Lifestyle Design 1: Don't let your work define you

"Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration" Bob Vance


Remember when we were kids and you asked someone else what they do for fun? What their favorite color is? What their favorite subject is? (All the cool kids said recess). Why did we stop that? Have you been to a party recently? What is the number 1 question we ask someone else, "What do you do for work?" 

It's understandable why we ask this. It tells a lot about us. Nurses are typically caring, giving, and selfless individuals. Bartenders are the one's analyzing and silently criticizing people's drink choices. Accountants are typically... not at the party. Some of us get so swept up in the progression in our careers, we forget who we are.

I have a great example of this. Second and third year at Meadowbrook, I didn't know who I was anymore as an individual at times. I remember being on the phone with my mom saying, "I forget what I enjoy doing these days." I worked 13 days straight once, typical 60-70 hour weeks, and once clocked a fantastic 17 hour wedding day. I enjoyed part of what I did. Seeing people happy and relaxed made me feel good. However, it sucked who I was as an individual. I was happy if I got to the gym 3-4 times a week then. I think others have this same problem, especially those who are "career" focused in their early and late 20's (I may be taking my own experience and generalization it too much but I don't think I am). I know for me, my mindset is, "I want my career and finances to be secure before I have a family". Not saying this is right or wrong just what I believe. In that career pursuit, a hell of a lot of attention points go into learning and progressing (especially entrepreneurs and advanced degree seekers which I am both). Along this pursuit of learning, I have been fortunate enough to be mentored by someone who appreciates and encourages self-improvement books and personal mental conditioning exercises. This allows me to, after a long day of strategizing, learning, and executing, be able to come back and be self-aware of who I am and what I'm feeling on a daily basis. This is something I value a lot. After submersing yourself in your or someone else's vision and work, resetting for the next day is incredibly important for sustained success. I am currently working on how to have more mental stamina. I perform great on Monday (love Monday's), perfect eating, full of energy. Naturally, it goes down hill from there. So I'm currently trying new ways to reset so I can treat everyday like a Monday. Here are some new things I'm trying after a long day.

  • Sit on my couch with my guitar and listen to 90's country. I am currently learning how to play but for now, I just like to sit along and play with the rhythm. I've found listening to my favorite songs I grew up listening to puts me in a calm and relaxed state.
  • Stand on my deck and watch the sunset. My morning routine follows speed and being out the door to lift but my night routine values quality time so seeing the sunset reminds me another day has pasted. Being grateful along with being proud of that day's work is someone I want to feel each day.
  • Read for 10-15 mins. I did a post on why it's important to read already, but reading or listening to an audiobook on biographies are valuable here. Sometimes we get swept up in our own lives, we trick ourselves into how difficult it can be sometimes. Reading part of someone else's story who went through much worse can put you in another mental space.

I am also exploring other things to do but I'm excited for making these a habit.