Living an abundant life is something I have spent more than 20 years exploring.
In 2004 I made my first trip to Paris, France and fell in love. I knew one day I would live in this magnificent city! There was something about it, the people, the culture, that gave me a sense of being home. For the next ten years, I visited twice a year until I finally made the move. After I sold my home and packed my things, on December 31, 2014, I boarded a plane to begin this new chapter in my life. Living in another country with a different language and culture had its challenges, but I met them head-on. I began to forge friendships with people I now consider part of my family and learned more in the next 3 ½ years than I could ever have imagined.
But one core value that will remain with me forever is the French approach to work and living an abundant life.
There is a misconception that the French are lazy and don’t like to work. It is not uncommon to see French workers protesting in the streets demanding more rights, better benefits, or to ensure that their current rights are maintained. But beyond these press-attracting events lies something much deeper and far more profound than the sound bites and video clips of rock-throwing and tear gas can ever portray. What is it that drives the French to be so demanding of their rights as workers? Why do they need more time off when the majority of workers already enjoy a month of paid vacation per year, plus a multitude of holidays throughout the year?
The answer is quite simple.
The French view work as a means to an end – not an end in and of itself.
In other words, the French work to live, not live to work. This concept is difficult for Americans to grasp as we live in a culture that praises the 'live to work' mentality. We are consumed by what we do for a living, thinking about it day and night, hoping it will one day lead to an abundant life. Our eyes open in the morning to the thought of work and close at night to the same. Vacations, when and if we take them, are consumed with thoughts of work, emails, texts and often times we are unable to disconnect from the pull of our work.
I too have been driven by this cultural tendency in my past and know how hard it is to overcome. However, in the years that I have been leading Abundance & Prosperity combined with my time in France, I have come to realize the power of working to live. The French are on to something that I think all who dare to explore will find to be the key to an abundant life.
What would your life look like if you chose to Work to Live?
- What would ‘living abundantly’ look like on you?
- What would you do?
- Where would you go?
- What would you have?
- How would life be?
These are the questions that you get to explore when living becomes a priority. And when living becomes the priority, working becomes so much more gratifying leading to a truly abundant life.