If you want to be happy you need to have a good work/life balance, so they say. I guess most people wouldn’t disagree with that. But it’s now time for us to redefine this concept; because in reality there is no such thing as a work/life balance; there is just life. Your work is simply something that you do in your life to exchange your time for money so that you can then use that money for other things. I am very much in favour of reducing stress and anxiety in life and being able to do what you want to do, and to have what you want to have too. Getting a sense of balance in your life is very much a part of that but defining it as a work/life balance is the wrong way to think about it. Thinking in that way places your work outside of your life, in a way that it seems to suggest that work is something that you probably won’t enjoy and you don’t want to do but you have to do to pay the bills. Then once you are done with work then you can do your life stuff which is when you can enjoy yourself.
So let’s just stand back a little bit and redefine this concept by saying that it is your Life Balance that we need to consider instead. So what is it that you need to balance in your life? Well there are many things that you may want to consider; things like –
- Mental: Where is your thinking focused?
- Emotional: How do you feel?
- Spiritual: How do you feel connected?
- Physical Health: How fit are you?
- Family: Is this a support and a joy or not?
- Relationships: How well are you interacting with others?
- Personal Development: Are you still learning and growing?
- Work: Is it a pleasure or a chore?
- Fun: Do you have enough of it? Are you fully enjoying life?
Now you will have your own ways to define these things, and you may want to add or change some of the things on this list. Once you have a list that you are happy with then what I would do is rate from 0-10 how satisfied you are with each of these areas of your life. Where 10 means that this area of your life is so great it couldn’t be any better and zero means it is so rubbish it could not be any worse. Be as honest with yourself as possible; now look at your list, is it balanced or not. Now you can be balanced and have zeros all the way round but as you look at your scores how does it look. Which are the areas of your life that right now need a bit of attention? As you consider these areas of your life what can you do to change them? There must be something.
Remember, this is your life, the one precious life that you are going to have; even if you believed in reincarnation I don’t think that you will be coming back again as you. So this is it guys, this is your life. Now I’ve got good and bad news for you about this; you are responsible for your life. So if you don’t like it, what are you doing to change it? Because it is just you who will be doing the changing, don’t expect anyone else to come along and start changing things for you, without you doing something about it first. Overall in life I think that your objective is straight forward enough though, all you can ever be in life is you; you can’t be anyone else; just be the very best version of you that you can be. That way, you will be the balanced joyful ‘you’; trust me that ‘you’ is out there; become that ‘you’.
“There should be a balance between material and spiritual progress, a balance achieved through the principles based on love and compassion.” Dalai Lama
“There are no choices that are really a detour that will take you far from where you’re wanting to be — because your Inner Being is always guiding you to the next, and the next, and the next. So don’t be concerned that you may make a fatal choice, because there aren’t any of those. You are always finding your balance. It’s a never ending process.” Abraham Hicks
“Balance is the key, Daniel-san.” Mr Miyagi in the Karate Kid