Work-life balance is defined as that “thing” everyone wants but no one has ever experienced or truly believes exists. In reality, it might be slightly more tangible and achievable than that definition implies. The paradox seems to be that the harder you work to achieve it, the more it alludes you. This is especially frustrating to type-A individuals who seek, not only to experience it but to dominate it, because they are perfectionists.
This post is for type-A perfectionists and workaholics who will never achieve traditional work-life balance. Guaranteed to not make you want to hold your head and scream. Here are two simple principles that nowhere mention the words “relax,” “vacation,” or “yoga.”
Understand the role of money.
Work provides the money that pays the bills, puts food on the table, allows for present and future security, provides for your loved ones and supports your standard of living. However, it cannot and does not provide every essential. For example, who did you pay for the air you are breathing? How much did you pay for your brain? Money didn’t purchase those things and you could not exist without them, therefore the role of money, in life, is quite limited.
Live a life of purpose.
Workplace satisfaction studies have shown time and again that happier employees are those who feel that the company for which they work has “purpose.” It stands to reason, that if you apply that principle to your life, you would also enjoy more happiness. Mark Manson, a personal development coach suggests that a single question could help you be more aware of creating a life of purpose.
“If you knew that you were going to die one year from today what would you do and how would you want to be remembered?”
Anyone who has worked in healthcare for any length of time has heard someone recite the “cautionary tale” of having encountered a patient on the verge of death, who is filled with the sudden realization that they spent their entire lives worrying about all of the wrong things. It is easy to dismiss that by thinking that we will take the time to worry about some of the right stuff, later. Mark Manson’s question forces us to get real, post-haste.
One more thought before you get back to trying to catch the greased pig, that is work-life balance, maybe contentment is not the spoils of victory but rather the by-product of pursuit.
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