Work + Life: Is There a Balance?

What does it mean? That’s up for interpretation and debate but to me it means many years of working for the ‘man’ before we can get anywhere near where we truly want to be – or at least that’s what we’re told. I think that for years going through school we are told that we have to pay our dues early on before we can get anywhere. And realistically and fiscally speaking, it makes a lot of sense, but with our generation we are seeing a huge transformation from the ‘corporate’ mindset to a much more entrepreneurial way of thinking.

Me. I am determined to not be miserable for years before I can be happy. Sam Davidson, founder of Cool People Care, wrote a great blog yesterday about balancing work and life, and the importance of doing things you love and incorporating the loves of your life into your daily routine – making a schedule to get these things in each day and sticking to it. While I agree that this is immensely important to one’s own well being. I believe that it is equally important to pursue those things that you do love and have a passion for in your career. I don’t have it all laid out yet – but I do know that I am going to find a way to do something I love and make a little money doing it. Notice I said a little money, because my goal in life is not to make millions (although I would not object to a million or two) – it is to establish a business that is both personally fulfilling and gives back to other people, both in a material and hopefully emotional way, a social entrepreneur of sorts. To better myself, and in turn reach out and connect with others.

Sam had a great point when discussing a podcast he had listened to. A guest had made a comment suggesting that the size of one’s house has little to no bearing on personal happiness. And that the length of one’s commute to work is a much higher factor – which led to Sam’s definitive conclusion that if you buy a smaller house closer to your job you’ll be much happier.

I think this speaks volumes – and it may seem like an obvious point, but I think that many of us, myself included, get so caught up in money – and while it is important and vital to survival, the old creed rings true, it can not and will not ever buy you happiness and total fulfillment. I see so many people working just to work – people in my own family and friends around me. Presently, I am one of those people – but I know that I am not content with my current situation. Grateful that I have a job? Of course! But I know there is so much more for me out there. And my advice to you all, whoever might be reading this, is to not only make time for the things you love in your life outside of work, but to incorporate your passions in your career path in whatever way you can. And even though the economy stinks, it’s important to note that some of the biggest start-up companies in history came to life in poor economic times. With a little money and a lot of ingenuity, anyone can go a long, long way.

So while I may not have presented any tangible ideas to grasp from this blog/brainstorming session, I think I opened my own eyes a little, and maybe kick-started the thought process in a few others. Much more on the topic of work/life balance and social entrepreneurship to come. (Kudos to Indexed for the pic).