The words we use when we talk about work

And what they do to us and our children

The following are the words most children will hear when their parents talk about work and working:

job / serious / rights / employer / boss / hiring process / unfair / paycheck / responsibilities / overwhelmed / mistake / doomed / CV / interview / HR / slavery / basic needs / bills / mortgage / decent / well-paying / afford / real / stable / lose / prestigious / promising / 9–5 / retirement age / income / perks / pride / easier / drudgery / vacation / dependency / entitled / bonus / jerk (jerks) / permission / meeting / stupid / boring / dull / idiots / hate / lottery / impossible / stuck / they / obligation / hopeless / gossip / fired / draining / complaint / coffee break / rules / compliance / corporation / soulless / limits / struggle / day off / weekend / management / following / cog / rest / always / never / scarcity / jobless / wage / hourly rate / recognition / sick / anxiety / shitty / Power Point / presentation / success / money / afraid / suck.

The following are the words only few children will hear when their parents talk about work and working:

fun / inspiring / meaning / meaningful / exciting / love / passion / calling / independence / freedom / creating / art / craft / hard work / enjoyable / nice / fired up / energized / flow / occupation / body of work / long term / dream / choose / original / outlier / innovate / new / embrace / future / hustling / action / proactive / extra mile / caring / true / belive / idea / breakthrough / empower / leadership / world-class / courage / guts / leading / linchpin / impact / improve / awareness / try / bold / abundance / value / lifetime / promise / perseverance / consistency / heart / mastery / learning / why / masterpiece / fulfilled / failure / lesson / we / positive / better / amazing / awesome / pursuit / greatness / grateful.

The words we use the most when we talk about work and working tell a lot about our attitude toward work and our life philosophy.

It’s important that we finally realize that these words influence not only our own thinking and thus shape what we perceive as the reality, but they also create our children’s future expectations, attitudes and realities.

As a young boy I never had the chance to hear the words that would create positive associations with work in my brain and so I never thought about work as something exciting. My image of it was that it is something we all must do in life, unfortunately, that it is not something people would enjoy doing, that you come home after work exhausted, stressed out, and basically wait for the weekend to reset. Unlearning this stuff and changing my attitude toward work took much time and effort on my part.

Remember:

We accept the reality of the world with which we’re presented.

— The Truman Show


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