The Myth of Work Life Balance - Ideal REI

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work life balance

The Myth of Work Life Balance

You wake up, ugh, another day of work. Is it Friday yet?

You get the kids to school or daycare after a hectic morning and finally punch in at work. Finally, you get to work but have to walk past that one person who’s always smiling and happy, it’s so annoying.

You drone through the day thinking about your weekend plans.

Sure, there are a few faces around the office you like, so the entire day is not wasted. You get to catch up with some pals.

Finally, it’s time to go home. After the commute, it’s basically dinner time when you get home and get the kids to bed.

You sit down and you’re….exhausted. You sit on the couch to rest, and next thing you know it’s getting late and time to go to bed.

Another wasted day…and you think “I wish I had some work-life balance.”

Then you wake up again…

What is Work-Life Balance?

Work-Life balance is the goal of balancing your time between work and other parts of your life including family, social, leisure, and other personal interests…

Guess what. you’re wasting your time…

It’s not because the cause isn’t noble. But then again, people spend their lives trying to find Big Foot, aliens, and the Loch Ness Monster.

If it doesn’t exist, you won’t find it no matter how much you search for it.

A job is like indentured servitude. Unlike indentured servants of the past, you aren’t bound to a specific employer. But, you are bound to employment within the system.

That’s the reason why you’re unhappy and looking for balance

But, you can’t balance that.

Work vs a Job

Work is defined quite simply as an activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result. Or it can be an activity done as a means of earning income.

A job on the other hand is a paid position of regular employment.

Do you see the difference?

Work is an activity, a job involves employment. While they are clearly related, at a minimum we need to see they are different.

If you chase the idea of job-life balance, you’ve accepted that you will always have a job and it is separate entirely from and incompatible with your ‘life’.

Some people can accept their role inside the corporate system. That is the person who is always happy at work. They don’t seek work-life balance because they are content.

Maybe they don’t even recognize what’s controlling their lives, or maybe they don’t care.

Either way, that’s not you. You want something more.

On the other hand, if you pursue some activity that you are passionate about and love that also happens to earn some form of money, you are ‘working’.

Here’s the kicker, If it is a personal interest, passion, or hobby, it’s already part of ‘life’.

…and that’s why chasing work-life balance is like chasing a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

You either accept your life as a worker bee, or you are unhappy. There is no way to be a worker bee for a little bit of the time and be a lion on the hunt the rest of the time.

There is simply no way to balance between those two. You need to be one or the other.

You need to accept that you are a worker bee, and be content. OR, you need to be the thing you want to be.

If you are the thing you want to be, there is no need to find a ‘balance’ between being that and being something society needs you to be.

That’s why work-life balance doesn’t exist.

Balance

That all being said, achieving balance is a part of all aspects of life.

Eat too much or eat too little, you end up in the hospital either way.

It’s like all those contradictory food studies – wine is good for you one day and bad for you another day. Or maybe this week it’s potatoes that are good for you or bad for you or… who knows?

That’s because literally everything in life needs to be balanced.

But, that’s just life. Why are we looking at all the various pieces of life that need to be on the scale?

Remember, though, a scale can balance things because it has a fulcrum. And, just as with a scale, your life has a fulcrum as well.

Finding Focus

All scales have a fulcrum and all lives must have a focus.

This is the singular thing that is most influential in your life, which directs or impacts all other decisions in your life.

For some people it’s religion. They always think about what is written about what God wants. Or they pray and look for guidance on various things.

They act either out of love/respect for what they believe God’s wishes are. Sometimes they act out of fear of God’s judgement.

For other people, their lives are balanced around friends, family, their community, or something similar.

They dress a certain way, buy certain types of vehicles, houses, etc because of how their social group will perceive them.

The job and the life of work is chosen because that is what their peers and parents expect them to do.

They want the acceptance of the group, or perhaps fear their judgement.

If you want to change who you are, you need to change the fulcrum and stop focusing on what’s on the plates on either side

That’s how entrepreneurs are different. We create our own businesses and make that our fulcrum.

Your Business as Your Fulcrum

If you love to do something, you’ll naturally want to do it more and other activities just won’t seem as important anymore.

That’s how entrepreneurs can work 12 hours or more, 7 days per week. They burn with passion for it. The business they are building is everything to them.

Of course, no one can work incessantly with no leisure or time with their family.

Maybe they get their spouse and children involved too. So their passion becomes the family passion. Now they spend time together and build their future.

They make new friends and go to dinner or parties with them. These friends are also entrepreneurs who have intense passion as well.

You raise your children and show them how passionate you are and teach them how to find and cultivate their own passions.

As they get older, they learn that life is not about a modern form of cubical slavery, but instead aboutthey pursue those passions and build balanced lives around what makes them burn.

Soon, everything in your life has some piece of your passion in it in some way.

This is balance.

About the Author Eric Bowlin

Eric is an investor that achieved financial independence at the age of 30. He started in 2009 with the purchase of his first triplex and now owns over 470 units. He spends his time with his family, growing his businesses, diversifying his income, and teaching others how to achieve financial independence through real estate. Eric has been seen on Forbes, Trulia, WiseBread, TheStreet, and other financial publications.

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  • Joe Houghton says:

    Im glad I found this article. The tips on balance are what I will benefit the most from reading.

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