Lifestyle work

Why The Term “Work / Life Balance” is a myth.

Confucius

Over the last couple of years, I’ve begun to study the work of a lot of philosophers – to this day Socrates remains the most influential in my way of living, however, one of the great beliefs I feel everyone should embrace and live by is one from Confucius.

Born in China in 551 BC (over 2500 years ago). The philosophy of Confucius emphasized personal and governmental morality, the correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity.

A lot of his quotes you can regularly see people uploading to Instagram / Facebook with the “🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼” emoji as the caption, an example of these quotes are:

It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop”

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”

Though they are incredibly impactful if you live your life by these principals, there are 2 of Confucius famous sayings in which I strongly believe people need to adopt in life to find happiness. Firstly,

Study the past if you would define the future.” 

This quote is a powerful statement and if you dissect its meaning and actively study the past you can equip yourself with knowledge and insight – which when situation arise in the future you’re in a better position to deal with them.

The past doesn’t mean History – although that depth of knowledge would make you even more informed – it relates to your past, taking learnings from your own situation and life events.

But this could be a whole other article.

For this piece I want to focus on the following:

choose-a-job-you-love-and-you-will-never-have-to-work-a-day-in-your-life

 

You’ve probably seen, or heard this said at some point in your life – but what does it actually mean and more importantly, how do you accomplish this.
Firstly, to refer back to the title of the article – a lot of people spend their time looking for a work/life balance – they look to find a job or career which allows them to maintain the lifestyle they want to live. I strongly believe this is a false sense of reality.

Facts:

  • 50% of your total waking hours during any given working day.
  • 35% of your total waking hours over a 50-year working-life period assuming 8 hours of sleep a night
  • Britons also spend a total of 12 years at work during their lifetimes
As you can see from the facts above, you will spend a lot of your time “At Work” it forms a significant part of your existence on this planet. Therefore, viewing both work and life as two different aspects of your existence is, of course, going to cause friction.
This friction created by constantly battling which to prioritise and focus on normally leads to “life” winning. Juggle both sees you loosing sight of requirements thus will cause a large amount of stress, which as we know, is never beneficial.
In these situations people begin to blame work for causing them stress leading to  resentment towards work – while this may start as only a small thought in the back of your mind – the more friction generating by not been able to change “shifts” or having a manager who “is a knob” increase the size of this thought – as soon as this thought becomes a feeling in you –  people then take action by leaving their job and thus having to start again.
Yes – I know this doesn’t apply to everyone – but I bet you know someone who’s a bit like this.
Our Generation

Loving your job is a wonderful thing. Not only are you bringing home income, but you also get the added reward of feeling fulfilled, accomplished, and satisfied each time you stroll out of your office.

But, loving your livelihood requires hard work. It’s pretty much human nature to enjoy the things we’re good at. And, in order to be good at your position, you need to put in hard work – if you never put in hard work, you’ll more than likely never find something you are good at – thus enjoy.

Oftentimes, it’s not just the work that we love. It’s the reward and satisfaction we get after doing it well. And we all know that getting things done well involves exerting effort and staying at the office for the occasional late night.

If your day at work leaves you feeling like you’ve achieved something and you’re motivated, while skipping out the office this mood will seep into your wider activities giving you the energy to go to the gym, have a nice meal or just visit that place you want to see.

The negative energy built up from disliking what you do is the anchor which holds you down in life – the voice in your head that tells you that you should go home and drink a bottle of wine or just get into bed and watch TV.

My advice: If you are looking for to find a balance within your life look at the entire remit not each part in isolation. Don’t blame aspect of it or external factors – you have the power to change everything – look for a career path which adds value to your life and doesn’t hold you back – it takes time and hard work to find what you are good at.
Have a life balance – it isn’t a choice of either, or.

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