Work/life balance is a common phrase we hear when it comes to would-be high-performers and their goals, but in reality, is it something that can truly become a reality. Why? Because a lack of balance is the human default; a work/life mix, on the other hand, opens doors to achievement in every facet of life.
Let's go into the land of storytelling as an example — Meet George.
To many, George is a paragon of success. His company is on the verge of breaking the $1 mill in revenue; he loves his work; he has time to spend with his wife every weeknight; and he is making big contributions to his community.
George is dissatisfied, and many would say it’s because he lacks work/life balance. He recognizes the many tell-tale signs of this seemingly lopsided life: working on Saturday mornings, reading work e-mail in the company of family, taking business calls after five o’clock. In fact, George was so self-aware, he brought these concerns to a mentor to get clarity.
“Can you help me find better work/life balance?” he asked. “I want my family to stop nagging me.”
What his mentor said surprised him: “George, work/life balance is a myth for high performers like you, me, and the readers of "Sweat Nation". Balance suggests an equal weighting of all facets of your life. But the fact is, there is not an equal weighting between work and non-work in our daily schedule. There cannot be ‘balance’ given the goals we want to accomplish.”
The idea of work/life balance has little application for high-achievers, precisely because these individuals are focused instead on clearly defined, shoot-for-the-stars goals. In fact, the imbalance is part of our human DNA—a genetic motivation to find solutions and seek out opportunities.
How could Usain Bolt have dominated for 10 years if he had track/life balance? How could Oprah have built her empire or Steve Jobs created the iPhone if they had been intent on creating balance? These icons paid no heed to work/life balance; they simply went after their dreams.
Here’s the truth: If you want to accomplish extraordinary results, your life will naturally be imbalanced. Instead of searching for some mythical equilibrium, strive for the right work/life mix that prioritizes both personal and professional goals.
Check this part.. it doesn’t matter what your goals are. You could be a business owner climbing toward $1 billion net worth, an individual striving for a $50,000 salary, or a parent who wants to end work at 3 pm every day so you can spend time with your family. The same principles of work/life mix apply.
Read a quote that is going to hit right at the source. “The human mind’s job is not to make you feel good or find balance. It’s to solve problems. That’s why it’s always looking for them.”
When our mind looks for problems, like not having work/life balance, it gives us a feeling of guilt. This feeling wastes our energy. We are all better served by taking the energy wasted on being bothered and putting it into constant improvement. Define your goals. Go after them.
Here’s a dose of reality: If you want to accomplish extraordinary results, your life will naturally be imbalanced. Instead of searching for some mythical equilibrium, strive for the right work/life mix that prioritizes both personal and professional goals.
I like the following quote; it's a favorite of Craig Ballantyne, the owner of Early To Rise, whos building an empire through hard work and many hours.
“The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor, and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him, he is always doing both.”
Bottom line: If you begin feeling guilty because of people’s perceptions of how you live your life—a life that lacks balance—just remember these words from philosopher Epictetus, the master of proper self-perception:
Control what you can.
Cope with what you can’t.
Concentrate on what counts.
Make the right decision, right now, for your right life. Always.
Boom, there you have it. Here's to the journey. Hope to cross paths with you while i'm in mine!
Track Of The Day - I Go To Work - Kool Moe Dee