Evolution Weekly 69 // Searching for Work/Life Harmony, Not Balance

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I don’t know about you, but I find it difficult to maintain everything equally in my life. Every time I think one part is in sync, something else goes completely haywire. It’s like clockwork.

Call it fate, call it luck, but there’s a force that keeps working to keep us in check.

I’ve always considered this invisible dance only in terms of ‘balance,’ thinking that if I could just improve one part that’s performing adequately, everything would return to normal.

Sadly, that’s not the case.

Over the past few weeks, the professional side of my life has taken over a bit more than I wanted it too. It’s for one singular reason that is what I consider my single greatest strength and weakness - drive.

My drive leads me, but it can also push me into obsession, especially when it comes to my work. I love architecture and design. I love teaching others and sharing what I know. I love the blog because it’s a passion project of mine that has been able to help others and bring my life added meaning.

That said, I started to feel the overwhelming sensation that I had set myself up for an upcoming burnout. New projects, other projects with deadlines, projects that overlap each other.

And, don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried to cut out many things around me in order to avoid burnout. The problem seems to be that each time I remove a part of what makes me busy, I fill that void with something that seems to take just as much, if not more, effort.

Then it all falls apart again and the cycle starts over.

One week the focus will be work, the next personal, then back to work until the cycle starts over and I frantically hop from one thing to the next trying to avoid total and utter collapse.

Maybe its not so black and white though. A few days ago, I was catching up on some videos, watching one of my favorite (and sometimes loud) entrepreneurs, Gary Vaynerchuk interview the singer/songwriter/author, Jewel.

Gary has an YouTube program called, The AskGaryVee Show. Although Gary will typically be the one to answer questions he receives from his fans and viewers, he sometimes has the occasional guest who will chime in on the questions as well and talk a bit about their own experiences with entrepreneurship.

On his episode with Jewel, Gary asked her about happiness. Then she said something that really struck a chord with me, mostly because of what I’ve been dealing with lately in terms of balance issues.

To paraphrase, she stated that she really didn’t believe in balance because of its binary nature. You’re either in balance or out of balance. Rather, she said that she believes in ‘harmony.’ Harmony suggests that you’re never trying to keep just one thing or the other in check, but rather dedicate similar amounts of care to many facets of your life.

When the show was over, I sat and thought about what she said. It dawned on me that I had been a little bit obsessive lately and I recognized some of the things I had neglected. It wasn't that I had neglected my 'life' because I was 'working.' It was that I had neglected to truly see that my life was broken into many different areas of relatively equal importance.

In working the way I was, I wasn't neglecting one thing. I was neglecting several. That simple mindset change from a black and white to a shades of gray way of understanding my life gave me a kind of peace.

Now, I know that I’ll always be driven. That drive will lead me to focus inevitably on my work over other things from time to time.

But I think that if there is one thing I understand better now than before is that my work/life relationship can’t just be one or the other. It’s about compromise and the overall health of each part of me.

Thanks for being awesome!

Mike


THIS WEEK'S EVOLUTION

We all search for some kind of peace in our lives. I think that the proper perception of how we live them can be a powerful tool to manifest the work/life harmony that we crave. Take a look at your world and try to understand it as a series of ‘buckets.’ The harmony comes from keeping them full and filling them as needed.


Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed it, please pass it on to someone you know. It would mean a lot to me.

Ok, that’s all for now. In the mean time, let's connect on LinkedIn and discuss more topics like this on the Blog.

Michael LaValley

Buffalo, NY