Recently, a friend asked me if I believe that work-life balance was possible.
My first reaction was to answer, Yes. But, after a couple of minutes, I changed my answer and said that although work-life balance may be possible, it's very difficult to achieve.
After a few minutes of debate about the meaning of the term "work-life balance", our conversation switched towards the role played by a balanced life on happiness. I realize that the only reason that I am interested in achieving a balanced life, or discuss the subject, is because I want happiness to be a fundamental component of my life.
Do we really need a balanced life to attain happiness?
Clearly, work-life balance is not about organizing our schedule to give every part of our life equal time. I think that a balanced life is about regaining a sense of accomplishment and control. To me, a balanced life is about making choices that are right for the time and circumstances of our life.
A balanced life is about living life in a way that makes you feel happy, rewarded and satisfied. I recently read an article that suggested that when searching for a balanced lifestyle, you need to ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you feel good about how you are spending your time?
- Are you aware of the choices you are making or is life completely running over you?
- Are you nurturing the things that are important to you?
- Are the choices and sacrifices you are making today moving towards a goal or vision for your future?
- Do you understand the implications of your choices on your family and your work?
Personally, I think that the important issue is happiness, so...
Happiness means different things to different people. For many people, happiness comes from a balanced mix between what we have to do and what we want to do; this is fine. But, for others, happiness may mean something completely different.
So, instead of trying to achieve a perfect balance between life and work, I believe that we should focus on the meaning of happiness in our lives. Thus, my suggestion is to start our personal exploration of happiness by asking ourselves the following questions:
- When and how is happiness occurring in my life?
- How is my work affecting my life goals?
- Is a balanced life really necessary to achieve happiness?
- What is my recipe for happiness?
Do you have other suggestions? Which other questions are useful?