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Balance Is A Myth

by | Jan 1, 2014 | Mindset

I’ve read that that work-life balance is a myth.

There’s no such thing.

In a way, it makes sense, because the phrase work-life balance implies that work is not life, and life is not work.

Kind of bad news for those who follow their passion and live for their “work”!

I think true balance is about inclusion, rather than exclusion.  When we traditionally speak of work-life balance, it’s all about leaving the office at the office.  Granted, in a highly connected world, it’s more and more difficult to even define where office and being-at-work stop.

We speak about leaving work at the front door of home.

All of our work-life balance language reflects exclusion of one set of activities so you may focus on another set of activities.

This is just plain wrong.

Typically, getting home from the office (or other place of work) is supposed to signal crossing the boundary from “work” into “life”.

What if there’s a ton of housework awaiting? How is that considered “life” but engaging in email war is “work”?

What if you are a natural networker, the extrovert type who thrives when in a group of like minded individuals (like when working on a project together at work)? I would argue that you probably consider being at work more fun, than being at home dealing with mind-numbingly mundane world of laundry, for instance.

Exceptions, you say? I don’t think so, I say.

“A true balance between work and life comes with knowing that your life activities are integrated, not separated.”

Michael Sunnaborg

Balance is much more about including all of your selves into a single, integrated being who lives and experiences as many different parts of himself as their energy level allows them to.

Simplifying into work and life is basically labeling work as anything that you are presumably forced to do, and life being everything else.

As I said, bad news for those of us who prioritize choosing work we love.

As we hurtle into 2014 and get busy making resolutions, or, at the very least, reflecting on the thought that we probably should make some resolutions, consider what true balance and integration mean for you.

What parts of work do you love (come on, you can think beyond the paycheck …), and how can those parts be extended into non-work time?  For many, this would be the social element.

Conversely, what parts of non-work (I refuse to call it life …) would like to see make more of an appearance at work?  For many, this could be the sense of autonomy in choosing how to spend your time.

Imagine a world where you could have a blend of all that is yummy at work, and all that is even yummier at home in both places.    Imagine feeling just as excited regardless of whether you were going into a work activity or a leisure activity.

Seriously.  Take two minutes and imagine it.

Now that you’ve imagined it, you are just a few steps from making true balance and a better integrated life happen.

How’s that for a 2014 resolution?