Smashing the work-life balance myth

By Oliver Sylvester-Bradley on 7 Apr 2015 - 13:17

When it comes to crap catch-phrases "achieving work life balance" must be near the top of the list. The basic idea the phrase tries to covey is that wise people "maintain a balance between work and life". But not only is the entire concept a badly mangled myth, it often contributes to the stress its meant to help avoid!

For starters, work is part of life, not separate from it, so the idea that we can 'balance' the two is a complete misnomer. And the idea of 'balancing' work against life also implies that the two are opposed and that success in one can only be achieved by compromising the other, which is only true if you are working in the wrong job!

Sean Orford, a Consultant Psychotherapist, management coach and founder at "Live in the Present" agrees:

Most of us (actually about 94% of the population) are wage slaves... 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.

The opposite argument is explained by our favourite quotes from Confucius:

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

How cool does that sound!? Never having to go to work is probably most people's idea of heaven, so why aren't more people doing what they love?

One reason might be that we're trained from an early age, practically groomed in fact, to face up to the "world of work" as if it some sort of punishment for growing up. But work does not have to be something you endure, and if only we were trained to approach work from a different perspective we'd see the 'world of work' in a whole new light.

Finding your passion is the first step towards changing your life in order to elevate yourself above the "work versus life" balance.

When you find a job you love to do, balancing work an life isn't really a problem any more! Working on something you believe in is essential to feeling fulfilled at work, which is a key aspect of being satisfied with your life.

So don't try to balance a crap job you don't believe in against a life you wish you had, find a job you love and start living a truly fulfilled life which does not require you to compromise.