"never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life." - dolly parton
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WE DON'T HAVE A BALANCE PROBLEM. WE HAVE AN ALIGNMENT PROBLEM.
The idea of work-life balance has been the gold standard for the "have it all" type of success most of us have dreamed about.
The fulfilling/purpose-driven job that provides financial security, the beautiful house with the manicured yard that is perfect for entertaining friends and family, the classy car that turns heads, the loving, devoted spouse, the polite children who excel at school, music, and sports, the leisure time for golf and travel (insert your dream here!).
While the concept sounds wonderful for most workers work-life balance feels like an impossible goal!
66% of workers feel they do not have work-life balance in their lives. (Smallbiz Trends)
In our attempt to "have it all", to balance work, family, friends, and our own individual interests and identity we are experiencing more stress and burnout.
80% of US adults feel stressed at work. (healthcareers.co/work-life-balance-statistics) and 77% of full-time US employees experienced burnout at their current job. (www2.deloitte.com)
That stress and burnout leave us irritable, exhausted, anxious, and depressed. It impacts our relationships and our focus. It weakens our immune system and can double our risk of a heart attack! Stress and burnout are taking a toll on all areas of our life!
About 190 billion dollars per year is spent to address the psychological and physical effects of burnout. (Harvard Business Review)
We feel frustrated and guilty because we aren't doing enough, don't have the time or energy to do anything well, and are letting others down. We are continually putting out fires and have a difficult time just enjoying the moment. We are rushing, chasing success that always seems to be a bit out of reach, and cannot wait for retirement when we can finally slow down and actually take a true day off.
Why is this happening?
Is "having it all" really the key to happiness?
Is the work-life balance really the best measurement for success?
Here's my take.
We don't have a BALANCE problem.
We have an ALIGNMENT problem.
You go to the chiropractor to align your spine. Because when it is out of alignment you have discomfort, aches, and pains and your body doesn't function optimally.
You go to the mechanic to align your car's steering. Because when it is out of alignment your car pulls to the left or the right and you have to work much harder to stay on the road.
A life that is out of alignment has the same symptoms: discomfort, aches, pains, less than optimal function, more difficulty staying on course.
When we focus on alignment rather than balance we are not trying to do it all and have it all. We have the ability to slow down, and can consciously choose to focus on the things that are most important to us. We live based on our personal values, priorities, and purpose. We can relax and let go of the things we cannot control and let go of things we do not really want (but have been conditioned to think we want). We can celebrate what we have done and quit beating ourselves up about what we haven't done. We can be intentional with our time and energy. We can experience happiness and success every day on our own terms!
Are you ready to let go of struggling for balance and create alignment in your life?
create alignment in your life!
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