Not a month goes by without the subject of work-life balance being raised by either one of my clients. Whether it’s a seasoned leader, an experienced entrepreneur or a new manager, there comes a time when the never-ending whirlwind of our commitments becomes overwhelming.
The summer period is particularly conducive to this kind of thinking. After a few days of well-deserved vacation, returning to work can be challenging. Sometimes, it is the apprehension of going on vacation, leaving behind one’s responsibilities, which is worrisome. Some of us then become aware of the extent of our commitments—both professional and personal, and wonder how to keep up the pace without flinching.
Do you ever feel completely free and serene to be on vacation? Or could you be at work and regret not being able to spend more time with your family? It’s hard to enjoy the moment when we are overwhelmed by our commitments.
We want so much to succeed in every aspect of our lives that we are torn between family, friends, health, hobbies, and working life. And for passionate people in particular, there is no compromise possible. Everything is lived intensely … sometimes to the point of exhaustion, despite a naturally high level of energy.
There always comes a time when the search for a better balance is at the forefront of our preoccupations.
But should we indeed seek work-life balance?
I took a minute to look for the definition of “balance” in the dictionary :
“Balance is a state of steadiness brought about by a person’s equal weight distribution on all sides”.
By analogy, if a perfect balance results from the equal distribution of our attention and our energy in all aspects of our lives, it is not surprising that we become overwhelmed!
The search for balance between the different spheres of life could well be a utopia, and by the same token, the origin of this restlessness that poisons our lives.
What if the solution resided instead in the search for harmony?
Harmony is defined as :
“The quality of various or different things being in a pleasant combination, or even better, as the state of being at peace with one another.”
Is this not an inspiring perspective? All of a sudden, it is not a question of trying to invest oneself equally in everything, but rather of making judicious choices, combining in a pleasant and serene way our commitments, according to our aspirations, and our level of energy.
It means finding the happiness of being with our families rather than at work, and the serenity of being at work rather than on vacation.
Would you consider letting go of high performance in some areas in favour of those which are really important to you? To succeed in life as a whole, rather than in every aspect of it.
Progress, not perfection
Imagine making smart choices to achieve your most valuable goals while considering your abilities and your need for recovery. Look for the adequate distribution of the burden of your commitments, while reducing your expectations of results for the rest.
How does this sound to you?