“Love and work, work and love…that’s all there is.”
– Sigmund Freud
Notice in the quote above that Freud was careful not to use the word “jobs” instead of “work.” Freud did not conflate the two words together and neither should you.
Indeed, I’m sure that Freud would have agreed with Tyler Durden (Fight Club) when he said, “you’re NOT your job” but – just as we are a product of our biological parents – we are certainly the product of our work and our loves…or, more specifically, the work we choose to do and the people that we choose to love.
Freud’s sentiment – without intending to be as far as I’m aware – is a stoic one in that it highlights a certain kind of self-control and/or self-satisfaction that can be derived from work and love. In fact, there’s another axiom (I can’t find a credible attribution for it on the Internet) that makes the word “work” synonymous with “love”:
“Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life.”
Why am I bothering with these quotes in this post? Because it’s sometimes helpful to remind ourselves to stay focused on doing good work regardless of whether or not we’re doing a “shitty job.” We are NOT our jobs!
Bottom line: Focusing on your job is sometimes necessary (think airline pilots, brain surgeons, rocket scientists, etc.) but focusing on your work is always IMPERATIVE!