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Find time for your life’s work


Going about our business

Each year, as 8760 hours roll past, we work and we rest and we go about our business. Few of us describe that work or our day-to-day business as our life’s work.

Our life’s work remains a vision, a waking dream that we will pursue someday, somehow, when we are no longer preoccupied with making a living. Before retirement, or before lottery winnings, our occupation falls short of our vocation.

occupation: The work that a person does; a person’s job or profession[1]
vocation: The work that a person does or should be doing[2]

If most of us, most of the time, are not achieving our vision, each year is another 8760 hours of lost energy, lost potential.

You can stop that, today.

You may have been taught that certain pronouns form life’s essential questions.

  • Who?
  • What?
  • Where?
  • When?
  • Why?
  • How?

The answer to “Who?” is, of course, you. That leaves five questions, which if asked in a specific sequence, lead us to fulfilling our life’s work.


creative splash pencil with school icons set illustration. conceAsk what work would best fulfill your greatest purpose.

Take a minute to write it down now. You’ve thought about it a lot. In 60 seconds, now, you can express it in just a few words.

When you have jotted down what work you want to accomplish, you’re ready for the more difficult question:


Write bullet points to answer that question. Maybe one point will consider your values, and others will list your talents and experience.

Each bullet point helps to explain why you envision that goal as your life’s work. It lists a reason.

The reason why you want to do something is no less revealing than what you want to do. Give it some thought and write several bullet points before continuing to the third question.


How will you focus your talents and experience towards what you value most? If an immediate job change or cash infusion is not likely, how can you make a first move in the right direction? How can you get started? How many hours each week will you set aside to build that foundation?


At work, you may take on a challenge in which you can grow as you wish. The best of the 8760 hours are spent there, earning a living.
Still, as many as 2000 are your time. Enjoy that time; share with
family and friends, and… if you will… invest some of it in your dreams.

Find a place that, in some of those hours, you can progress toward best use of your talents and experience. That may be from home. You may volunteer at a non-profit or assist in a classroom. Maybe there’s work to be done online.


Vector Flat Concept - Time ManagementThe best answer to the fifth and final question is “Today!”
In asking yourself “What?”, “Why?”, “How?”, and “Where?”, you have already taken the first step. You have an objective. You can take a second step tomorrow: do some planning. Decide on a strategy. That will show you when to begin applying yourself to your life’s work.

Success is a journey, not a destination- Arthur Ashe

[1] Definition of occupation.
[2] Definition of avocation.

George Pond

If the internet is like a sea, George is the guy you see fishing along the shore. All sorts of good and bad ideas surface each day. He casts out for career development tricks and tools, hoping to land the best of them to share at

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