worklifebalanceHow can I strike a balance between my home life and my work life? If I could only figure out how to perfectly balance both, my life would be so much easier. Many of us can relate to this question and thought process, as most people are constantly striving to strike that frustratingly inaccessible balancing point. We try our best to juggle home and work responsibilities and are always trying to find that happy medium where each environment is equally demanding of our attention and resources. Picture a scale. Home life is on one side of the scale, and work life is on the other. Now picture yourself. You are standing precisely in the middle of the scale. Your “life” side and your “work” side teeter and stagger, tugging back and forth, up and down, before finally landing perfectly aligned with each other. The scale stops moving, and is balanced. Neither side is more demanding than the other. YOU’VE DONE IT! You’ve struck the balance between work and the rest of your life. WRONG. Though this may come as a shock, finding this perfect balance is actually impossible. Yes, IMPOSSIBLE.

Let’s read and reflect on the following:

“There is no such thing as work/life balance. There is only managing the necessary fluctuations of primacy between your chosen profession, relationships, soul, community, health, finances and passion(s). The trick is to align all of these to your purpose – and to find everyday joy in the process.”

~Dr. Rachel Talton

Let that sink in…”there is no such thing as work/life balance…” Your home life and your work life are each demanding of your time and attention, among other personal mental and physical resources. Though of perhaps near equivalent importance to you, their individual demands will inevitably fluctuate on a daily, maybe even an hourly, basis. One week, maybe you have a big presentation at work that eats up the majority of your time, and you have to miss out on a family dinner one night. Perhaps another week your mom has surgery and so you prioritize helping her. Each week, you are managing the inevitable fluctuations within your two worlds of work and of life. If you continued to devote yourself entirely to work the week your mom had surgery, then your mom would not have gotten the care she needed. You cannot fully, or even equally, devote yourself to one realm of your life without the other one suffering. You need to constantly be reassessing and reallocating your limited resources where they are needed most.

This may seem daunting. But no matter what the day looks like, with work or with home life commanding more of your attention, you must redirect each task toward your ultimate purpose. In my last post, we explored what it means to flourish—to reflect on what’s important to you, to connect with others and to ultimately set goals and go out and achieve. If being a flourishing individual is ultimately your goal and purpose in life, then every task of every day has to thoughtfully align to that end. The week your mom needed you, you proved yourself a good son or daughter. The week work was demanding, you proved yourself a competent coworker able to stand up to the challenges presented at work. In each case, you are growing and maturing a part of yourself, a portion of your character, that when pieced with the other parts, make up your whole, flourishing self. And really, isn’t that what life is all about? What could be more satisfying than that?

The Bottom Line

There is no such thing as a work/life balance. Home life and work life are at different times demanding of different amounts of your self and your personal resources. Your attention, time and energy must be flexible and allocated properly to meet the demands of everyday life. While you work to meet these differing demands and give of yourself properly, you must do so with your ultimate purpose in mind—that is—to becoming your best, flourishing self.



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