I love those moments during the week when somebody says something or I experience something which turns on my “ideas for post” lightbulb in my head…
One of my friends is a Sales Executive in a multinational company. Quite frankly he’s burned out, mainly due to the fact that he works under an autocratic boss who micro manages and who gets him to spend hours on tasks that are then not appropriately valued. He told me that he yearns for more work/life balance and is prepared to earn a lower salary with less responsibility to achieve this.
However, he has a problem – when he relays this request to headhunters they DON’T BELIEVE HIM!!
I was flabbergasted when he told me this. Why wouldn’t they believe him? Is it really so unusual for us to prefer less money and more freedom and happiness? Is success still judged on how much money you earn/have, rather than the amount of happiness you feel?
When we are able to choose our activities in a completely free way, isn’t it the case that we choose to do or experience something because we think we will feel better in the doing or having of it? And so, of course, we initially choose our work because we want to have the freedom that earning a reasonable amount money can bring, but at the same time we also want to express ourselves and develop our skills and talents in our chosen field.
So when it starts to go wrong, where does it go wrong?
It’s simple; it starts to go wrong when we can no longer express ourselves, our desires and our inate need for freedom and growth. And this is not only the case at work, but also the case in any type of relationship and beginning with the most important relationship in your life – the relationship with yourself. If your relationship with yourself is not healthy, in the sense that you are not aligned with who you really are, it becomes very difficult to contribute effectively to any other type of relationship.
We’ve heard SO MUCH about work/life balance and we will continue to do so because the essence of this topic is about how we are living our life. In this society most of us need to work to survive so work is inevitably an integral part of our life. But when we start to feel that we are losing control in the sense that we have less opportunity to make choices about that life, because somebody else is making them for us, namely our company, then we feel the essence of that imbalance in the core of our being.
It’s not an easy situation to get out of, and there may be in fact other factors to consider, such as a dependant family for example. But we can begin the process of change with just one small step, a step that gives you a feeling of relief and returns to you your sense of control and power over your circumstances. This idea is illustrated in the following video – a thought provoking and often humourous talk about work/life balance by Nigel Marsh. Check it out:
What small step can you take today to make your life more balanced?