Western philosophy tries to find the answers, and eastern philosophy tries to resolve the questions. Nonetheless, both have a very similar goal: that of making us wiser, more thoughtful and willing to appreciate our lives. The difference, however, lies in how they touch upon interesting topics. In the East, for instance, Philosophy has taught its lessons via tea drinking ceremonies and flower arranging sessions. Here are a few ideas to enrich our notions of what work-life balance might really be.
Life is a balancing act. We must balance between work and play, austerity and indulgence, richness and poorness, and so on. When we are off-balance, we go through what we call the ups and downs in life. In Buddhism, there is the principle of the “Middle Way.” In Taoism, there is the balance between yin and yang. In Confucianism, we have the concept of “Doctrine of the Mean.”
Is there really such a thing as work-life balance?
We can apply each of this principle in today’s work-life. On the extreme, we’re overworking which leads to stress and damages our relationships with family and friends. On the other extreme is sloth or spending all of your time partying, which leads you to no income and no means of financial support.
The question is, how do you obtain and maintain work-life balance? The first thing you need to do is to be able to recognize when you are off balance. A headache, for instance, is your body telling you that you’ve had too much stress.
Once you’ve recognized that you are unable to balance, all you need to do is take the necessary steps to correct the imbalance. In case of a headache, the obvious correction is to take less work home and to keep your body healthy. Although, in many instances, finding the right balance may conflict with life goals. Just like all things in life, this requires practice. The process can be likened to making macarons. You need time and practice to perfect the delectably light mini-meringues.
In life, you need to take the time to stop and figure out which parts of your life are imbalanced. You must then take the appropriate steps to bring balance back into the equation. Compare this process to learning how to ride a bicycle. At first, you may stumble and fall, but with practice, you will learn how to maintain balance between the two spheres.
Find a way to blend your career and your passion. Allow yourself to be more present in your relationships and feel more fulfilled in life. At the end of the day, work-life balance is not just about doing an awesome job at work but also having the time and energy to focus on your other passions and relationships.