This is a question I have pondered upon quite often. People are always finding new ways to strike the perfect balance between work and personal life. But what IS work-life balance? Can you really achieve it?
Essentially, if you are able to divide your time efficiently between leisure activities and work, you are said to have achieved work-life balance.
But what if your work itself is your leisure activity? What if your work is your stressbuster? Let us say you run a small tea shop and your family supports you for it. Your partner prepares the tea, you market and sell it and your kids, when they come back from school, help clean up the entire thing before you all have a hearty meal together at your work-place cum home!
This is a classic case when work is also your life and you enjoy it together with your family. Of course, there are ups and downs, but you are all together in it!
This ideal case is not for everyone.
There are many like me who have a monotonous 9 to 5 job, which sometimes gets boring, stressful and unproductive.
At the end of the day, my family complains that I don’t spend time with them for this work that is anyway unproductive. I am caught in a cycle where no one is happy! However, I am not one of those highly successful entrepreneurs who are in top positions. Imagine the stress they go through!
So, then, HOW successful people are able to bring the perfect balance?
After some self-improvisation, I realized that If I am motivated to work, it is highly likely that I can create anything – including a perfect work-life balance! Living up to this statement is not as easy as saying it.
A friend of mine is living it, however. A successful entrepreneur in India, she has well-behaved kids and shares a great relationship with her husband and in-laws. Seems perfect. To achieve this perfect scenario, she has sacrificed all the thoughts that are unnecessary, negative and all the forces that pull her away from her goals! The key is motivation, she says. When you are self-motivated, nothing can bring you down.
The magic lines
She told me to remind myself about these 3 things every day –
- Today, I am going to do what I love,
- I will take a deep breath whenever my mind deviates me from my goals,
- I will be successful one day
For a long time, I wondered – how to motivate myself? I saw many motivational videos on YouTube. Each successful entrepreneur had an inspirational story to tell. Each of them was unique and came from varied backgrounds. What struck me were the commonalities – each was passionate, disciplined and did not accept defeat. They achieved what they did because they listened to their heart, not to random people’s advice. I remembered the magic lines my friend had given me and could map both –
- Passionate – Today, I am going to do what I love (magic line 1)
- Disciplined – I will take a deep breath whenever my mind deviates me from my goals (magic line 2). This is the most difficult step and needs constant conscious effort.
- Not accept defeat – I will be successful one day (magic line 3)
It was amazing how I could transform all that seemed like a struggle to 3 very positive statements. Immediately, I wrote the 3 magic lines on colorful sticky notes and stuck it in the most visible places (the places I would visit more often in a day like a work desk, dressing table, shelf, etc…).
As of today, I say these lines every day and it’s already gushing in the positive forces in me. Whenever I feel stressed out, I remind myself that there are more important things in life to think about. I think about my previous achievements, get going with my hobbies, talk to close friends, view old photos, travel around, shop and eat – do just anything that makes me feel worth once again!
Remember to motivate yourself as you are the sole creator of your happiness, controller of your dreams and author of the turns your life takes. When you are the creator, controller, and author, the balance fits into your life naturally.