There is a great deal said about work/life balance, most of it telling us how to find a balance between the two. But what if they are not two things on opposite sides of our lives, but instead they go together wonderfully and naturally. The goal then would be to make sure that we choose work that feels like a part of our life, not separate from it, and our life is a part of our work because of our passion for it and need to accomplish it.
Imagine work/life balance is a cheese/pizza, or spaghetti/ sauce. What is pizza without cheese and what is spaghetti without a sauce. They belong together. They are good together. Life encompasses work, play, and relationships as well as times simply doing nothing.
Work is a part of life. The balance we need to find is how our work inspires our life and how our life can inspire our work. For example in creative fields, the line starts to blur because life is also part of work. An experience “off the clock” can inspire a new book, a new article, a new marketing idea or even a new product or service. So the line begins to blur making it difficult to turn off work completely, even if you’re not actively “working.”
Instead of striving to find work/life balance, it might be better if we aim for better integration of your work into your life, and your life essence into your work.
Of course you will be healthier and happier if you balance your work with constructive rest, deep play and relationship-building: if you carve out space for experiences and activities that allow you to get lost in the flow of what you’re doing. It is also important that you “work at” allowing yourself to be fully present to the people you love and care about. Help them celebrate your passion for your work instead of being jealous of it, by insuring they are not an expense of your work.
Create this space for yourself, and you’ll find that you will begin to bring your best work and best life to the world.
Dawn is the author of over twenty books and hundreds of articles. She is the inventor of the patented parenting tool called CAPABLES and is the founder of The Heart Link Women's Network with chapters in US, Canada and Australia.
In 2008, Dawn was selected by Oprah magazine and the White House Project as one of the nation's 80 women emerging leaders and was selected as one of 15 Women of Achievement by the Cobb County YWCA.