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“Labor was the first price, the original purchase–money that was paid for all things.  It was not by gold or by silver, but by labor, that all wealth of the world was originally purchased.” ~Adam Smith

I am in a minority; I love what I do for a living and wake up feeling grateful for that most mornings.

But I coach a lot of people who are not fulfilled by the work they do, demonstrated by their answer to this question: If you won the lottery, would you still choose to do what you do for a living?

The answer is generally a resounding “no.” They might want to provide the same service, just not for their current employer.

A lot of folks would stop working (where they’re working) if the need to earn money were no longer keeping them shackled to their desks.

Yet, they generally would like to do something—no one wants to simply sit around doing nothing for the rest of their lives—something that brings them a sense of meaning, purpose and fulfillment. Something that allows them to feel like they’re contributing to the betterment of the world as they define it.

Meaningful, rewarding work (and I’m not speaking financially here) is paramount to living with less stress and more joy.

Back in the day (like before electronics) we used to work with our hands. Studies show that those who do so live longer than those who don’t. This includes all craft work, cooking, gardening, writing and the like.

And while meaningful work is important, taking breaks is, too.

Labor Day (that’s Labour Day for all my Canadian readers) was established to celebrate laborers and to give them a day of rest.

Maybe this Labor Day you might do that—rest—and acknowledge and celebrate your blessings. Things like:

– That you have a job at all—there are too many who don’t;
– That your legs and arms and eyes and ears work—at least most of the time;
– That you own a computer and can afford internet access and have a mind that can absorb these words;
– That your children are returning to school tomorrow. As Bill Dodds said, “Labor Day is a glorious holiday because your child will be going back to school the next day.  It would have been called Independence Day, but that name was already taken.”

There are opportunities to feel grateful every day.

This Labor Day, why not celebrate yourself, your contributions thus far, and the ones to come in the future?

And then have a beer and hoot at the stars.

Because hooting is good after all that laboring.

“The man who doesn’t relax and hoot a few hoots voluntarily, now and then, is in great danger of hooting hoots and standing on his head for the edification of the pathologist and trained nurse, a little later on.”  ~Elbert Hubbard

 

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