restaurant front

Work to Live.

My career began at an advertising agency in Paris. I busted my tail every day and scoffed at the laissez-faire work ethic of the French. By the time my first annual review came around, I anticipated glowing praise. Instead, I was reprimanded by the agency president. He scolded me for letting an entire year slip by without better immersing myself in the city and the boundless cultural opportunities. He went on to point out that in order to be a great creative, I needed to be immersed in the arts, culture, and pop culture. I needed to start working to live and stop living to work. My bonus that year was season tickets to the Paris Opera. The next year, cooking classes at Cordon Bleu….I got the message. When I think back on my five years there, I derived as much pleasure from living as I did achieving professionally.

I was listening to a podcast recently about The Great Resignation and the host suggested that America is going through a midlife crisis. It rubbed me the wrong way because reevaluating priorities is not the same as the emotional turmoil typically associated with a midlife crisis. People are resigning from living to work. America is finally realizing that professional success doesn’t require constant personal sacrifice. A healthy balance is, in fact, achievable and millions of Americans realized that during the pandemic.

So where does that leave us? We need to stop thinking in terms of “work-or-life”. It’s both, inextricably intertwined. And success will be measured by how well we prosper both working and living.




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