August 12, 2012 by Mike Lyles
“Find your ‘work-life balance’”. We’ve heard it all our lives. And everyone has suggestions on how to accomplish this balance. The focus has always been on finding a way to be successful at work while still finding the time to live your life outside of work.
It’s time to be enlightened, folks. There is no such thing as a work-life balance. It doesn’t exist. And as you read further, I hope you understand why I make such a bold statement that may have never been made before.
I heard a character in a movie ask another character “Where do you live?” The second character replied “Everywhere!” This comical retort got me thinking this statement was more true than funny. Many of us, if asked this question, would give a street name, a city, a country, because we would be thinking about where we spend our lives in a house. But I challenge each of you today to think differently.
The reason I say work-life balance is a fantasy, is that the two are not mutually exclusive. I read a very interesting story once called “The Dash”. And it spoke of how that, at the end of our lives, there is a date of birth and a date of death with a “ – “ (dash) in the middle. What you do with your ‘dash’ is what makes the difference. That simple dash is your life and everything you do during that dash defines ‘life’.
If you are at work, you are still living your life. If you are at home, you are living your life. If you are out with friends or family, you are living your life. Everywhere you turn, you are living your life. Therefore, instead of focusing on a ‘work-life balance’, focus on a “Life Balance” where you focus on every aspect of your life no matter where you are. Give 110% in each and every one of those aspects. Your family and friends should remember you as someone who is dedicated, thoughtful, kind, and loving. Those who work with you should remember you as someone who is dedicated, goal-oriented, a team player, resilient, focused, hard-working, tenacious, and unwilling to give up.
If you focus on being the best everywhere you go, paying attention to the urgent and important needs, showing kindness to others, prioritizing each and every aspect of your life, you will find that you no longer have to worry about ‘balancing work and life’, because your life will be all that you have, and work, friends, family, and all others will be things that together MAKE your LIFE.
One of my favorite writers, Zig Ziglar stated once that “No one ever said on their deathbed ‘I wish I had worked more’”. The focus of your life should never be whether you should work more or less. It should be whether you are giving quality and priority to the things in your LIFE that matter the most, in the right order.
When this life is over, all that will be left is the memory of you.
The question you have to ask yourself today is how do you want to be remembered. And what things can you do today to ensure you meet those goals in your LIFE?