Episode 009: Are You Making a Living or Making a Life? [podcast]

Work is important to our well-being. Sometimes we suffer through it or let it take over our life. Here’s how to make a life of your choosing.

(c) Thinkstock

(c) Thinkstock

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On Today’s Episode

Rhythm of Life – Why auto-pilot isn’t always a good thing

Tune-up – 3 Quick and Easy Office Exercises

Random Riffs – A Take-off on a Popular Winter Song

Feature – Are You Making a Living or Making a Life?

Rhythm of Life – The Downside of Auto-Pilot

Advantages of Auto-pilot:
a. Smooth functioning
b. Less effort
c. Doesn't require conscious attention
d. Saves time
e. Simpler and more accurate movement
f.  Automatic activities save higher mental processes for other activities
g. Encourages feelings of stability and security.
Disadvantages of Auto-pilot:
a. Slave to habits
b. Thinking and creativity stop
c. Learning becomes more difficult
d. Mechanical actions – not fully alive
Source: PsychologyDiscussion.net

And from my own experience, sometimes we miss the obvious.

Here’s something you can try:

  1. Every so often take your life off of auto-pilot. Look at things differently, as if you’ve never seen them before. Purposely choose a different angle from your usual approach. Look at life from a different side.
  2. DO things differently too. Switch the order of your morning routine. Stop on the way home from work and buy flowers for your spouse, or yourself. Cook the same dish with different flavoring. Change your habits. It is amazing how changing one small thing will help you see what you haven’t seen before, like me with my crock pot.

When you view or do something different, your brain will operate differently. You may find yourself with creative solutions that previously have eluded you. You may find that the new way works better than the old. Or you may just have fun experimenting.

Let me know what you’re going to try and how it goes. Click here to leave a comment.


Tune-Up – Quick and Easy Office Exercises

For more information, see Millie Grenough’s website
Swing Into Energy
Gate of Life


Random Riffs

We had sleet one day, so I decided to change some famous songs to use the word Sleet in them. Here are my changed songs:
Let It Sleet
Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful.
And since we’ve got flannel sheets, let it sleet, let it sleet, let it sleet.
Sleet Gets In Your Eyes
When you walk outside,
You must realize
Sleet gets in your eyes.
It’s Been Sleeting on the Driveway
It’s been sleeting on the driveway, all the live-long day.
Let it Go
Here I stand in the light of day,
Let the storm rage on,
The sleet never bothered me anyway.

If you want to add to the list or vote for your favorite, click here.

Feature Segment – Are You Making a Living or Making a Life?

“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

What is Making a Living?
Work has become a chore, something to suffer through until you can get to your “real” life.
Work has completely overtaken your life and other parts of your life are suffering.

How does this happen?
• Factory environment – humanity eradicated and replaceable parts
• We drifted into our work and wouldn’t choose it
• Overloaded with no end in sight
• Not using our true strengths
• Identify too closely with what we do, and not enough about who we are

This happens over time.

Traps that keep us stuck.
• Financial pressure
• Tyranny of the urgent
• Work now and play later
• Keeping up with others
• Power

What is Making a Life?
Intentionally creating a life of your choosing, which includes work, relationships, health, play, growth, and service.

How can you do it?
• Build a strong foundation of healthy living.
• Get to know yourself.
• Define “success” and what you believe to be important. Make it clear and compelling.
• Evaluate future opportunities against your priorities.
• Transform your job by bringing all of who you are to work. Make it reflect you.
• Decide what role your job plays in your life: Main actor, supporting actor, producer.
• Practice being fully present.

What is the cost of not making a life?
• Stress-related illness
• Nagging feeling that something is missing, which grows as you get older
• Unfulfilling relationships
• A life of quiet desperation

Benefits of making a life versus making a living
• Cohesive
• Uniquely yours
• Joy and freedom
• Deeper engagement
• Energy and creativity
• Doesn’t stop when you retire
• Could change the world

What can you do right now to start making a life? Click here to join the conversation.


My first annual reader/listener survey is still open through January 13, 2015.  I treasure your feedback, and thank you in advance for your participation.  To access the survey click this link.

For Further Study:

1. Write a description of your ideal life. Include all facets that you consider important: health, relationships, work, community, etc. Be sure to make this ideal life appropriate for the season you are presently in: young parent, empty nest, single, retired.

2. Evaluate your current life against your ideal. Where do they align? Where do they not?

3. What is causing the disconnect? You will be tempted to cite circumstances. It is okay to start there, but dig deeper.   –What are the behaviors that have led to this situation?   –What limiting beliefs have constrained you?

4. What is the most important action you will take to move you closer to your ideal life?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Ann Thompson

    thanks for the tips for getting up and moving. As someone who finds herself sitting for long blocks of time every day, these tips were very helpful.

    • We could all stand to get up and move more often. I’m speaking to myself as much as anyone else. Good luck getting moving, Ann.