Phrases about needing to create or maintain a work life balance seem to be everywhere. The majority of the organisation’s I visit have a new policy. As levels of stress and anxiety have risen in Western society the idea that we should look after ourself becomes the buzz idea of the moment.
It is certainly true that people in most organisations are now working longer hours than ever before and many of us will now be doing the same amount of work that two, or even three people were doing a generation ago. Sure, the pressure is on and we do need to be looking after ourselves.
There is an odd contradiction in this concept of work life balance
Are we saying that when we are at work we are not living? Is it the case that we cannot have real life when we are in the workplace? If we are living a truly fulfilled life then shouldn’t there be no separation between work and life?
When I came back into the world in the 1980s, having been living and studying in various communities around the world, I had to decide what I would do with this wonderful gift of life. In my decisions making I included the idea that I would need to survive financially. I looked long and hard at myself and I began to realise this:
If I was to be truly happy it would be because I was using this gift of life in ways that made me happy
I decided that working with other people and playing music were the two things that made me happiest. And so, that is what I have done ever since. I do not go to work I simply live my life. I have no work and life to balance, I simply just live and enjoy my life.
If we are living a truly fulfilled life then there should be no separation between work and life.
I am not unique – many others have disregarded the work life myth
I have met many people who live the same way. Along with many who have the concept that going to work is something that has to be endured. The idea of hating Mondays and the opposite joy of loving Fridays is never there in my world. I love my life and I love what I do every day of the week.
Most of us (actually about 94% of the population) are wage slaves. They are working for an employer who pays a set hourly rate for the amount of hours they are prepared to employ someone for each week. This leaves most people stuck in a place of relative poverty and routine. The bottom line is that if you do not like going to your work then you are in the wrong job. You are not doing what you should be doing with your life.
T. Harv Ekker in his book and course ‘The Millionaire Mind’ explains how we each use our inner template or paradigm to create the world of our experience and that includes our financial world. For many people the idea of running your own business can be scary but for many it is the answer. It allows each self employed person to live a life that they would wish to. Dave Woods in his book ‘Get Paid For Who You Are’ explains that we all have a business within us once we take the time to realise it.
There is a clever phrase that someone said, ‘Do you live to work, or work to live?’ Perhaps the alternative is that you simply live and earn your daily crust by doing what makes you happy. Now, for some of you reading this you may be thinking ‘well it’s ok for you, but I can’t do that’ well, here at Live In The Present we have been running courses for many years enabling people to discover what it is that they really want from life and looking at how they might achieve it. These courses led to the book ‘Live In the Present‘.
The journey of discovering who you are and finding your own fulfilment begins with the answer to that simple, but at the same time difficult question.
‘What do you really, really, really, really want from your life’
Once you answer this question you will be well on your way to living a balanced life and no longing needing to consider a work life balance.
Take care and live in your present.