Welcome back to my world…
In every motivational workshop on work life balance – or imbalance, if you may – attended by me (more for the humour than the seriousness of it), the trainer never ceased to emphasize, quite overtly, on the importance of, “do what you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life!” The entire workshop then begins to evolve around this one ‘highly motivational’ declaration and each of the audience is introduced to a gourmet fair of to-dos which ‘assuredly’ will take them away from the so called, ‘work life imbalance’ they are suffering from.
I don’t blame the trainer. And neither do I blame his speel of contents. After all, he has bills to pay, a family to support, a lifestyle to exist in and if he gets loads of high-fives after his session, he’s done his job and can now go smiling to the bank!
But what of the audience? They feel obviously elevated. Absolutely inspired, with a pad of hastily written points to ponder and follow on, tucked under their armpits. And of course, till the circumstances change in their lives, which sooner or later is bound to happen, they will head out to another session on work life balance and ensure another trainer hops delightfully to the bank!
The big question really is: Have you ever met anyone, in real life, who loves doing what they do and don’t feel that they really ‘work’ at all doing what they do? More pointedly: How many people do you know who can really place their hands on their hearts and truthfully declare that they have been only doing what they love doing from day one, and are making loads of money in the bargain?
So let’s contemplatively explore a few actualities here:
- If you weren’t born with a silver spoon in your mouth be practical. You aren’t existing in the wilderness and everything costs money. Yes, choose what you would love doing, but make a practical choice – one that can earn you a living and not just a mere hand to mouth existence.
- There is no substitute for hard work. The biggest fallacy in life is that ‘if you love your work you won’t have to work a single day’. Most trainers tend to glorify this statement to their advantage because there is so much you can say post this which evidently is acceptable to an audience that is ‘burnt out’ so to speak. But the truth is: there is no substitute to hard work.Ask any successful professional and you will be surprised to know how much it takes them to do what they do whether they are an engineer, doctor, researcher, corporate professional, musician, author, artist or whatever have you.
- Loving what you do comes over a period of time. There are 3 phases one goes through till one actually starts enjoying or loving their work: Phase One: Exploration and Skill Development. Phase Two: Experience and enhanced Technical Competency. Stage Three: Innovation. It is during the final phase that you unambiguously fall in love with your work. Because you can only become an expert in innovation by eventually loving what you do. Till then, plough the fields while the sun burns down on you.
- And finally, Work Life Imbalance is a pseudo mental state of existence: Believe me, it doesn’t really exist. When you start compartmentalizing your life depending on what you feel are your priorities, you are bound to feel stressed and eventually feel exhaustively unbalanced. Instead of concentrating on a to-do list of priorities, work on being absolutely aware of the fact that every moment from sunrise to sunset holds a purpose for your existence. Whether it be meditating, exercising, spending quality time with your loved ones or focusing on the work you do, every aspect requires a deep involvement and thus can never be prioritized over each other. Each one of them is a priority. From each one of them springs a feeling of love and well-being. And of course, a deep sense of gratitude.
Ciao for now!
Anand K Nair
Inspirational Speaker. Leadership Coach. Business Mentor. Life Counsellor. Author. Artist.