Monday April 3, 2017
I’d like to start off by saying I don’t completely agree with the way work-life balance has been approached in recent times. I believe the sometimes an imbalance is required, to balance out... well... balance.
Firstly, this is going to require you to know yourself pretty well. If you know how you function, your why’s, how’s, instinct’s, and behavior, then you’re more likely to make better decisions. You should already know when it’s getting to a point where you’re pushing too hard. You should be able to tell when your emotional state isn’t in the place it should be.
In Favor of Balance
It doesn’t matter how much of a diligent worker you are, or whether you love being around people more than anyone else. There will come a point where you experience some form of burnout, and unless you recognize and remedy it, you’ll have a tough time getting back on track.
I like to call this “feeding your soul.” Do the things that make you happy. Eat some ice cream, sing in the shower, chase your kids around the house. I have a bunch of things I like to do when I’ve been around people for too long, or I’ve been pushing myself too hard.
Everyone will tell you to go exercise or eat healthy and all that jazz. While they aren’t wrong, there are other ways to boost your endorphin release - so find those activities and go all out for a while. Hell, go buy yourself a new shirt, you pretty/handsome devil! Just be happy, that’s all I’m saying. When you’re ready, you’ll come back stronger than before.
In Favor of Imbalance
Here’s where it gets interesting, because I’m a strong proponent for chasing what you’re passionate about. If you’re starting a new business or other endeavor, you need to be relentless.
When passion takes over, you’re living, eating, breathing, and sleeping your goals. It’s already taken over your life, because you know exactly what you want and you’re going to make it happen. In this case, there is no balance, because there can be no balance.
I’m pretty sure anyone who’s built a successful business empire didn’t get there because they carefully toed the work-life balance line. It’s likely that they threw themselves to the wolves and embraced the impassioned work-frenzy that took its place.
There are times in life when balance will not serve you well. Humans have the capability to go all out for a surprising amount of time before we need to dial it back. It’s like red-lining your engine for too long - it takes some time before catching fire.
As Shark Tank star Kevin O'Leary said: "There was no balance in my life. I wasn’t even around when my kids were young. But today, I can afford to gather them with me every weekend, anywhere on Earth I want to."
Drive and passion will take you places, balance will keep you on target. You get to decide when either needs to be implemented.