Balancing life with work; here are some personal truths

If you analyze the concept of balancing work with life it results to be an uncomfortable aspiration, for a wholesome lifestyle. Because balance is about stasis and staying in the comfort zone: happy family, kids well behaved, work doing well and then pray that everything is going to be perfect forever. Besides this way of thinking result toxic in the end because we are giving categories such as “work” is bad and “life” is good, working is a nightmare and living is a dream, we survived another day at work but instead we live our life happily. Therefore, the goal, or so we are told, is to diminish the weight of work with the pleasure of life.

However, the meaning of work is not something that we could consider as opposed to the concept of life, it is instead an important part of life as it is: family, friends, hobbies and being part of a community. Combined all these aspects of life share the good, wonderful and wholesome moments but also they share the sad ones too. And the same applies to work as well, but since we are conditioned to think in it as bad, we tend to lose sight of all the great possibilities and positivity implicit in working.

Then is logic that is going to be more positive giving up to the idea of trying to balance the unbalanced. Instead let’s treat work just the same as we do with life: by seeking the maximum benefits doing what we love. Here is what I want to say.

Please consider the next, two persons that work having exactly the same task. They appear to be gaining strength and joy in very different moments.

Let’s make the next mental exercise, think in the activities you do regularly as threads; some can be black others grey, white or even red. Then some of this threads appear to be formed by an estrange substance, with all these activities you can develop a love relationship, to say it that way: even before you do them you find that you are looking to it, while you are doing the activities times goes by quickly and after you finish you feel accomplished. These activities are red threads and the more of them you have in your life less probabilities of experiencing burnout.

In order to emulate these results with your job, you can spend a week in love of it. However, this might sound odd but what it means is just to take a regular week at work and with the help of a pad, that is going to be with you the whole week; make two columns and on top of these write “loved it” and on top of the other column “hated it.” Now during that week at any moment when you feel any of the sings of love write it in the “loved it” column and describe exactly what were you doing at that moment. But if you find yourself feeling the inverse then write it down in the “hated it” column along with the short specific details of what you were doing at the moment.

It is likely that many of your weekly activities won’t make it to the list, but since you are going to spend your week in love with your work by the end of this period you are going to see a list with plenty of activities in the “loved it” column and this activities are going to feel different to you than the rest of your work. Because they will have a different emotional value which is going to generate in you a distinctive positive feeling that is going to lift you up.

Conducted research in over nineteen countries that revealed that more than 70% of workers feel capable of modifying their job to fit their strengths better, however only 18% of workers do that so. Now your challenge is to start changing, over time, the perspective and content of your job to contain more of the things you love doing and less or any of what you hate.

Instead of thinking in categories such as “work” and “life” that we should not be trying to balance. We should be focusing in “love” and “loathe.” Then our goal should be that over time, day by day and week by week, to balance the terms of our work closer to activities we love and far from the others. And in result we are going to feel better and our colleagues too; friends are family as well because our good energy is going to be contagious.

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