think?

      Thanks for finding me here Cammie and for your comment.

      Sue
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      1. Cammie Davis

        Hi Sue – Yes, it’s really handy. I find myself grabbing my iPad while on the couch and checking on this or that. Usually, just a quick check. But, when I go to my home office, I’m usually in there for a while.
        -Cammie
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        1. Sue Price Post author

          I agree with you Cammie. I actually do not have an iPad as yet so I take my laptop with me to the couch. I am about to get an iPad and I am a little concerned I will not discipline myself to always be checking it 🙂

          There are certainly pros and cons with our home offices.

          Take care

          Sue
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