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As we come back to work after Labor Day, I'd like to remind you that:


We hear people talk about the "Work/Life Balance" all of the time:

- You need to take more time for your life.

- I need to make more time for fun.

- We work too hard.

- You don't work hard enough.

- All you want to do is play around.

----Or the ultimate mantra: "Work Hard / Play Hard".

We express the balance of work vs. life as if they are in direct competition with each other. As if there was a silent war inside of us that states "As one is thriving, the other is being diminished." The work/life balance is viewed by many as a Zero-Sum balance. This Zero-Sum situation is "As one end goes up, the other must go down." Perhaps the easiest way to understand this, is looking at Work v. life as a playground SEESAW. Well doesn't that sound just lovely and depressing!

... TO HELL WITH THAT. This is not truth. This is not the way it has to be. We spend 40 hours (probably more) a week working...for us to simply see this time as something in conflict with our enjoyable life is cheating ourselves. Our careers offer us the ability to have a ton of fun and enjoyment and excitement, if we are willing to change and reshape our mentality towards work. In Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's book "FLOW: The Psychology of Optimal Experience", the psychologist talks about how we can create our own GAMES inside of our workplace that help us bring enjoyment and reason and purpose.

"Contrary to what we usually believe...the best moments in our lives, are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times...The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile. Optimal experience is thus something that we

make happen...For each person there are thousands of opportunities, challenges to expand ourselves."

We have the power to shatter the idea that Life and Work are enemies, marry them together, and learn to enjoy our work regardless of how difficult or repetitive or "stressful" we chose to view it as. Let's stop viewing our careers as a evil necessity of life. Do not see it as an annoyance. Regain control over your mentality towards your work. This is one of the keys of self-mastery. When we achieve this self-mastery, and apply to our Life/Work balance, we can enjoy a situation where we no longer torn between the two, but learn how to find Enjoyment, Joy, and Happiness simultaneously...and then we destroy the absurd idea of the Zero-Sum seesaw.

(9.5.17 - Phillip Andrew)

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