10 LIES ABOUT WORK/Lie Nr. 3 – The balance between Work and Life matters most.

Work is something people don’t want to do, but they still do it anyway because the system is made so to keep us wired and to be forced to work. There are exceptions of course but  a massive amount of earth’s human population is working for the monthly pay check and they are ready to compromise everything and everybody they love just to work on something they hate.


When I was a kid I had nothing but my childhood and a lot of free time to spend with my friends and do whatever I loved. Now I afford almost everything I want, but I don’t have the time to spend with my friends and to do whatever I love. Why? What happened? Well…After finishing my studies I had to start my adult life and to start doing what all adults do: TO WORK. And I had to work hard many times on something that I didn’t really like. Exactly like me are billions of people on this planet. At one point in your career you could find your WHY by understanding the purpose of your work, and start working on something you love and of course make money out of it. But to say that in general “Work-Life balance matters most” of course this is nothing but a LIE. How the hell can you balance something you hate, with your life?

Do this test!!. Get out, go for a walk in your city-center and stop randomly people on the street and ask them if they love their jobs. Do this!! Let’s say by asking 100 people. And collect all the answers, then draw your own conclusion. People could hate their jobs for different reasons, but one of them is for sure also that they don’t really enjoy it. They do it anyway because they HAVE TO. But to find a balance with that, is like trying to match a circle in a square both having the same size (diameter = length).Or it’s like you’re trying to fit a dolphin in a fish bowl. It will never fit.

Work is hard. Every day, you feel the stress of performing, of delivering against your goals and objectives, of earning enough to support your family, of learning how to advocate in just the right way to advance your career and thereby earn more. And always, hanging over your head, is the threat of change as your company shifts its focus, outsources your role, or finds a particularly smart machine that can do your job better, faster, and cheaper. And then there are the other people you have to work with – an ever changing cast of characters, some of whom work across the hall, others of whom work across the world, whose collaboration you seek, but whose motives and methods remain mysterious. The commute doesn’t help neither, I am talking from my own experience, I did that too 🙂 : the daily battle with your fellow strivers on trains, planes, and freeways, everyone rushing in and rushing out, dogging the arteries of your city, raising your stress level. 45 minutes, an hour, 90 minutes each way – or a 2hour flight if you work for one of the big consultancies and have to show up at the client site – all just so you can begin your daily race of life-at-work. On the way home you steal a brief moment or 2 to decompress, and then, once home, you have a quick dinner with the family before dragging out the phone again for the evening volley of e-mails and texts, hoping to catch one last request so that it won’t need immediate action before your shower in the morning.

Work – our experience teaches us –  is toil; a stressor, a drainer of our energy – and if we are not careful, it can lead to physical exhaustion, emotional emptiness, depression, and burnout. It’s a transaction – we sell our time and our talent so that we can earn enough money to buy the things we love, and to provide for those we love. Indeed, the term we use for the money we earn in this transaction is compensation, the same word we use for what we get when we’re injured or wronged in the eyes of the law. Our wages are not just money, then: they are money to make up for the inherent badness of work- A BRIBE, if you will, to tough it out.


Work is even a distraction from work. When we need to get something important done, we recognize that it will be hard to do unless we can somehow make our escape from the daily grind, and so we go on a leadership retreat to get away from the noise and stress of work, to better focus on other work. And because the effects of work are so potentially toxic, the obvious and sensible precaution to take, so that we don’t all expire at our desks, is to balance it out with something else, with something better. With life.

  • We lose ourselves in work, and rediscover ourselves in life.
  • We survive work, but live life. When work empties us out, life fills us back up.
  • When work depletes us, life restores us.

