Work Must Define You
May 20, 2015

Work Must Define You

by Brian de Haaff

Work has gotten a bad rap lately. It has earned the reputation as a necessary evil that you must be miserable doing. Many people say that you must maintain an equilibrium between work and the rest of your life. Yes, work is important to pay the bills. But work and life are not mutually exclusive.

The expression that work must not define you is of the same ilk of “achieving work-life balance.” Both expressions have weaseled their way into our vernacular in the last 20 years and caused more harm than good.

Finding that perfect state of harmony between work and life is a lie because it is not sustainable. You may find moments of this balance, but what happens when something throws off that equilibrium?

I believe the opposite is true. Work defines you, whether you think it does or not.

There should be no dividing line between work and the rest of your life. Work is life and life is work. Our lives are defined by the effort that we put in it. We have already built a few successful companies around this principle, including now at Aha!

When you operate from the framework that work must define you, you start thinking about work in a new way. You start to:

Live actively
You never know how many days you have, so start living that way. This creates a sense of urgency and wanting to be present in every moment. Do not waste your time. You will never get that time back.

Work, work, work
I often like to say, “This one first, that one free.” That means that when you work very hard, you will often be surprised by the fruit that your initial effort continues to bear. Hard work pays and pays and generates secondary opportunities.

Consider your legacy
With your work, you will make a difference. That will be positive or negative. At the end of your life, you will likely hope to be remembered as making a real contribution. Right? You will not be pleased if you just watched your time slip away. What legacy will your work leave?

It is time that work once again assumes its rightful place. Work is good. Work is hard.

When you start thinking about work in this new way, it will transform how you order your days.

How is work defining you?

Brian de Haaff

Brian seeks business and wilderness adventure. He is the co-founder and CEO of Aha! — the world’s #1 roadmap software — and the author of the bestseller Lovability. Brian writes and speaks about product and company growth and the adventure of living a meaningful life.

Follow Brian

Follow Aha!

Related articles

April 13, 2017

The Best Cover Letters That CEOs Love to Read

You are probably familiar with the “elevator pitch.” You know, the one-minute speech every seasoned salesperson has memorized to deliver at a moment’s notice. It may be a…

April 2, 2019

Stop Being so Fixated on Your Next Job Title

Have you ever quit a job because you did not get the promotion or title change that you wanted? I considered doing so myself in the past and know a few people who…

August 8, 2017

Hey Boss: Stop Being My Timekeeper

“Let’s get it done ASAP.” How many times have you heard this from your boss? Maybe it was an urgent phone call or an email flagged as “high priority.” The pressure of a…

See why more than 500,000 users trust Aha! to build products customers love

Start your free 30-day trial

© 2021 Aha! Labs Inc.All rights reserved