Today was my first workday after a 10-day hiatus. Surprisingly, the day went better than I expected. It took some mental conditioning though. Before I went to bed last night and after I woke up at 5 am this morning, I spent some time pondering the meaning of “work-life balance.”
I suppose everyone is familiar with the concept of work-life balance, which promotes a healthy balance between the time we spend earning our living and the time we spend doing other, supposedly more enjoyable, things. It could be a great concept, if only it were named correctly, something like “work-play balance,” for example; or “balance” would do just fine. The problem is the mind inevitably associates the pair “work – life” with other pairs that describe two opposite notions, like “life and death,” “night and day,” “right and left,” “good and evil.” So, we shouldn’t be too surprised when work begins to feel less like life and more like other, less pleasant, things. Thoughts have power after all.
When we place “life” and “work” at the opposite ends of the spectrum, we forget that work can be fun, that work is life, or at least a big part of it.
When we look at our work as a means to an end, a burden, or, as one of my friends said, a curse, that we have to endure, so we can pay bills and support our lifestyle, we cut ourselves off from the source of joy and creativity. No matter what we do to support ourselves financially, be it mopping floors, training dogs or balancing budgets, we don’t have to turn into zombies for eight or 12 hours a day. We can still have a life – working! Work and life are inseparable, and work and fun can and should go hand in hand. Have you noticed that successful and happy people make no distinction between work and life? Their work is their life, which doesn’t mean, however, that their life is all work; they find the time to play and have fun too.
What about you? Do you think there is life on the planet “Work”?
- Enough Already of “Work-Life Balance” – Huffington Post (blog) (huffingtonpost.com)
- How can I maintain a healthy work-life balance? (career-advice.monster.co.uk)