Work-Life Balance is a frequently used term in today’s hectic business world. There is no client in my Executive Coaching practice who does not suffer from an overwhelming workload. Often times these managers put their health at risk, not to mention their intimate relationships.
Consequently, I felt triggered to set up a dedicated program for Work-Life Balance Coaching. The coaching clients in this program go through a structured five steps process. As busy managers they may need some time initially to identify what matters most in their lives. They need to elaborate and follow through on an effective action plan. As a result of the Work-Life Balance Coaching they ultimately achieve success in the office and at home.
I have to admit that at first I was very reluctant to use the term “work-life balance” for my coaching. In fact I find the term misleading, wrong and ridiculous.
“Work-Life Balance” is obviously about balance between work and life. Doesn’t this imply that life and work are different, eventually opposites? Does it mean that when you are working, you are not living? And when you are not living then aren’t you… err… dead?
That sounds sad, doesn’t it? However, this is the bitter truth for many professionals these days.
“TGIF” – when I first saw this acronym I had to ask a friend what it means. “Thank God it’s Friday,” I learned. So, are you dead Monday to Friday, only to get alive for the short weekend? While there is nothing wrong with enjoying a beer with friends on a Friday night, I hope you are not among those who party regularly in search for something they’ll never find. As Don Miguel Ruiz says:
“What do we do if we don’t like ourselves? We try to get numb with alcohol to forget our suffering. That’s the excuse we use. Where are we going to get alcohol? We go to a bar to drink, and guess who’s going to be there? People just like us, who try to avoid themselves also, who also try to get numb. We get numb together, we start talking about our suffering, and we understand each other very well. We even start to enjoy it.” -Don Miguel Ruiz, The Mastery of Love
When you don’t have “work-life balance”, something is terribly wrong in your life, and you better act upon it. I know what I am talking about because I have been there before.
Today however, people envy me because I have stopped working. I only live. I found a “work” that I enjoy. I am passionate about what I am doing, and it is fulfilling and rewarding.
It is a massive misunderstanding that work has to be something “hard.” It seems that only when torture and pain are involved we deserve to be paid. (Just look at the English word “compensation.”) The truth is that the most successful people are not only good at what they are doing, they also enjoy what they are doing! As Michael Port explains in “Book Yourself Solid”:
“There is often a sense that if it comes easily and is enjoyable, there’s something wrong with charging for doing it. [...] Most people who are successful get paid to do what they do well. You don’t usually become successful doing something that you find difficult. You become successful when you exploit your natural talents. Imagine Tom Hanks saying he shouldn’t get paid to do movies because he’s really good at it and loves it. OrJ. K. Rowling saying she should write the Harry Potter books for free because she enjoys it.”
How about you? Do you enjoy how you are spending the valuable time of your life? If you are “dead” some 40-60 hours a week, I suggest you take inventory:
-What are you truly passionate about? What are the things that make you jump out of bed in the morning, excited about the day ahead?
-What can you do particularly well? What are your natural strengths – which you are eventually not aware of yourself? Ask your friends!
-How can you ultimately use your skills & talents to add value to other people’s life so that they will be happy to pay you for what you are doing happily?
It does not necessarily mean you have to quit your job. It may suffice to check how you can make your job more enjoyable. Changing perspective or saying “no” more often may work wonders.
Want some help? I have big toolbox to support you in making your work more enjoyable and achieving “Work-Life Balance.” Contact me now for a complimentary consultation on Work-Life Balance Coaching or other services:
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"I decided for executive coaching to prepare for my next career step. Today, I am amazed that I didn’t take just one one, but in fact climbed two steps on the career ladder in just one year!"
Bert, Director, Rayong, Thailand