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Working to Live or Living to Work?

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy lives to read my latest blog.  As always, I hope these blogs provide you insightful information or just something to think about as you continue to work on growing as an individual, destined for greatness, and appreciating all that life brings to you day in and day out. I wrote this particular blog based on a conversation I had with a friend of mine that warranted the following question: Are you working to live, or living to work?

For the majority of the readers of this blog, we must work to earn a paycheck.  We cannot survive without having the financial means to put clothes on our back, a roof over our heads, or find the means for transportation to meet our wants and needs.  Whether you are working for as an employee, freelancing, or an entrepreneur, we put in countless hours in our lifetime as means to our basic survival. Despite this fact, a fair share of us does not understand the difference between working to live or living to work.

Less Chatter, More Action

Before I continue further, ask yourself where do you see yourself in the next one, three, or five years. If you can answer those series of questions, the next question is what are you doing today to turn your dreams from visions, and your visions to reality? We often state where we are going to do or where we are going to be; however, reality reveals that insufficient planning results in ongoing difficulties in your finances, and your personal life. How often have you found yourself stating you intend to reach your goals or milestone at a particular stage in your life, but only to find yourself not doing any work. 

We spend a significant portion of our day communicating.  Whether verbal, non-verbal, or electronic, we often convey our thoughts into a countless number of words.  Unfortunately, the more we talk, the less we do to put our words into actions Even though there is nothing wrong speaking your words into existence, keep in mind that you are expelling that energy from your mind and robbing yourself of your inner drive. 

I often listen to others discuss their plans, but does not necessarily follow through.  A variety of reasons and circumstances may contribute to delays, but keep in mind that you are in control of your destiny. Despite being some form of emotional support, your friends and family are not likely going to spurn you to go to the next level.  Thus, you must find that inner drive to take yourself to the next step. Less chatter, more action. Jot your goals down on a whiteboard or even a post-it note and do not be afraid to continue checking off the boxes to turn your dreams into reality.  Despite setbacks that will often come in life, do not give up!

YOLO (You Only Live Once), but…..

The oft-used phrase YOLO is evoked when someone discusses how he or she plan to live carefree.  I agree, we do live once, but what most tend to forget is another adage: for every action, there is a reaction.  I am a firm believer of my philosophy, The Four Fits of Holistic Growth.  We should do whatever possible to improve our quality of life by taking care of our bodies, mind, emotions, and finances.  To keep all four in sync and achieve a harmonious balance in our lives, we must continue to make the necessary adjustments and improvements to take advantage of what YOLO means and represents truly.  To live life recklessly in these four areas, the resulting consequences of your actions may catch up with you either immediately or years down the road.  The unfortunate part for those who try to ascribe to the YOLO mindset is that the euphoria of the immediate situation is met weeks down the road by financial concerns.  Working to live is a solid way to achieve real YOLO status without regrets, worries, or concerns about your overall harmonic being.  Living to work is YOLO in reverse with the trappings and pitfalls that came with an artificial lifestyle.  

Binging Your Life

Most of us are familiar with binge-watching shows on our DVR or favorite apps.  In one session, one can catch up on an entire series and let you know the whole storyline, plots, characters, and famous lines from the series.  I remembered talking with a good friend of mine about binge-watching and I remember saying, what if we spent time “binging” in our lives. I am not advocating that you should spend an entire Saturday or Sunday immersed on YouTube videos or reading entire books that could put you to sleep, but what if you “binged” your life in a 7-hour weekly series.  Recall the Less Chatter, More Action point about your one-, three-, five- year plans.  If you put seven hours in a week towards whatever you wish to accomplish, you become one step closer to achieving true and stress-free YOLO status.  When reading this particular point, some may challenge it and say I do not have the time to this. I would disagree, as if you happened to jot down the amount of down time we have for entertainment, you would be amazed how much free time you have to invest seven hours a week into yourself. You are worth the investment. Besides, it is about YOLO, right?

Using the Four Fits of Holistic Growth

I mentioned The Four Fits, which is my first published book available on Amazon and Kindle. Inside the book, there are 15 worksheets to address how to achieve harmonic or holistic balance in your life under the Four Fits: Spiritual/Mental, Emotional, Financial, and Physical.  The themes in the book help readers of all backgrounds to turn their dreams into visions, and their visions to reality. I relate to each of the points stated above because I used to make the same missteps as noted above. By the time I finished talking, one would think that I won the Nobel Peace Price, found a cure for cancer, and solved other humanitarian issues. The reality was that I still was stuck in the same space as before.  Thus, I made it a point to try to keep progressing forward, despite whatever setbacks may occur.  I firmly believe that I can reach a place in my life where I continue to live in harmonious balance, live life to the fullest, and do so with a plan that reaches realistic and attainable milestones at one year, three years, five years, and beyond.  The Four Fits is more than just a catchphrase, it is a mindset that provides you a step by step journey that readers can use to help chart their path to achieve whatever they set their minds to do.


Are you working to live or living to work? You should ask yourself this question often as you look at your paychecks, bills, and assess how you feel inside. Do you find yourself in a constant state of complacency, a lack of challenge, or feel that you are missing your true purpose in life? Alternatively, do you think that you are progressively moving forward to a future where everyday less stressful decisions or consequences from actions, and life becomes more carefree? For those who have children, we asked them what did they want to be when they grew up. If you asked that question of yourself today in a similar fashion, where do you want to be later on down the road in your life?

Dr. Terrence D. Duncan holds a Doctorate of Business Administration and has published several blogs in healthcare, project management, personal motivation, self-motivation.  Dr. Duncan published his first book, The Four Fits of Holistic Growth, a personal motivation and self-development book complete with 15 interactive worksheets to assist the reader to think more outside the box and achieve a harmonious balance.  Dr. Duncan’s second book, The Four Fits of Dynamic Leadership, set to release in July 2017 explores leadership in the 21st century in addressing challenges in organizational structures involving turnover, emotional intelligence, servant leadership, team-building, and enhancing communication.  Books can be purchased or pre-ordered with the option to have each copy personally signed through his website:

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