Work Life Balance – Filtering the BS

Chris Walker Consciousness ConeLook, I’m the first to say “balance” is important. You’ve heard that here in Walker Talk for over ten years.

Live Balance…. Balance all seven areas of life. A balanced person thinks in balance.

You’ve heard me say “break the myth of work life balance” and “stop balancing work with life”

The reason I say it over and over is because professional speakers, newspapers and even research at accomplished universities are stuck in the notion that recovery is the best form of stress response. They’d rather you do yoga or take time off work to deal with your work issues than evolve and step up a notch.

The information that flows to you is what sells, not what’s healthy. If people told you what’s healthy, it would confront you and the majority of people don’t buy into what confronts them. Instead, they go looking for what agrees with their pre-existing thoughts and beliefs.

Hypothetically, say you had a boss you totally hate. The feeling is probably mutual. You’ve been pushing and shoving within the values parameters of the organisation for months now. You are probably both at your wits end. So, you go to HR or a friend and they recommend action. If that recommendation agrees with the fact that your boss is an ass, you agree and follow it. If their recommendation is that you are right and your boss is wrong, you say “wow, great advice, I like xy,z’s advice.” But this sort of rhetoric is going to lead you no where.

People think that they think….

Instead of asking for advice that agrees with you, trying running the script nature’s way… which is really the script that runs the show anyway. Ask “how can I evolve up and above this challenge?”

  1. Your boss is your boss. That means, at work at least, they are authorised to lead and saying they are wrong is total counterproductive. It just demonstrates how self obsessed and fearful you’ve become. Deal with that…first.
  2. Your boss is good and bad in perfect balance just like your husband, wife, son, daughter, brother or sister. Just like everyone on earth there’s support and challenge in everyone. Learn to be thankful for both sides and you rise above them with love, learn to focus then on the support side and you have the upper hand. Remember, people become as you treat them.
  3. If your boss is rattling your cages it’s because you have a cage, and a cage is no place for a human. You’ve self imprisoned yourself and your boss is doing you a favour. That cage is your habit. You’ve built that cage yourself. It’s built out of lower minded expectations, fears, experiences, false pretences and possibly some learning you got from a one sided philosophy book that describes a fantasy about how the world could be, rather than a reality about how beautiful it is, as it is. It’s time to get out of jail, not build more bars and take it to the next job.
  4. Become a student is the best solution. First, step back and look at your life. If you are in a fantasy phase of relationship at home (infatuation) then you’ll be in resentment phase somewhere else in your life (work). That’s balanced isn’t it? If you have the naive notion that you are going to be able to have fantasy in all seven areas of life, it may be time to become a student of life, rather than bust your chops trying to live in a delusional myth that’ll eventually knock you for six.
  5. Finally, get a life. Really, I mean it. Work is work, that’s what it is. It’s work. You get paid to generate something and that something is worth something and that’s why you work. So shut up and get the job done well. Yeah, yeah the boss isn’t perfect like you “Mr or Mrs Perfect” so if you’re not willing to come off your soap box and live from your heart then the only option is “shut up and get the job done.” At least this way it’s not complicated. You get paid, boss gets job done. Job is done how boss asked for it. You go home and use the money to build soap boxes. It’s ok, nothing wrong with this. Majority of people do it. As long as you can resign yourself to your vulnerability and soap box thinking, then this works.

What’s not ok is stress. You can’t come home stressed. If you come home stressed you are going to flip the situation and have struggles at home. Don’t do that. Don’t come home stressed.

The way to prevent coming home stressed is NOT doing yoga.

The way to prevent coming home stressed is to NOT get stressed in the first place. Logical?

So, all the five solutions above involve dealing with the issue at the cause of it and you’ll know if you’ve got it right. You won’t be stressed.

Below is a ridiculous article I extracted from a magazine. It’s about work life balance (doesn’t exist). It’s about two people who made choices based on family. The author is suggesting that their choices are a change in the times. One person is spending time with family because of the tragic death of his son. Not a new thing. The other is trying to travel less so they can spend time at home. (not a new thing). But neither action will cause balance. They just take unbalanced people and send them, and their unbalanced proposition in life, home.

HERE”S THE ARTICLE

Have we finally turned a corner?

Has it finally happened that when a man says he is making job decisions around his family we can finally believe him, as opposed to wondering when the email exchanges with his outside honey are going to come out?

This past week, two of this country’s most powerful men — who work in a city where power is everything and work is king — both made career decisions with personal and family needs at the center.

In case you missed it, Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, laid down some conditions for seeking the position of House Speaker — and one of them was that his caucus accept that he would be spending less time on the road, because he needs to spend time with his three young children.

Then, Vice President Joe Biden announced this week that he will forgo a third try at the presidency, in part because he and his family had needed time to recover from the death of his son Beau.

It is a new day if these two men — one a Democrat, one a Republican; one in the final chapters of a storied career and one smack in the middle of one — can each say, without hesitation or ridicule, that he needs to be home for dinner and not just on Thanksgiving.

It’s hard to describe what a big deal that is unless you are up close and personal with the lifestyle, not just of politics, but of many jobs in the current era: the 24/7 on-call expectation, the constant deadlines, the schmoozing and networking that go on and on into the wee hours, night after night.

Let’s set aside a certain presidential candidate who is said to have derided a female lawyer as “disgusting” when she requested a break from a deposition to go use her breast pump; let’s talk about how hard it is even when people want things to be different.

Back in 2009, the New York Times wrote about how the newly elected President Obama spoke about making the White House more “family-friendly.” His chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is said to have replied, with his characteristic candor, that it was “family-friendly to your family.”

The piece went on to describe the absolutely typical 60- to 70-hour weeks, with aides taking work calls on school field trips and scheduling classroom visits at 10 p.m.

And of course politics has particular features that make life hard on families: The New Yorker‘s Amy Davidson makes a powerful case in a piece this week that Paul Ryan is demanding relief not from the demands of legislating, but from relentless fundraising trips.

Either way, it’s always been the case that the most talented and most sought-after do what they will, and the rest of us do what we must. How could it be otherwise in an environment where workers in many companies get their schedules handed to them just a few days or even hours ahead of time?

That might be why, when Working Mother magazine recently surveyed more than 1,500 mothers on their work-life balance issues — they called it the “juggle struggle” — they found that two-thirds of the respondents actually valued job security as the most important factor in choosing a place to work. Fewer than half cited flexibility or even pay and benefits. It sounds to me that in the current environment, a lot of women have given up hope that their jobs will help them live their lives.

They just want some stability, and they will work the rest out for themselves.

Still, it does mean something when powerful, public figures — and, let’s face it, not just the women who have been driving the work-life balance conversation — are out, loud and proud about their family responsibilities, and not just the photo op but the actual people.

It’s often the case that the rest of us learn to seek what celebrities get first. And if that means time to take care of ourselves and our families, bring it on.