You Are Not Your Work

Despite appearing in 50 action-packed movies, many released to both critical and commercial success, martial arts legend Jet Li has never used his skills in the real world. “I have never been in a fight in real life, nor do I wish to be in one,” he says.

Li practices wushu as part of his Buddhism. He does it for health and inner harmony, not to dish out more powerful punches faster. His work may be full of violence, but Jet Li is not, and he proves it by putting down his weapons when he leaves the set.

You are not your work. If you dropped all of your professional responsibilities today and disappeared from your team, your audience, or your company, the world would still keep turning. You can have inner harmony with or without the kung fu battle that is your career — perhaps sometimes more during a break from the fighting.

Remember to take off your work hat from time to time. Even Jet Li thinks that “the strongest weapon is a smile and the best power is love.”