The people you love most have lied to you your entire life. It isn’t their fault. They too were lied to.
They were told to create a work life balance, and they passed this belief onto you. They told you if you work hard then you can play hard. They also said to not mix business and pleasure.
Leave work at work…
Leave home at home…
Work hard during the week, and then focus on your family at weekends.
Work hard all year round, and then enjoy a two-week getaway over the summer.
This is terrible advice. This is an outdated view that today’s generations are beginning to question.
- Is there a work life balance?
- Do you have to choose one or the other?
- Is there a way to mix the two?
Yes there is. There’s another way.
But before we get to that….
Let’s first look at how this old-fashioned view on work life balance became “the” one and only view.
I Blame The Teachers!
I don’t actually blame the teachers. My partner, Rosanna, is one so I like to poke fun.
No, it isn’t the teacher’s fault. Although the education system plays a large role.
You see, they built the entire system to get YOU into a factory. Education became widespread during the industrial revolution, and the people at the top were those who owned factories.
They wanted hard-working, diligent workers.
They wanted capable, skilled workers.
They wanted people who could follow the rules.
You went to school to learn how to abide by their rules, and the system is pretty much the same today. We learn what they teach us, and remain blind to most everything else (at least until later in life).
We get taught to study hard. To work hard. To strive for the best grades…
Is this success?
Do the hardest workers really get the greatest rewards?
If that was the case, wouldn’t those on the factory floor be in charge. They work the hardest… right?
In today’s society, wouldn’t those hard working teachers, nurses, firefighters and police officers have the largest wages?
Rosanna certainly works harder for her money than I do. Her role as a teacher is insane.
In my opinion she and her colleagues are massively underpaid and hugely undervalued. Much like those factory floor workers once were (and still are in many parts of the world).
Yet this is what we’re taught at school: to work hard, to listen up and to follow the rules.
But it’s those who break the rules and fight against the grain who are the billionaires and millionaires of the world. The “system” wanted them to work hard during the week and enjoy their weekends, but they said screw that — I want my entire life to be a weekend!
I suppose it makes sense. If, 150 years ago, you owned a factory, would you not want your workers to fall in line.
Strike a solid work life balance and be happy.
Work hard for your money and be a good employee, and then enjoy your wage with your family.
- Be a good father.
- Be a good mother.
- Be a good member of society.
It all makes sense, I suppose. Although maybe not so much when you peek back in time…
The Early Beginnings of Work Life Balance.
None of this began with the industrialists. All this started many moons ago when the human race left foraging behind and turned their hand to farming.
Before the farmers, we hunted and gathered what we needed; when we needed it.
In his book, Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari talks about how prior to the agricultural revolution the human race lived each day (literally) hand-to-mouth.
Each morning you would wake up and gather what you needed.
You didn’t have much.
You had (just) enough.
Not all great, by any means, but you did only “work” a few hours each day. The rest of it… well, you would spend it living your life doing what you want to.
But then some wise guys started to farm, and the entire world changed with it.
You now had more than you needed, so you sold the leftovers to others.
Abundance came with it.
You started to consume more.
You had (a lot) more than you needed.
In a way…
But there was a cost, and it was a rather big one if you ask me because this way of life required YOU to give up much of your life.
Those few hours of “work” each day turned into 10… 12… 15… more.
And if you wanted more still, you had to work harder and longer.
Soon, this new way of life became “the” way of life.
You worked hard so you could play hard.
You struck a work life balance because your life became halved in two.
But this wasn’t always the case.
For thousands of years before this we, simply lived ONE life.
Is it Time to Question The Work Life Balance?
Times are changing. Today’s Millennials definition of success differs, and we’re questioning this outdated notion of work hard, play hard.
Maybe this is what creates much of the angst between boomers and millennials success.
- We’re snowflakes…
- We’re entitled…
- We’re sensitive…
- We’re dreamers…
But maybe what you’ll find is millennials redefining success …
Maybe we’ve opened our eyes and see the world for what it is: ours.
Your life is your life.
It’s yours to own.
It doesn’t belong to your employer, but for generations this is how it was.
You did what you were told, turned up on time, climbed the ladder…
Don’t question it.
Do not rock the boat.
There is no other way.
