Sunday, January 22, 2006

When Your Avocation is Your Vocation

My object in living is to unite,
My avocation and my vocation
- Robert Frost in Two Tramps in Mud Time

This is an area that confounds me, and lately has become something of a challenge. Where does work stop and leisure start? Is there a difference and if so, where is the dividing line? Is it truly possible to have work one is completely passionate about and not take over one's life, or is that the goal?

Working back in the bike business, I find it all too easy to fall into the trap of working too much. The recreational activity that used to be a symbol of release and freedom becomes a symbol of work, and depending on how work is going that day or week, that may not be a good thing.

There are people that are thrilled to work, play, and live an activity. They actively seek a career that combines a hearty passion for an activity with the receipt of a pay check. That is reason to celebrate, and to be admired and respected.

I suppose there is a balance for everyone, a combination of personal time and work. We'll all just find our own way to strike that balance.

A comment from James J. Owens Asst Professor at the Marshall School of Business,

"JO: Any final thoughts you would like to share?

RE: Mr. Eckert: I’ve tried to demonstrate my belief that there is more to life than business. But, if you can find a job in which your avocation and vocation align, it’s very satisfying. I spend a lot of time working, but I can honestly say that I enjoy it. That sure beats the folks out there who have to get up everyday and do something they don’t want to do."