What is Work-Life Harmony?

And how can you find out how much you have?

During my early to mid-30s, I worked many long hours in a job where I didn’t see a future. I would show up early and leave late to impress people I worked with and create a persona of someone that I didn’t resonate with. 

I realized after doing some self-reflection in my 40s that I didn’t want to live that way anymore. As a result, I started looking for ways to connect with the life I wanted to lead and the work I was being paid to do.

That’s when I rediscovered the 8 virtues of the Bushidō code. Most people see the samurai as a warrior class with all gruff and not a lot of heart. But I have discovered that the 8 virtues are much more than just a road map for fighting. 

Definition of Work-Life Harmony

Let’s pause the Bushidō piece of the conversation and discuss my definition of Work-Life Harmony. 

My definition of Work-Life Harmony is being able to live one life, finding peace between the work and leisure activities you choose to do, and having no conflict between the two. That’s it. Being able to live one life.

Not having to hide behind a mask of someone you are not. Not having to run around with your hair on fire or as a firefighter putting out the flames of bad business decisions. You are at peace with the work you do and the life you lead. The kanji character for peace (和) can also be interpreted as harmony.

When I started to make the connection between the Bushidō and Work-Life Harmony, it started to paint a mental picture. All 8 virtues were connected to each other with harmony at the center. When I think about peace and harmony, I visualize flowers and their simplistic beauty.

That’s when I created the Work-Life Harmony Kamon. A kamon (家紋) is a family crest or logo that helps visually show others who you are. It can indicate lineage and include kanji characters to help explain what you value or find important.

Work-Life Harmony Kamon

So my Work-Life Harmony Kamon is an eight-petal flower with all the Bushidō virtues on each petal. The kanji for chowā is at the center, a personal search for harmony.

Work-Life Harmony Kamon As a Compass

I wrote an article a little while back on how to use the Work-Life Harmony Kamon as a personal moral compass, and you can find the article here.

Take the Work-Life Harmony Assessment

I recently gave a talk about the Work-Life Harmony Kamon and the Work-Life Harmony Assessment I created. You can watch the video of the assessment and take the assessment as you listen along here:

If you’d like to get a copy of the Work-Life Harmony Assessment, you can exchange your email address for a copy here:


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