I have occasionally made presentations to young, aspiring business people at universities or business events, and describe life as a three-legged stool. The three legs represent work, play, and love. ...What else really matters? Some will say spirituality matters, and of course, it does; however, spirituality is an integral part of each of these three Critical Success Factors.
Life is supported and kept strong by the three legs under the stool. If one of the legs is weak or missing, the entire stool is in danger of collapsing. If we do not like our work, that leg of the stool will be weak and our well-being, happiness, and enjoyment of life will suffer. Similarly, if we do not make time for spiritual values, hobbies, or recreational pursuits, or if our relationships are dysfunctional, our life will become unstable and wobbly. It is important to maintain a balance between life’s three critical success factors.
Contrary to what psychologist and the sociologists would like you to believe, life is not complicated—it is a simple three-legged stool. Of course, although it may be simple, it is not easy; it takes much hard work and careful maintenance to keep all three legs strong so that your life can be steady, firm, and able to withstand the many challenges and misfortunes that come along from time to time. Doing work that you enjoy is a crucial part of life. What you do is not important—so long as it is productive—but enjoying it to a ripe old age is very important.
I may have been more fortunate than most because I can honestly say my work has, for the most part, been enjoyable. Of course, we all have a bad day occasionally, and that is true whether or not we are working. My rule is one bad day per week, no more—20 percent of the time, on average. That means 80 percent of my working life has to be enjoyable. With the right attitude, even when things are not going well, work can be fun if progress is evident, or will soon become evident.
Several years ago, it struck me that since we spend at least half our waking life working it should be enjoyable most of the time. If it isn't, then stop doing it and find something that is fun—life is too short to spend half of it doing something you do not enjoy. More