一边工作一边玩. Yībiān gōngzuò yībiān wán. One area works, one area plays. In common English, play while you work. I recently read an interesting article in a Business Q magazine about Millennials. A lot of the initial feedback on working with them was negative–that we’re lazy, arrogant and entitled. I’m not gonna deny that (I know too many millennials, myself included), just maybe caveat that every generation as a sin or two? We’re all working on it, don’t freak out. Stay calm. Eat chocolate.
But the article also had some really interesting things to note–mainly the unique attributes of the millennial workforce. We have a strong belief to “enjoy the journey” and when we say it, we mean it. We want life balance throughout our entire lives, not a twenty, thirty year work life and then retirement. That statement really rang true, but also reminded me of what I’d recently said in a Sterling Scholar interview.
“You look like you try and do a lot with your life,” the woman asked. “You work part time, study Chinese on your own, run a writing group etc.. How do you keep it all balanced?”
I’d been asked this question before and gave her the same reply I’ve given others–the reply that’s confused a few of them. “I don’t do anything I don’t want to do. If I feel like it’s going to overload me, I say no. I want to enjoy everything I do in life, not just endure it. If I have to do it, I’m going to find a way to love it for me.”
Some of the best advice I’ve been given (other than Entertainer’s gem last week) was to always, always find a way to take interest in what you were learning or doing. Even if you initially think it’s dull as bricks, find a way to apply it to you and make it interesting. If you spend your life forced into things you never take an interest in, it can make life miserable. Much better to make every aspect of your life–work, school, home, hobbies–into a sort of play. The moment you take an interest in something is the moment it takes on personal value in your life.
The grammar pattern 一边。。。一边。。。(Yībiān … yībiān) in Chinese really makes this come alive for me. Literally translated 边 (biān) means side or area. My idea of never doing something against your will is captured well in this idea that one area of your mind is playing while the other works–but both are occupied with the same action. Huffpost Healthy Living says it takes time to form habits–but I think that’s all a lot faster when you actually enjoy what you’re doing.
Here’s hoping you all have a place in your life where work meets play,
Other Just a Thoughts