Work – Life Balance vs. Personal Fulfillment

Joining a new company? Eager to start your first day at work? Stuck doing over times in a work place that you don’t appreciate? Most of us have already gone through this cycle and if you haven’t yet, I suggest you give it a try first so you can understand what this post is all about.

A year ago, during the weekend, I found myself still remembering the after taste of meetings, telephone calls, urgent priorities and matters to attend to at work. Then at the end of the day I would gather my thoughts and sit down at my desk to check if I’ve done a satisfactory work. I was the kind of dude who would look forward to another night at the gym, drinking with friends or just spending a romantic night with my partner. Somewhere along the road I asked myself if this is the kind of life I would be doing over and over again. With a little nudge from other people, I realized this isn’t the only path available to me and that it’s necessary for me and everyone else to always ask that important question; do you feel fulfilled with your life right now?

You see there’s this one thing that corporate HR or managers do to make sure they keep their employees happy and in turn keep the business going. They usually pitch the all famous liner, ‘it’s important to practice a healthy work – life balance. Most of the time it works…. that is until the employee finds themselves going through the motions. Personally, I have a bone to pick with work – life balance. After learning to question this practice, I’ve found a lot of loop holes which always lead to the topic of personal fulfillment. You see, the more personal fulfillment you have, the less tense the relationship will be between your work and life.

So, how can you find more fulfillment with you career goals?  Here are a few pointers to get you started.

  • Write down everything that is important to you (or, if easier, write down things that drive you crazy). You will find that the opposite of what drives you crazy is usually what you value. These values will serve as a guide for you throughout life. Now review your top values and consider how your current job and career goal align with them. If they aren’t aligned, then take the necessary steps to put yourself on the right direction. You are personally accountable for your own work – life fulfillment. Look for opportunities where there may be more alignment. The more alignment between your values and career, the more fulfilled you will be. The less aligned, the more dissonance.
  • Get rid of the concept that there is a separate work life and “real” life, you’ll find that it becomes much easier to manage both. Whatever you are prioritizing in the moment, be fully present. Multi-tasking reduces effectiveness and performance. Don’t expect to be great at everything every day. Remember that career fulfillment takes time and a lot of patience.
  • If you find yourself irritated at the lack of results, then just take a break and tune your sights on your goals again. If you’re stressed, reduce it by taking up exercise, enjoying hobbies or learning to relax and then go back to work. A wise person once told me that it is better to work smart, then to work hard.

I realize all these sound like ‘unreachable and hard to maintain’ type of ideas but honestly ask yourself if you’re happy stuck where you are or are you ready to invest in your better future. Let’s scrap work – life balance and replace it with WORK AND LIFE FULLFILLMENT