Many feel that when it comes to work, you just ‘grin and bear it.’ Meaning, accept the inevitable and put up with whatever job you can get, as long as it meets your financial needs and leaves you with enough time to pursue your ‘real life’ outside of your 9 - 5. This attitude is not new.

In fact, the Russian word for work is robata, which comes from the word for slave, rab. Labor, is a Latin word that means drudgery or toil. The French word for work is travail and derives from the tripalium, an ancient Roman instrument of torture made of three sticks. Yikes.

Even Tom Sawyer’s creator said:

“Work is a necessary evil to be avoided”
- Mark Twain

At Live in the Grey, we believe that it is possible to find work that enhances our lives, rather than torture us. We fall more in Jay Z’s camp than Mark Twain’s:

“9 to 5 is how to survive;
I ain’t trying to survive.
I’m trying to live it to the limit and love it a lot.”
- Jay Z, “D’evils”

In his book, How to Find Fulfilling WorkRoman Krznaric shares that the aspiration of having a fulfilling career isn’t. This attitude towards work actually began in Renaissance Europe:

“This was the era in which celebrating your uniqueness first became fashionable. The Renaissance is well known for having produced extraordinary advances in the arts and sciences, which helped shake off the shackles of medieval Church dogma and social conformity…it also gave birth to highly personalized cultural innovations, such as the self-portrait, the intimate diary, the genre of autobiography and the personal seal on letters. In doing so, it legitimized the idea of shaping your own identity and destiny.

We are the inheritors of this tradition of self-expression. Just as we seek to express our individuality in the clothes we wear or the music we listen to, so too we should search for work that enables us to express who we are, and who we want to be.”

So go forth, find work that matters to you and express yo’self.

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