For the Love of Work

How long will you work? Harrison Ford is 70 and I recently read an interview with him. He described his love for work and intention to work much longer than most Americans, despite his lack of financial need to do so.

Do you love to work? If not, what can you do to change that?

Do you need to work? Do you love new challenges? Do you ever have to stop?

Or will you keep working until you cease to be useful? (Which, by the way, is never)

I suggest that you were made to work…and made to love your work.

You were made to work for life, in some capacity. You were made to be useful until your last breath.

That is, indeed, pretty cool.

What is your view of work?

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  • As I build a new career at 53, I take comfort in knowing that if I can stay healthy (and alive) I have time to do what I’m meant to do till I am very old.

    • That is awesome Jim. You are an inspiration to so many people at your age, older…and younger, like me.

    • Jim, I’m 53 too, and working on what Jon Acuff calls my “encore” career. I want to work till I die, which is, IMHO, how God intended it to be.

  • I don’t see any reason to stop working. I may change the focus of my work over time, but I’ll likely keep doing some type of work for years to come. By the way, my second book “At the Crossing of Justice and Mercy” is out today: That’s my kind of work.

    • Well said…there is no reason really. Doesn’t mean that you have to put in 80-hour weeks chasing money when you are 80, but work? Non-profits are work. Building a lasting business like Sam Walton did is work. Why not do it until you simply can’t?

      Congrats on the book Dan!

      • Thanks, Matt. Once I hit about 60 I’d like to be working about 20 hours a week, but then keep it at that forever.

  • I read an interview with Dustin Hoffman along the same lines (and he’s about the same age). Retirement is for those who hate their j-o-b. I see myself serving and producing as long as I can be of service. I’ve talked about Juan, my boss, friend and mentor who just passed away a couple of months ago. He was almost 70 when we met and he never said “I can’t wait to retire”. He had to do it for health reasons, but I’m sure he still found ways to be creative and productive. I can’t see myself at 65 sitting at home and crocheting. When you’ve received skills and talents, you’ll find a way to put them to good use and change the world. Great post, Matt!!

    • BAM! On the spot Lily.

      “I can’t see myself at 65 sitting at home and crocheting.”

      Me either :)

      • I could se you sitting at home crocheting Matt… You’d have one of those little knitted shawls over your shoulders, your glasses down on the tip of your nose, watching Days of Our Lives…

  • I think part of the issue people have is confusing Work with work. what I mean by that is when people think of work they think of their job. That is only one aspect of working. I’m working when I’m working on side projects, when I’m volunteering at church or a non profit. I’m working when I am making things. We always have to be doing something and challenging ourselves, and that only gets frustrating and annoying when we think that the only “work” is when we head to our job.
    I love Harrison Ford’s perpective! I hope that I can say the same thing when I’m 70!

  • List Lady here:

    1. Thanks for sharing the positive side of Ford, which I didn’t know was there.

    2. Skropp, you are so right! Work isn’t always for money.

    3. Lily, I can’t see myself sitting and crocheting either, but I am always looking for excuses and opportunities to sit and knit! 😎 Now, if I sold some of those products, it could qualify as work, right?

    4. Jim Ryan, you and I are the same age. We are “middle-aged” and these kids better not EVER refer to us as old! Wishing you great success with your new career!

    5. Dan Erickson, your new book title closely follows the Bible Study I just finished on the book of James – heading to your site now!

    6. Matt, learning to knit is good for your brain, takes the edge off of boring or annoying situations, and produces useful items. Crocheting? meh.

    • I’ve been told I need to learn something that frustrates me…that I am naturally awful at. I wondering if that might be knitting? I was thinking piano.

      • That’s silly, and ridiculous. Why would you want to learn something you’re crummy at?

        • Interesting…and long story…I’ll share here sometime.

          • Looking forward to hearing the story, Matt! Speaking from experience, it is easier to be good at knitting than at piano.

    • List Lady: But I’ll take it any time its offered…money that is :)
      Hope you’re well! Seems like we haven’t talked recently!

      • Yeppers, I’ll take it too. . . prolly ought to learn to ask for it more often.

        I’m well, thanks for your good hope. Drawing like a pencil machine, on track to meet my goal of completing 145 pictures in 2013 for a book I’ve been working on since July of 2011. Since CLo has gone quiet, my main place of interacting with his tribe has petered out. But I’m loving Matt’s blog!

  • My opinion of work looks like this: It’s Gibran’s “On Work” and parts of it almost make me weep:

    Stanza 1: “You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth.
    For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons, and to step out of
    life’s procession, that marches in majesty and proud submission towards the

    “Work is love made visible.”

  • I can’t answer that question here, so I had to create a whole blog on the topic! Seriously – I think the concept of retirement is changing rapidly. I can’t imagine going in every day just to pass time to get to retirement – I love what I do and have no plans to ever stop.