Some found an alternative, of course. They started their own companies and treated their employees the same way. But these days we all have a choice to break free from this mentality.
- We see more of the world (the internet).
- We see more of how others live (social media).
- We see more of the cultures on offer (travel).
- We see more of the opportunities that surround us.
If this makes us entitled, so be it. But we’ve been given a gift, and it’s to say FUCK OFF to the work life balance for good.
The Work Life Balance is DEAD!
I don’t have all the answers. I’m still not free from this outdated notion, because I only know what I know.
I was lied to for years, so it will take some time to recover.
But as each day passes, I edge closer to the freedom I desire.
- Being in control of my time.
- Being in control of how I spend it.
- Being, as in being a human-being.
Not a robot, slave or “good boy”.
But being, and living… my ONE life.
You don’t have two. You do not have a work life over here, and a family life over there. You don’t have the convenience of switching off your “personal” brain when you get into the office (or vice-versa).
Pain at home creates pain at work. Stress at work filters through to your family.
Those are the main two: work and family. But what about the rest:
- Your social life…
- Your personal life (hobbies and interests)…
- Your love life (away from the responsibilities of family) …
- Your health and wellbeing…
These many lives vie for your attention, but each day you get 1,440 minutes. A finite amount of time that your many lives desire an infinite level of care from.
So you try and balance it.
Work hard, then play hard.
It’s bullshit. It DOES NOT work! Each day you live your ONE life.
it’s not about balance, it’s about LIFE
You cannot balance a single entity, but that’s exactly what you have — and yet we try to regardless..
There is another way…
Instead of balance you need purpose and intention, and to build your life in a way that fuelz what you want: you, your family, your creativity, your work, your friends, and whatever else you wish to experience.
Today’s millennials and younger are beginning to question this. They have started to fight back, and question whether what has been forced down our throats for millennia is indeed the only answer.
Maybe you can have your cake and eat it.
Maybe you aren’t shackled to those above.
Maybe you can make your own choices.
Maybe you don’t have to wait until you retire or get that promotion or own that big house…
Maybe it’s time to break free from the work life balance propaganda, and maybe this is how…
How To Overcome The Work Life Balance Hustle
The problem here is, you’re playing by somebody else’s rules.
Most people don’t stop to think about the life they want to lead.
Most people don’t think about their version of:
- Success …
- Happiness …
- Fulfilment …
- Purpose …
You strive for more money, a bigger house, a fancier car, enough cash in the bank so you can go to father away destinations… because this is what success is.
Achieve this and you will achieve happiness.
Achieve happiness and you will have purpose.
And all the while, for the love of GOD, make sure you maintain the balance!!
Well let me ask you…
Are these your rules?
Did you write them?
or do you simply follow them…?
For most, it’s the latter. You only know what you know, and the vast majority of people are brought up to play it safe, fall in line and follow the rules of the world.
So you get caught in the work life balance hustle.
You put off dreams of tomorrow in the pursuit of today.
Well the way I see it is, you cannot get to where you want to go until you know where that is.
So… where do you want to go, exactly?
Have you thought about this recently? Have you thought about this, ever? Have you written in down, and do you look at these words often? Are you striving toward this vision each and every day?
Or are you living today, and going through the motions?
Again, for most, it’s the latter.
My parent’s generation built their entire life around one day retiring and seeing the world. One day they would enjoy a week-long weekend, but first they had an entire life of falling in line to live.
This is the work life balance hustle.
I hope you escape it, and if you want to it all begins by figuring out the BIG picture.
Reverse engineer from the destination you desire — and really, truly define this.
This is how …
STEP 1: The Billion Dollar Question
If I wired $1Billion into your bank account today… how would you spend the rest of your life?
Seriously, what would you do?
You would no longer need to work. You could live wherever you like and do whatever you want. You would have enough money to make almost anything happen.
You could live the lifestyle you desire without worry or responsibility…
You could, if you wish, spend all day on the beach. You could party each day. You could spend lavishly in the afternoon, and live long into the night before you wake late the next morning.
But… would you?
I’m not talking about what you would do for the first few weeks — I’m talking about how you would spend your day this time next year; three years from now; ten years beyond that; when you’re old and grey and past it… what the hell would you do?
