“Making A Living Vs. Making a Life” (Wiser Next Week: On Work and Career)

Making A Living Vs. Making a Life (Wiser Next Week: On Work and Career)

About the Wiser Next Week Series: These entries will involve posting my book, Wiser Next Week, chapter by chapter, freely available to the public. Additionally, I’ll be recounting a story about something I’ve learned based on the chapter’s topic since the months that have past when the book was published in December 2018.


That’s what I needed I thought to myself when I finished college. I had gone the practical route and became an accountant and I’ve invested far too much time for that degree to go to waste. And I was a broke recent grad.

So I worked as a corporate accountant not really because I wanted to but because I felt an obligation to do so. I never fit into the corporate culture there.

  • Do you drink? No
  • Do you like to party? No
  • Do you watch movies Not really

So what do you do? Read books


A Stranger Among Us

To sum it all up, I was emotionally detached and in it only for the money. Besides the sizable amount of savings I had accrued and the bookkeeping skills I had gained, I look back and ask myself why I stayed there for so long.

I was a slave to money. When I heard the 24 year olds in the office talk about how drunk they got during the weekend I thought to myself, ‘Has your life gotten so bad so quickly that you need to drown it away?’

More then a year later the staff there seem like strangers to me.

Keep Your Mouth Shut & Do What You’re Told

I remember close to a year in, I was ready to quit, it was months over due already. I was once again called into the VP’s office, this time in a position of strength as I have made valuable contributions at this point. The Vice President and Director of Operations told me that one of our client’s books was not being managed properly and that it would be move over to me because they thought I was capable (or I was their last viable option) of taking this on.

This was a real estate client I was never fond of and that would be disrespectful when I worked with them directly. Plus the firm was being underpaid for the amount of work we do for them.

When I voiced my opinion that they should be dropped. This fell on deaf ears.

Well I was stuck working with a client that I despised. There is nothing wrong with trying a new career, as if you don’t try, you’ll never know. I do think I made the right choice in leaving, I just waited longer then expected.

Jordan Peterson’s take on leading a life worth living

Put another way:

The tragedy isn’t finding the wrong job, it’s staying there. Spending years doing what you don’t like is a recipe for regret. When taking on a new position, learn as much as you can. Take a humble stance, assume others are better than you, and learn what others have to teach. Look to how much each person has accomplished and use it as a rule of thumb for how reliable their teachings are. 

If you don’t like the line of work, move on. Go to the next position in search of the work that makes you happy. Keep looking for what is worthy of filling your day, because what you do all day long provides the most profound satisfaction in life.

Fortunately for me this overstay was measured in months, not years. It was time to stop dreaming about the man I want to become and start becoming.

I've learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life.  Maya Angelou design by Kingston S. Lim

Here is the “On Work and Career” chapter of Wiser Next Week. Take it and implement it into your own life.

Previous Chapters

“I Didn’t Know How to Do Laundry” Wiser Next Week Intro

“The Spray & Pray Teacher” Wiser Next Week: On Emotions

“Show Them Your Greatness” Wiser Next Week: On Fear

“Psychological Ownership” Wiser Next Week: On Loyalty

“Strategically Smile to Get What You Want” (Wiser Next Week: On Happiness)

“Your Body is a Car” (Wiser Next Week: On Health)

“The Gift of Time and Age”(Wiser Next Week: On Aging & Death)

“Project Your Life 5 Years Ahead” (Wiser Next Week: On Regrets)

“You’re Doing it Wrong” (Wiser Next Week: On Mistakes and Failures)

“Align Principles With Action” (Wiser Next Week: On Goals and Persistence)

Action is Courage (Wiser Next Week: On Persistence)

”See Things As They Are, Not How You Wish Them To Be” (Wiser Next Week: On Perception)

“Grab It By The Reins”(Wiser Next Week: On Opportunities)

“Ask And You Shall Receive”(Wiser Next Week: On Finding Solutions)

“A Part of What You Earn Is Yours to Keep” (Wiser Next Week: On Money)

“The 5 Principles of Entrepreneurship” (Wiser Next Week: On Entrepreneurship)

7 thoughts on ““Making A Living Vs. Making a Life” (Wiser Next Week: On Work and Career)

  1. Work is not you, it is an investment of your time for some purpose. I was taught, unfortunately not until later in life, that every investment should have a companion exit plan. That’s the only way you can make a profit on the investment. Stay too long and the house/fate/karma wins. Always. Place your buy orders and your sell orders at the same time and have some certainty around what you will gain. Then move to the next opportunity.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think that’s a common way to look at it, but very limiting. Life is a game with no survivors. How much of your life do you want to devote to one career or company? Are there other things you would like to try? Then you need to think of the transition. When and how.


  2. Kingston, I believe many people can relate to you. I have been fortunate to have a career that I loved. I also learned early on, after my daughter was born, what my priorities were. I knew if my job took me away from my family that I would move on. Thank you for sharing. Stay safe.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for sharing, I like your point about if the job took you away from your family you would quit.

      This concept goes beyond work. It comes in handy to have a “if this, then that” plan mapped out so that you can make a decisive decision when it matters most during the heat of the moment

      Liked by 1 person

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