The answer to the problem of work, the world seems to say, is to “balance” it with life. Of course, we are simplifying things here. Some people succeed in finding great satisfaction in their work, while others have hugely stressful lives outside of work. We know, too, that some jobs seem to be inherently difficult, or even inherently boring. No one’s work, or life, is ever completely joyous, or completely controllable. Yet still, the assumption that pervades our working world is that “work is bad” and “life is good” and therefore work-life balance matters most. “Does the company support work-life balance?” is right up there with “What’s the company culture like?” in the list of questions candidates inevitably ask during the interviewing process – which explains why, in these tight labor markets, companies highlight their on-site: dry-cleaning, banking, and child-care services, their quiet rooms, in-chair massages, sleep pods, and luxury shuttle buses. These perks are tremendously well intended and are often highly valued by employees – and at the same time are rooted in the idea that work is a heavy weight on the scales, and that the enlightened organization is one that does everything it can to lessen that weight, and thereby tip the scales back toward life. Good intentions aside, the problems with all this begin with the concept of balance – and it’s a concept with a long history.

You’ve striven for it, haven’t you? You’ve tried to find that delicate “balance” between the needs of yourself, your family, your friends, your work colleagues, your boss, and your community. You’re aware that each of these constituencies places different and often conflicting demands on you, and you’ve struggled to give due attention to each one, satisfying their differing needs while still attending to your own. You’ve sat on a conference call in the car-pool line and mouthed “Sorry!!” to the kids in the back. You’ve rationalized a missed President’s Day outing with the family because, well, it’s a Monday, your other team members appear to be online, and besides, President’s Day isn’t a proper holiday anyway, not really. You’ve taken on a “stretch” assignment because it might – just might!-come with a raise, or at least a bonus, and so enable you to afford a better house for your family. But because you now have more work to do, and more resting on it, you’ve found that you can’t attend that school-board meeting, or your cousin’s wedding, or that online management course, because life is about trade-offs and this one is yours. You’ve found yourself spinning plates, or juggling balls, or plugging gaps-whatever the metaphor, you’ve known too often the feeling of too many requests from too many quarters and not enough hours in the day. You’ve told yourself that if you can just keep the plates spinning, the balls in the air, the gaps plugged, then perhaps you can parcel out your attention and energy so that no one, in your work or your life, will feel too neglected – so that, although you can’t be all things to all people, your unflagging efforts will at least achieve some sort of equitable distribution.

But in the real world does anyone, anywhere, man or woman, young or old, affluent or barely solvent, ever actually find balance? If any have, I haven’t met them yet. And this is why balance is more bane than benefit. In practice, striving for it feels like triage, like trying to erect some sort of barricade against the endless encroachments on our time and the relentless ratcheting of expectations to work more, all while worrying that someone else has figured out how to do this better than we have. Obviously, triage can be necessary in life, but it surely is not enough – it keeps things at bay, but it takes us away from ourselves. And in the end, balance is an unachievable goal anyway, because it asks us to aim for momentary stasis in a world that is ever changing. Supposing we ever get things just exactly in balance, we know for sure that something will come along and unbalance them and that we’ll be back to pushing our balance rock up the hill again. So what then should we do? Work can be hard. So can life. And there’s too much of both, too much of the time. If balancing everything out isn’t the answer, then what is?

Your life is the most important gift you have. All what you need to do is to stay healthy,enjoy the life and do something you love, money is then another subset of life. You are not wealthy if you have money, you are wealthy if you are healthy. Therefore we need a new way of thinking. About work. About life. Neither you nor your life are in balance, nor will you ever be. Instead you are a unique creature who takes inputs from the world, metabolizes them in some way, produces something useful, and does so in such a way that you can keep doing it. At least, you are when you’re healthy, when you’re at your best, when you are contributing all that your talents allow you to. When you’re flourishing you are acting on the world and it on you. Your world offers up to you raw material-activities, situations, outcomes – in all parts of your life, and some of this raw material invigorates you and gives you energy. You are at your healthiest when you find this particular kind of raw material, draw it in, allow it to feed you, and use it to contribute something-and when that contribution actually seems to leave you with more energy, not less. This state, not balance, is what we should strive for. Or if you wish to balance your life with something then “work” is definitelly not even an option. The only thing you must balance with your life is “TIME”. Simply becasue these are the only things you have as limited supply. Your Life if limited so it is your Time, find this balance and try to enjoy as much as possible. Work on the other hand is unlimited, you will always find work, you can never balance something limited (your life) with something unlimited (your work).

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