Today is the 41st episode of Unique Careers, Unique Lives. And I want to talk to you about LifeWork. This term LifeWork is important for me because it's a term that I created for the work that I'm doing. I'm calling myself LifeWork coach. The reason I'm calling myself LifeWork coach is that because even though I work with people who want to have fulfilling work, the reason that they want to have fulfilling work is to have fulfilling lives. And there is no hard separation, in my opinion, between life and work, work is a very big part of our life.
I used to call myself a career coach and career coach meant different to people than what it meant to me.
I defined career as a storyline, the legacy of your work so far, but many people have thought of it as the climbing of the corporate ladder or polishing your CV so it looks more attractive. Career coaching is so much more than this. These points can be the starting points, but what career coaching aims is to help you have a fulfilling career, which is to help you have fulfilling life.
Your work takes half of your waking hours. How you are spending this time tells about how you are living your life.
Your work is such an important part of your life, because if you think about it, your work is maybe your first and most important adult decision. And it's a decision that you cannot escape from if you are not, of course wealthy, and you can live without working, you don't have to earn money, then you might have different life choices. But for most of us, we need to work. We need to choose our work and what are we going to choose based on? And what are we going to do with this choice? This choice impacts our life so much because if you think about it, we are spending at least eight hours working. This is of course, considering nine to five. It's eight hours of your 24 hour life thinking that you also spent preparing for the work. Maybe you are doing overtime. It takes close to half of your awake life. How are you choosing to spend this time? Because you are living life while you are working.
I come from a family... I cannot generalize, but my father and my grandfather, they chose their work based on what they knew they could do. And they saw work as means of earning money. What they wanted to do was to work as little as possible, because work was something to tolerate so that they can live. But what they missed to consider was when you do the work, you don't like or you are tolerating rather than learning, growing, expanding, and being yourself, then this creates an accumulated negative energy that doesn't disappear by itself, that expands to your life. As you see, that is no clear borders between your work and your life even though there is a beginning of your work time and ending of your work time-if that's also possible now in the Corona times- who you are and how you feel, doesn't have these borders, you bring yourself back to your life as someone who has experienced difficulty for eight hours, who has tolerated, who has accumulated all this air that couldn't be freely breathed in and out during the work time, you bring this to your life and now your life is breathed it in through this version of yourself.
Of course it impacts how you feel, how you interact with others, what do you choose to do in your time. And if you find yourself in a place of negativity, you don't like your job at all, you tolerate too much, you suppress your feelings. , this creates such a huge emotional load that you jump into ways to free yourself from this energy or turn it into at least a natural way of being that might come in the way of eating a lot, it might be shopping, binge-watching, extreme fitness training.
You now need to invest your time to all the additional activities that you wouldn't normally choose if you weren't affected by the work during your work time. This idea of doing work just for the money in a limited time so that you can live life doesn't work when you are not happy at your work, because then you become not happy in your life as well.
Work is a dedicated time to discover who we truly are, which we otherwise would not have invested
You can see that there is no separation between work and life. They are together. That's why I call it LifeWork. Not just work, but the other part, the other way is also possible. The positivity that you create from your work also expands to your life. I actually believe - I'm referring back to how I started-Doing your work is the process of becoming a full, powerful, expanding adult, this powerful human being, because you have the full responsibility of the work you do, you have the full responsibility of your life because you have to earn your life. You have the full responsibility of your choices. The choice of staying in the work or leaving is up to you.
And the type of work you do is also up to you. Yeah, you might tell that you are working in a company, so there are things that you don't like to do but you still have to do... Right. This can also happen, but the continuous co-creation of the work you do through being yourself or understanding yourself through doing the work, you don't like and through the work you like is also part of your becoming this full resourceful, powerful human being. You don't invest so much energy and time to anything else. Maybe if we were to tell you live your life so that you will discover who you are, live your life freely and during this time, understand, what are your values, what are your skills, what you really care about? I don't know if you would actually do it because maybe you would then just lie on the beach, watch movies, whatever, but here you are required to spend time on work, which means you are required to make choices. You are investing a dedicated time for years. And this dedicated time is actually the opportunity for you to have experiences that helps you discover who you actually are. The experiences you have can be in both ways.
In the best case, as a lucky person, you can discover that you enjoy doing something really much. For example, I enjoyed coming up with new ideas and writing promotional texts, and I discovered that I'm really good with words and I am creative. This is the good case from the work you do looking in your own experience of what gives you joy and energy.
(There are dogs barking, by the way, I'm doing this recording from my summer holidays in Turkey, and now I'm in my aunt's place and the window is open and we have a neighbor's dog barking. ) It's all part of the process. As I was saying, LifeWork is part of life. And now you can see the dog is also part of my work and my life. Coming back to what I was saying is that you get these experiences and you discover what you enjoy doing, part of who you are, your skills, but also because you make choices, you choose which work you would do, and you make choices based on the limited information you have and you start your work life. When you have graduated from a school, you will know a little bit about yourself and you choose based on what you know, what you have studied or who you know, what professions the people around you were having. These are your idea box. And from this, you choose something. And through the experiences that you have, of course you might not make the best choice, but the experiences you have tell you more about who you are. We talked about the positive experiences. Then there are the negative experiences such as understanding that you hate what you are doing. Like my experience of working in audit and spending a lot of time alone in front of a computer typing numbers or working with people, demanding invoices from them, because I need to control them as part of my audit, but feeling terrible about it, I understood that I didn't want to do work related to data and work related to checking accuracy of something. That is also very valuable information about who you are.
Via negativa means defining something with what it is not. Work teaches you about who you are usually with experiences that show you this is not what you want.
There is a term that defines that kind of learning it's called via negativa, you learn through the negative, you learn that's not what you want. You eliminate one option from your life, but at the same time, knowing this is not what you want keeps you curious or provokes you to think of, Okay. If it's not what I want, what is it that I want?
And now with this question, with this curiosity, you can see what's out there and you can gain even more awareness about all the positive experiences that you are having at work. You see how this dedicated time we spend at work is actually an opportunity to discover who we are, which we in other case wouldn't have invested.
And with this awareness, we can make better choices as we continue to live, we can continue to choose our work in the way that makes who we truly are truly be in service..
And as work and life are not divided, when we put ourselves into service at work and we feel this energy and we bring use to ourselves and others, this expands to our life as well, we can use our talents, skills, energy in our private life. We can benefit our friends and family with our positive energy, with our safety in the world, knowing who we are and not needing to defend who we are, because we know it, we can allow other people take more space in our lives and be who they are because we know who we are and they can be who they are. And there is no need to fight about it.
Work is a wonderful place for your self discovery, your becoming a powerful human being, an adult who makes her own choices, who makes his own decisions, who learns through positive experiences and negative experiences, who continues to grow and expand and empower herself and others and help others to take more space because you are rooted in who you are.
That's why I find work so important because of all the opportunities. To life. It helps us discover who we are, it helps us to be fully in life knowing who we are, and it adds meaning to our experiences positive and negative.
What do you think of your LifeWork? Where are you learning about yourself? What are the positive experiences that teach about you to you? And what are the negative experiences this via negativa tests that you have that tell you what you don't like? And what are you curious about yourself? To learn more about yourself?
That was the topic of this week's Unique Careers, Unique Lives podcast..
I am going to talk to you in the next episode.
Lots of love from Izmir.. Maybe you are hearing the cicadas in the garden. They are loud every hour sending you lots of love and talk to you in the next episode. Take care.