There is no such thing as work-life balance. Not in my world. I think the current definition of work-life balance insinuates that one is good and one is bad. Which one, work or life? You decide. Trying to keep the “bad” at bay while growing the good is a stress inducing approach. That approach means that if your life grows and expand, the other side will correspondingly expand too. “Mo money, mo problems”. I propose a new definition of work-life balance. A definition that embraces work and life as one, where work and life feed each other to ever expanding personal greatness for you, the person living that life.
The dilemma: A red brick wall
Business owners and even people in careers start their journey as the original building block, the cornerstone. Just like a brick in a red brick wall. Then they build upon that journey and add more bricks to complete their masterpiece, which they think will manifest as their perfectly envisioned life. Assuming they have a vision. Most people realize very quickly that this situation does not lead to the life they thought they wanted and start seeking work-life balance. As they build that red brick wall, the pressure on them increase, year after year. What is worse, they disappear into insignificance between all the other bricks. They get lost in their own business or careers. They have built a jail for themselves. They cannot leave, remove the cornerstone, or the whole shebang will come tumbling down. They serve this animal they created which they thought would be serving them, but it does not anymore. Their customers and employers are served better than they are served. Then they argue the case for work life balance to try to save what little life their business and career have not claimed as theirs yet.
Is this wrong then? No, it is not
The above approach is a good start. You have to be the dynamo giving the original movement to your career or business. The problem is that they never remove themselves as the original building block. The career or business serves the customer and employer but not the person in the long run.
A new definition of work-life balance that inspires a life of meaningful success
My new definition of work-life balance is as follows: A business that serves you just as much as it does the customer. A career that serves you just as much as it does your employer. Instead of you remaining the original building block in your career or business, you can flip the situation around. Let your business or your career become a building block within your life instead. Work then becomes an expression of life instead of something that hopefully creates cash to live a life.
Work leads to life. But there is a problem.
In this new definition of work-life balance, more work leads to more life. Work is there to serve your expanding life and vision of self. There is a caveat though. Most people do not have a personal vision. Most people I meet have a very clear idea of what they DO NOT WANT in life but no idea of what they DO WANT in life.
Applying the new definition of work-life balance to your life
#1. Have a greater vision
Get a clear vision of what you want for your life. This is a fun exercise where you can sit and dream like a kid again. Take a piece of paper and write down all that you want to be in life. Don’t focus on the fantasy of having, focus on what you want to become. This is where you start to move into the realm of doing what you love and receiving financial reward for it.
- I want to be an international speaker
- I want to be a business investor
- I want to be the best father ever
I have 24 of these because I address many different areas of my life. You can start with less if you feel more comfortable with it.
#2. How does it serve that vision?
Sit down and look at what you want to become in life. See how what you are doing currently is serving that. How is the work that you are doing now helping you become an international speaker?
#3. Why this works
- I want to be an international speaker: I communicate a lot with staff and clients. If I improve my speaking ability, I will perform better at work, enjoy what I do more because it is helping me become a better speaker. Remember, everyone thinks they stand in front of crowds of thousands. Maybe 0,001 of speakers do. Those 0,001 spoke in front of crowds of 2 to 10 for many years. That is where you perfect your craft.
Once you start linking what you do with what you want to achieve in life, you will get more joy out of what you do. You find purpose in what you do. You find that what you do at work or in your business serves your development as a human being. Your work starts to be fun, almost like a hobby. It is when you start hating your job or not getting the satisfaction you need that you start seeking work-life balance.