Live to Work or Work to Live?

Goodlifer: Live to Work or Work to Live?

Think back to the days when you thought having to go to school for a whole day was hopelessly tiring. How nice it was to come home, lay down on the couch and watch awesomely stupid afternoon TV shows. How homework was just so annoying. Only now we’re realizing how good life was back then. No worries. No risk of getting fired from school, as long as you just dragged your behind there every day.

In this country, we don’t work to live, we live to work. It’s very hard for a Swede like me, who feels like five weeks vacation is a basic human right, to accept that you are not given more than 10 days off every year. Unless you work five years, then you may get 15, or if you work ten years, you may get 20 whole days. But even if people manage to stick around in the same place long enough to be entitled to that month off, they rarely use all days. It’s not considered loyal, and employers would look down upon it. Something is wrong with this picture. This is not a good life.

It’s all a vicious circle that we have created. If you haven’t seen The Story of Stuff, stop reading this and go do so at once (above). Basically, we buy stuff we cannot afford, so we have to work more to pay it off, we get depressed and go buy more stuff to feel better, which means we have to work more to pay for the new stuff… you get the point. Part of the answer is simple, stop buying so much stuff! The other part is that we have this culturally ingrained notion that he who works harder is a better human being. So not true. The new think is all about working smarter, not harder. Enjoying the good life without being a slacker. A happy worker is a good worker. We spend more time at work than with our family and friends, so why not make the best of that time? Quoting my fellow Swede, IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad, “Work should always be fun… We all only have one life. A third of life is work. Without happiness and fun, work becomes hell.” So, my fellow goodlifers, go forth and find jobs you LOVE!

About author
A designer by trade, Johanna has always had a passion for storytelling. Born and raised in Sweden, she's lived and worked in Miami, Brooklyn and, currently, Ojai, CA. She started Goodlifer in 2008 to offer a positive outlook for the future and share great stories, discoveries, thoughts, tips and reflections around her idea of the Good Life. Johanna loves kale, wishes she had a greener thumb, and thinks everything is just a tad bit better with champagne (or green juice).
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What constitutes the good life? It’s a question we’ve asked ourselves since the dawn of time and something we all strive for. To us, the good life is not a destination but a journey. We want to see more positivity in the world. Thinking happy thoughts makes for happy people, and happy people are more productive, innovative and at peace with the world. We believe in the transformative power of good news.

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