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The Coaching Dept. Blog

Life Beyond Work!

Do you work to live, or do you live to work?

I think for most people when they get their first job, they see it as a way to earn some money to do or have some things that they want in their lives. As we progress in our careers we earn more and can have more. The more we have and the more we choose to do, the more money we need. For a lot of people there may come a time when looking from the outside it may seem that they now live to work.

It can happen early in a career when you are establishing yourself and trying to make an impression on those who will have influence on your career moving forward. It can happen early in a new job or new project where there is a steep learning curve and a lot of energy needed to get it off the launch pad. It can happen when your work becomes your passion. The amount of joy and fulfillment may be more attractive than what is happening when you are not at work. Some people may give most of their time to work out of fear of losing the income that supports all they and their family have.

Do you work to live, or do you live to work? Regardless of your intention, what does it feel like is happening?

As coaches, Shelley and I want you to have great success in your career and in your life!

When things happen gradually, they are harder to notice. A lot has changed in people’s lives since the coaching program was launched in 2003. Things are happening faster. There are more pressures and more distractions. There is more control over what we do and how we think. We have been impacted directly or indirectly by the pandemic that impacted the world. A lot has changed and maybe we have changed, and we are not even aware of it.

Twenty years ago, the idea of reaching out to a coach for help with your life seemed like a foreign concept that must mean there is something wrong with me if I do. Now it is accepted by many as an opportunity to access a person’s best.

It is inspiring to work with many leaders who realize that to bring the best out in the organization they lead, they need to understand how to access the best of themselves.

It is even more inspiring to meet the leaders who are focused on getting support for the individuals on their team to bring out their best.

I had an inspiring conversation the other day with a leader that I admire very much. He said that he just had the best year of his career. How was it the best? We had the best financial results we have ever had. We had the highest member satisfaction results we have ever had. We had the highest staff satisfaction results we have ever had. It has been the most personally gratifying year I have ever had.

I asked him what was different. He said I backed off on a lot of things I thought were important uses of my time and focused more time on the individual success of people on our team. Between coaching and mental health support we have seen people blossom and thrive.

He said that he had recognized that personally he had several things outside of work that affected his performance. He said that bigger realization happened when he thought to himself, “Everybody is dealing with something.” How do we get the support for them that we use for us?

Early in my career as a coach, Thomas Leonard the guru of coaching said to me on a phone call, “Whenever I think I am a great coach, I am not, and when I think I am not, I probably am.”

The point of that is that the coach’s focus should not be on themselves exclusively, but also on the people they are leading (coaching).

The leader I just referred to, did exactly that and reaped the benefits.

When people we lead feel seen, listened to and cared about they shine brighter.

Whether you choose to work with a coach or do these things on your own, here are some things that can move you toward your best.

Be connected to a Vision. We need to know where we are going. What is the destination. If we abdicate the decision on the destination, we may not like where we end up.

Get clear on your Values. If you don’t get clear on what is important you are susceptible to others telling you what should be important to you. Some people may try to influence you to be like them or to buy what they are selling. Some may try to get you to believe what benefits them vs. what benefits you. When you have big decisions in life you can put them to the values test. When you are living life in alignment with your values, it will seem more effortless.

Consider your Self-Awareness. How well do you know yourself? Do you know why you sometimes don’t do what you wanted to do, or sometimes do what you didn’t want to do? How do you operate? How can you see from the inside, what others see from the outside? Are the stories you tell yourself true? What are your strengths that differentiate you from the crowd?

Are you Accountable? When you take accountability for your life you become powerful. When you don’t you become the victim of the world and others.

Where is your Focus? In a time when there seems to be an effort to shrink our attention spans and distract us with short hits of joy or longer hits that enrage us, a great question to ask ourselves is “Why am I buying into this stuff and not focusing on what is important to me? What are you focusing on?

Another thing to do that can impact your quality of life and productivity is the idea of Simplifying and Eliminating. We have bought in on some level to the idea that life needs to be complicated. Needing less can lead to being more. Eliminating things that drain you or diminish you can lead to being more.

We hope you will consider things that will bring out your best. A coach can support you in getting there quicker. A benefit of being a member of CMAA is the benefit of having a coach to support you.

Do you work to live, or do you live to work?

Kevin MacDonald and Shelley MacDougall are the coaches for CMAA. To book a coaching session call toll free to 1-866-822-3481. Or or

About the author

Kevin MacDonald

Kevin MacDonald founded Clarity Success Coaching in 2000. Kevin is deeply passionate about his work with his clients and loves living on purpose to assist those he works with to elevate their lives and live to their fullest potential. Kevin MacDonald is a Coach and Facilitator, a Communicator and a Storyteller. As a Coach he initiates action from within the people he touches. Kevin believes that knowing who you are is critical to your success. Kevin's business and management background combined with his exceptional Coaching skills make him an asset in any people development initiative.

Kevin is a member of the International Coach Federation and a graduate of Teresia LaRocque Coaching and Associates Abundant Practice Program. Kevin has received his Coach training from Coach U. Before he began coaching he spent over 20 years as a manager in the hospitality industry. His focus now as a coach is to inspire his clients and help them lean the skills in that they can use to change their lives. Kevin empowers his clients so that they can take the actions that will start to change their behavior so they begin see the results they are wanting in life.

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