Work, Play, and Living

'The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he's always doing both.'

L. P. Jacks


So much for work/life balance. I like this sentiment because it does away with the pretense that everything you do has to be done for a specific reason without delving into the, sometimes idealistic sounding, 'do what you love' advice. It places focus on the individual because, regardless of what you are doing, you are still yourself. It is important to focus on what you're doing, not on what it's called or what category it falls under. As Toni Morrison put it

'Definitions belong to the definers, not the defined.'

I try to use the pursuit of my own 'vision of excellence' as a compass. If I don't have the desire to pursue excellence at a particular activity in my life, then that might be something I want to change. It also reminds me to avoid compartmentalizing my life to avoid the connotations associated with 'work' and 'play,' and to encourage connection between all aspects of my life.