Work-life balance …?
One of the things people say to me when I talk about finding their “Joyful Genius” is that they “work to live”, that they see their work purely as a means of funding their real life.
Well, considering that when you include overtime, extra hours and travel to and from the workplace, for many people earning a living takes up over half their waking hours, I find it rather sad that they don’t consider their work to be part of their “real life”. At 50% of an average working life of 40 years, that means that their “real life” is some twenty years shorter than those for whom making a living is an integral part of living a life, something fulfilling and to be enjoyed.
Workaholics then …?
Equally, I get rather sad when I meet people who choose to have no life beyond their work, who spend every hour there is working. Even when these workaholic types really do manage to retire early – maybe at 50 or so – the intense focus on their work leaves them burnt out, disconnected from their loved ones, and unable to truly enjoy the fruits of their 30 years of (hard) labour.
That’s why I dislike the whole concept of “Work-Life Balance” – it separates work from the rest of our lives, as if we have a switch we throw, between work and home modes. When we are doing that, I question whether we can be true to our authentic selves in either mode.
I believe a far better objective is to integrate our work into our lives – to make it just another facet of the glorious experience of living here on Planet Earth, and one that brings us just as much satisfaction and joy as our family, friends, faith and community.
If this article has got you thinking, and you would like to follow up on the ideas and see how you can integrate your work and the rest of your life to achieve complete fulfillment, let's have a chat!