Does Success Preclude Living A Balanced Life?
I think it depends on how you define success as well as what a balanced life means to you.
If you define success in terms of money and fame and if you believe those things can only be achieved when you sacrifice your relationships, health and inner well-being, you might believe that living a balanced life is simply nonsense.
If you believe living a balanced life means you must split your time equally between work, relationships, spirituality and your health, you may think that you cannot be successful and have a balanced life style.
As I read the attached article by Claire Gordon and watched the video interview with Laura Vanderkam, I was particularly surprised by the comments made with regard to moms who work part-time versus moms who work full-time. I don’t know where Ms. Vanderkam got her information, but in the interview, she states that mothers who work part-time, do not spend any more time with their children than mothers who work full-time. Ms. Vanderkam goes on to emphasize that the only thing part-time working moms get by working part-time, is much lower pay. The implication is clear… making money is more important than having time to spend with family and on other activities. While that may be true for Ms. Vanderkam, I don’t think it is true for everyone. Nor do I believe that we have to choose to either make money or have a balanced life.
Click here to read the article and watch the short video:
When you consider the four components of a balanced lifestyle (health, relationships, work and spirituality), “work” is the one most easily replaced. If we destroy our health and our relationships or forget to nurture our spirit in the pursuit of wealth and notoriety, in the end we will discover that money and fame will be of little use to us. Besides, those things are poor substitutes for well-being, companionship and love.
Achieving work-life balance does not mean that we must split our time equally between work and the rest of our life. Your definition of a perfect integration of your work and the rest of your life is going to be completely different from my idea of work-life balance. At the core, work-life balance is whatever works for you.
If you can work 70 hours a week and still make time to exercise, eat healthy foods, spend time with your loved ones, get plenty of sleep and set aside quiet time for introspection and creativity, then you have achieved the right balance for your life. But, if you are working 70 hours a week and you are not taking care of your health, your relationships or your personal needs, then you would probably benefit by making a few small changes in the way you choose to spend your time.
Often, it’s the small changes that have the greatest impact on our lives.