Achieving #worklifeharmony is not a matter of one thing, but many things. It takes an understanding of where you are and where you want to go, and the commitment and will to get there.
Work:Life harmony is a term I like to use to describe how an individual’s personal and professional lives blend together. There are a variety of facets to work:life harmony, including job satisfaction, stress levels, or overall well being.
We spend one-third of our lives at work, which makes it no surprise that the way we feel about ourselves and our work have a significant impact on our overall health. When we start to feel the pressure building in our work, we will start to see our bodies respond to that pressure.
Can you relate? If so, you’re not alone! Unnecessary stress has become the norm for many workers and that type of stress can lead to increased feelings of anxiety and depression.
We all have some combination or all of the following challenges in trying to find that harmony;
🧘♂️ The challenge of finding time for both work and life: If you live in the Western world, this is something that you have to constantly commit to in order to make both work. If you focus all of your time at work, you will quickly realize that burnout is a real thing. On the other hand, if you focus all of your time at life, you might not have any money to do the things you want to do. There are a lot people who think that you can find a balancing act for these two things but I believe it is much more complicated than that. You need to find the inherent harmony in the work and personal lives you lead. If you don’t, there will be a tendency to live two separate lives.
🧘♂️ The challenge of making work and life interesting: Humans are funny creatures, we need things to engage our senses and curiosity in order for us to stay interested. Committing to the idea of staying curious as long as you can in both work and life is critical. Having a desire to continue learning new things no matter what situation you find yourself in will help you stay interested. A key component of work:life harmony in my opinion is staying curious as long as you can about things. When we remain curious life in general is much more interesting and it helps us stay humble.
🧘♂️ The challenge of managing responsibilities at home and at work: We all have responsibilities. Some of us have more than others depending on our situation and how much we have chosen to take on. It can be tough to find the time to manage all of the different things that we have to do and the things we get to do. Finding ways to think about our activities and responsibilities as a privilege will help you find much more harmony in those activities. When we think of responsibilities as chores or punishments it is quite difficult to find harmony in them. But, if you refocus your attention to the fact that many people don’t have a home to live in or a job to go to, your perspective can change quickly.
🧘♂️ The challenge of maintaining relationships with family, friends, coworkers, etc.: We all have relationships in our lives. Some of them are easier to maintain than others. For me, the relationships that are older are a little bit more challenging to find harmony with. It takes work because you both have seen each other at your best and your worst. Sometimes we can be embarrassed about how we behaved in the past and hold back from leaning into those relationships. I have taken the approach of trying to own my mistakes as quickly as I can. That way I am able to get back to a harmonious state with the other person without wasting a bunch of time thinking about how they must hate me or how much I am put off by them. It doesn’t serve me well to wait to restore the relationship, so just own the mistake and move on.
You might be thinking, “That is a lot to take in. I don’t know if I can do it.” One way that I process the stress of trying to find that harmony is to remind myself of the following Japanese saying: まだまだです (Mada mada desu) English translation: “I still have a long way to go”
When I remind myself to frame it in this perspective I can start to feel less pressure from the stress. The stress will always be there, but I don’t have to allow it to consume me. I helps me remember that there is still a long way to go on this journey.
In order to achieve work:life harmony, it is important to understand what type of person you are and what your goals are. It is important that you know yourself before trying to achieve work:life harmony so that you can figure out what #harmony really means to you.
The first step: I recommend discovering your #ikigai, but not in the sense that you might have seen through the popularized Venn diagram. Rather looking at this through the perspective of the Japanese culture and really understanding who your true authentic self is.
For me I regularly spend time in nature, I love to read and write, and I enjoy helping others find out what their ikigai is. When I can be in tune with my authentic self it immediately reduces the pressure I feel.
**If you would like to learn how you can find your ikigai please reach out I would be happy to discuss how you can do this.**
Once you have an understanding of your authentic self, you are well positioned to take the next step and find the work:life harmony that you seek. If you would like to learn more about how you can experience this type of harmony in your life, consider buying my book “Always Improving: Lessons from the samurai.” Link to Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B9HR5V92