TED Talks Get You Fired Up About Work

3 TED Talks to Get You Fired Up About Work

annaliza at kununu

Work. Likely, the last thing on your mind right before the weekend. But while you’re enjoying a backyard BBQ, beach day or dip in the pool, ask yourself: what if you just stopped thinking about weekends and holidays as a “break” from your 9-to-5? What if leaving work behind wasn’t really necessary. Because… what if…work was something you loved? (Gasp.)

When we talk about finding work-life balance, that idea assumes work and life sit on opposite ends of a seesaw and that we’re always trading a little of one for the other. No wonder we feel like getting there is a struggle. But at the end of a work day, you are still who you are. Most of us can safely say we don’t morph into someone else when we leave the office. (And if you do, what a fascinating life you must live.) For most of us, when we get home, we tell our husbands, wives, friends or roommates about our day–the details of the last eight hours still linger. The interesting stuff, the annoying stuff, the exciting stuff… We take it with us. Our worklife and life are invariably intertwined. If that’s the case, isn’t this quest for work-life balance an imaginary goal? There is no cut off point for one and clocking in for the other. Should we be talking more about work-life integration?

The phrase “dream job” already sets us up for failure with the idea that doing what you love is so beyond reach. This really might be a classic case of mind over matter. What if we changed the way we think about work, embrace that how we spend our time (at a job or at home) is all valuable experience, and dare to make work part of our lives? This Independence Day, what if we think about freeing ourselves from the notion that work is a place we need to escape and, instead, look at what we do as a meaningful part of our lives. After all, it’s how we spend up to a third of our lifetime.

To get you in this spirit, here are three TED talks from people who have proved the point:

1. How to Find Work You Love – Scott Dinsmore

Writer, traveler who founded Live Your Legend, a career and connection platform to inspire people to find their passion. Scott Dinsmore quit a job that made him miserable and spent the next four years wondering how to find work that was joyful and meaningful. He shares what he learned in this deceptively simple talk about finding out what matters to you—and then getting started doing it.

2. The Way We Think About Work Is Broken – Barry Schwartz

Barry Schwartz is a psychologist who studies the link between economics and psychology.

What makes work satisfying? Apart from a paycheck, there are intangible values that, Barry suggests, our current way of thinking about work simply ignores. It’s time to stop thinking of workers as cogs on a wheel.

3. Can We All “Have It All”? – Anne-Marie Slaughter

As a public policy thinker, Anne-Marie has exploded the conversation around women’s work-life balance, making waves with her 2012 article, “Why women still can’t have it all.”

But really, is this only a question for women? Here Slaughter expands her ideas and explains why shifts in work culture, public policy and social mores can lead to more equality — for men, women, all of us.

“In the workplace, real equality means valuing family just as much as work, and understanding that the two reinforce each other. “

Have we got you thinking? Want to re-consider your job? Start by sharing the pros and cons wherever you are in your worklife. Every moment you evaluate it is an opportunity for positive change.

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