Since When Did Work Become the Center of Our Lives?

When the question “How are you? is brought up after bumping into an acquaintance or a friend, the topic of work typically floods the conversation. Suddenly, you find yourself discussing your heavy workloads and the numerous deadlines to meet. It is as if one has never left the workplace.


While it isn’t necessarily a bad thing to prioritize work, some of us may forget to ask our acquaintance or friend how they truly are. Come to think of it, how much do we know about the other things going on in their life? 

By forgetting to ask about these topics, are we neglecting those aspects in our own life as well?

A good friend of mine recently linked me to a quote by Bryan Dyson, President, and CEO of Coca-Cola. It read, “Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them – work, family, health, friends and spirit – and you’re keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls – family, health, friends and spirit – are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.”

work life

As someone who is in her early 20s, I’ve learned to try to make room for my social life and hobbies to help keep myself sane. Searching for healthier ways to let out my stress is also a big help (although admittedly, I still need to improve in this area). While it is inevitable to get a little busier during some weeks, the thought that work isn’t the only thing going on in my life definitely helps. 

“Don’t make work the center of your life,” my boss once told me, possibly revealing the secret as to why she seems to be doing well in her position for quite some time now. 


Featured image: The Devil Wears Prada (film)

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