Two kinds of work

There are two kinds of "work." The first type is work you don't want to do. You only do this work because you know that if you don't, something bad will happen. Examples of this type of work include: 

  • You go to work every day because if you don't then you'll lose your job and have no money for the necessities of life. 
  • You do the laundry because if you don't you'll have no clean clothes to wear and people will think you're uncivilized.
  • You eat food you don't like because if you don't your health - and your waistline - will suffer.

I could go on and on with examples, but you get the idea. I'm sure you could list quite a few yourself. We all have at least some of this kind of work in our lives - yes, even when we become financially free. 

The second type of work is work you do want to do. You do this kind of work because it is meaningful, fulfilling, interesting, etc. Work we enjoy gives us a sense of purpose, challenges us, and taps into our passion. Just a few examples of this type of work are:

  • Volunteering your time with a charity that you are passionate about.
  • Spending hours on the weekends practicing your hobby.
  • Volunteering your services as the family travel agent in order to make a special family reunion possible. 

If you were to group all the work you do into one category or the other, which list would be longer?

Chances are, if you spend most of your time doing work you don't want to do, you feel trapped, resentful, and unhappy. If you spend a lot of your time doing work you do want to do, you likely feel energetic, fulfilled, and happy. 

The goal of becoming financially independent is not to stop working, but to shift our efforts from work we don't like to work we do like. 

Original publish date: May 25, 2010