Do you know? Have you ever thought about it…?
STEP 2: The Billion Dollar Reflection
Sit on this question. Remove all distraction and go somewhere quiet.
Go for a walk, if you like. Listen to music. Lock yourself into an empty room.
Think about how you would live.
Don’t worry about writing anything down. Don’t worry about coming up with a worthy or “deep” answer.
There is none. There’s just YOU thinking about how you would live a life untethered.
- The impact you could have …
- The difference you could make …
- The choices you could choose …
- The people you could serve and help …
- The good you could do!
Happiness is a choice.
Think long and hard, and think about the life you could lead day-in-day-out. And then …
STEP 3: The Billion Dollar Answer
After ten minutes (or a few hours)… write down your thoughts.
In a few paragraphs, write about the everyday life you could lead.
- When you would wake up, where and who with …
- How you would start your day …
- The work you would do, and how long for …
- The people you would serve, and how you would serve them …
- The people that surround you while all this goes on …
- How you would spend the evening and night …
- Where you would lay your head come bed …
There is no right or wrong answer, and the answer you come up with is not set in stone.
But what you come up here is a vision for the life you wish to lead.
- Your Version of Success!
- The Secret of Happiness!
- The Power of Purpose!
This is what your definition of all this is. Maybe it involves the 9-5 living, but maybe not. Maybe you work all week and enjoy your weekends… but maybe not.
Maybe it looks completely different to the life you’re lead to think you need to live.
Maybe you will realize the work life balance is bullshit!
But I get it… you can dream about all this because money is no longer an option. You can do anything, so the shackles are no more. It’s easy to imagine, but this isn’t your reality.
Your reality is more unstable.
You have responsibility and a family.
You need a work life balance!
All this may be true, but it doesn’t matter.
Because here’s the truth, my friend… the only thing preventing you from this life is you.
I’m not saying it will be easy to live this life. I aren’t suggesting you can make it happen overnight. I imagine it involves a lot of change, a lot of risk… overcoming a lot of fear. I appreciate it’s easier to imagine and write about, but a whole other level to then DO …
If this is the life you truly desire, should you not do everything you can to live it …
Millennials, Money, and The Happiness Factor …
Life is a story. What you hear and what you believe to be possible is a story.
We must adhere to certain laws (gravity, etc…), but most of what we deem to be true is in fact fiction.
The work life balance is one of these. It’s a story told to you to ensure you live a sensible, attainable and responsible life. You can lead it if you want. I’m not suggesting you become a rebel.
But if you don’t like everything you hear, do something about it.
It’s your life. The only rules you must adhere to are the ones you create. If that version of success and happiness you define differs to that which you’ve believed all these years… so be it.
Live YOUR life! Make it happen, whether you have a billion-dollars or not.
Experience it. BE it!
It isn’t about work life balance, because a truly purposeful life like this cannot have you place your work over here and your family over there.
In that dream reality you just came up with, you would involve your family in what you do, right?
You would take them with you, yes? You would make it “our” life, not yours… wouldn’t you?
This is the point of these words I’ve written and the ones you’ve just read.
The work life balance is a lie made up to keep you in line.
You can choose to step off this path and craft your own.
It begins by figuring out where you want; the life you truly wish to live.
- Then… take a step.
- Stop walking in the wrong direction.
- Regain your bearings and right your course.
Be inspired by others. Take on board what you have always known, and keep what feels right and that which you agree with. Get rid of the rest!
You don’t need it.
Instead… commit to BEING; living!
This is the secret to happiness!
This is how to find happiness!!!
Start today. Use those above steps if you like, but if that process doesn’t serve you give yourself some time to figure out what does.
Whatever you do… ensure this article draws a fresh line in the sand.
If you’re still reading this, it must have “touched” you in some way.
Your time is precious, so why else would you focus ten-minutes of it on the wayward writings of some dude with a curly moustache… you wouldn’t, so don’t step away and carry on with the status quo.
Take back control.
I have no course or program to throw at you.
I have no Facebook Group to invite you into.
I have words… that it.
Words like these, and the words I’ve placed into my latest book that follows a “successful” but lost millennial entrepreneur who, like so many of us, found himself lost inside the work life balance hustle.
You may like to follow his journey and see whether you can relate…