An Exercise Series: The Eight Facets of Life – “Work”

Facet #1 – Work (from the series)

Here are a couple of definitions:

work – noun
1. paid employment at a job
2. the duties or activities that are part of a job or occupation
3. the place where somebody is employed
4. the time that a person spends carrying out his or her job
5. the physical or mental effort directed at doing or making something
6. that which has been made or done as part of a job or as a result of effort or activity requiring skill (often used in combination)
7. an artistic or intellectual composition, for example, a book, treatise, painting, sculpture, film, or piece of music (often used in the plural)
8. the transfer of energy, measured as the product of the force applied to a body and the distance moved by that body in the direction of the force. Symbol W
9. that which has been or is in the process of being worked on or manufactured

1. vi to have a paid job
2. vti to exert or make somebody exert physical or mental effort in order to do, make, or accomplish something
3. vti to function or operate or cause something to function or operate
4. vi to be effective or achieve a desired result

Encarta® World English Dictionary © 1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Developed for Microsoft by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.

Work means a lot of different things to different people. But when we hear the word we all have a personal definition that immediately comes to mind. Up until a few months ago my immediate response to “what is your work?” would be “I’m a cop with the EPPD”. For the past few months it has been ” I just retired from 25 years as a cop with the EPPD”. Most recently my reply has been ” I just retired from 25 years as a cop with the EPPD, now I’m going into the ministry to pursue police chaplaincy work.” Next week my reply will be……., well, you get the picture.

For the purpose of this exercise, work is: what we do and how we spend our time that gives us purpose, gives us identity, it is our contribution to the life around us. So often we limit our idea of work to the definition of our job, the place that we work. I’d say my work for the past 25 years has been to serve, to serve through protecting, and for much of my career to serve by leading those who protect. Leading was my way of serving those who protect. Now that I am retired form the EPPD my work really hasn’t changed that much. My mission, my purpose, my contribution continues to be serving those who protect. I just serve in a different way, I promote spiritual fitness and health to those who protect.

I have always been very lucky, I’ve always loved and continue to love my work; past, present and hopefully future. But don’t confuse that with my jobs. I have had lots of jobs and duties and situations at work that I didn’t love, in fact at times I hated them.  But again, I’m talking about your work, not your job.

I know, that isn’t necessarily the clearest example, and often my new work is as clear as mud to me. But I see my past work clearly and actually I have a clear picture of my future work. It is the transition from one to the other, the “now” that is often tough to see.

So, now for your exercise assignment:

– What was your work” in the past?

– What is your work now?

– What do you see your work as in the future?

– How does your “job” fit into your idea of your work, past, present and future?

– What would be your “dream work” or “dream job”? And do you already have it? What would it take to get it?

So there is Facet #1 – work. Next week Facet #2 – Learning.

Please feel to share any comments you might have, see if telling your story my inspire others to hear their own!