Confession – I don’t believe in work-life balance. And neither does my guest on this week’s episode of Good Life Project, Mitch Joel.
But, not for the reason you think…
Living completely out of whack with your priorities, allocating your energy in a way that destroys your health, relationships and ability to live well and give well is, well, just plain dumb.
Whoah, wait a minute? How can I not believe in work-life balance and still make that statement?
Simple, because work-life “balance” works on an assumption I fundamentally disagree with. That work is and should be something outside life.
That you work not out of a sense of joy, meaning, purpose, contribution, flow, drive, love and passion. Not within a culture populated by people you love, who are deeply connected by shared values, ideas, visions and energies. But because your work gives you the money to spend the few remaining hours of your “real” life, you know, the one outside work, finally pursuing those all those same things. Often unsuccessfully.
When you start with that assumption, you automatically lose. You assume that work must be so in conflict with life that it’s something that needs to be “balanced AGAINST life.”
You surrender the possibility that you can be so fulfilled and called by the work you do and the people you do it with, that the way you contribute to the world becomes a joyous, integral element of life.
Here’s the funny thing. Many people who contribute to the world in a way where their only compensation is money and stature often feel the need to “decompress” in front of a screen or a bottle. Or take a vacation to “get away” from the intrusion of work, to reconnect with the people and activities that matter most to them.
For me, those same people and activities are woven seamlessly into the way I contribute. My work.
Which is where we introduce the concept of work-life “blend.”
Wish I’d invented the term, but sadly I didn’t. Nor can I do it justice the way dad, husband, digital agency founder, blogger, podcaster and Ctrl Alt Delete author, Mitch Joel can.
He lays it all out in this week’s episode of Good Life Project. I’ve embedded the video here to make it really easy for you to watch. And, of course, if you’d rather take it on the road and listen, just subscribe over at GoodLifeProject and you’ll get instant access to the mp3 vault (and soon to launch transcripts).
Now, here’s my question…
Are Mitch and I waaaay off base?
As always, I’m open to the conversation.
And, what of the other “dark side,” where you’re so consumed by work you love, you “forget” about the people and activities (and health) that makes life so rich, but may not be well integrated into your “work?”
Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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