Balancing the wheel of life refers to create a balance in our professional life and personal life. The term Work-life balance is used to describe the balance between work obligations and personal responsibilities. It was coined to address the unhealthy life choices that many people were making and when they were choosing to neglect other important aspects of their life such as family, friends, and hobbies in favour of work-related tasks and goals.
Work-life balance has turned out to be such an important area that there is a lot of research going on in this field. Organizations have started to give attention to this area so that they can get the best out of their employees. To reduce the attrition rates and improve employee satisfaction many organizations have come out with initiatives such as flexible work timings & telecommuting where people do not commute to a central workplace. Many telecommuters work from home, as with the advancements in technology like high-speed internet connections, laptops and cell phones it is very convenient for them to work from home and it also minimizes the travelling time which can be further spent on the work. Many organizations are transforming the workplace by moving the work to the workers instead of moving workers to the work. Work is no longer a place where you go but what you do.
When we talk to people many of them are not satisfied with the kind of life they are living. If we look around, we can notice many working people spending most of the hours of their day at work because of the faulty notion among them that if they work for long hours then only they will be considered a good employee, even when it is not necessary. It has become the priority for most of the people today, undoubtedly it is important sometimes, but not always. Just because we are getting paid for our work and all of us need money for the survival, also, to take care of our families but certainly, it does not mean that we can focus all the attention towards work commitments and can avoid family, own health and sacrifice our relationships because of it. We all know that stress is the cause for most of the illnesses as it either initiate or foster many physical or mental health problems.
One of the best ways to accelerate our progress towards achievement is to understand the difference between being busy and being productive. Being busy does not give us the sense of fulfilment that we want instead it gradually cuts our connection with the family and the friends and sometimes it isn’t even productive. An important question that everyone must ask themselves at the end of the day is: “Am I a step closer to achieve my goals than I was this morning?” If the answer is “Yes” to this question, then we might have had a productive day but if the answer is “No” then chances are that we may have been very busy but not productive. We tend to forget the fact that excess of anything is hazardous. Being busy and spending most of our time on work can badly impact the health of the individual because we unknowingly ignore our health for it. Firstly, we lose our health to gain money and then we lose money to gain the health. We should always earn for living not to live to earn.
Ever wondered? Why so much emphasis is recently given to this issue? The reason is that we were not so money minded earlier, we were created as a social being and not a professional being. Traditionally, India had a joint family system where there were so many people in the family to take care of the children and impart moral values in them. But, today in the nuclear families where both the parents work for the livelihood; children come back to an empty home and from the very beginning, they learn that it’s okay if you can spend money on the family even if you can’t spend quality time with them. Parents, for reducing their own guilt and compensating their time with lots of gifts and other luxuries even worsen the situation as they don’t have time to check how their children are using the gadgets and money given to them. They might get themselves into troubles and fall in the traps like cyber crimes, different addictions and also adultery. This makes the parents even more guilty, we compensate with more gifts, more gifts means more time at work and the cycle continues with time. First of all, we leave our parents for work then spoil our children unintentionally and then the children leave us for work.
Family and marriage are the oldest and the most fundamental institutions of the society; both are important for the existence and proper functioning not only of society. Currently, both of these institutions are facing a challenge for existence and are on a shaky foundation. We don’t have time for getting married for taking care of our families, of our parents and raising children. The biggest impact of this is the increase in the divorce rates. Nowadays, many children are living with a single parent. After a divorce, raising a child becomes a great challenge for a single parent which can affect them physically, emotionally and financially causing stress and psychological imbalance. We live in a fast-paced world. Day in and day out, we are to be in a hurry and desperate to catch up the commitments. We actually forget to slow down and save time for ourselves which is important to reflect on the real meaning and purpose of life and living, to give ourselves some moments of peace and to ponder on who we really are and what we are here for.
Socrates once said that `An unexamined life is not worth living` as he believed that the purpose of human life was the personal and the spiritual growth. Examining our life helps us to analyze our own pattern of behaviour. Unless we become aware of these patterns, much of our life is an unconscious process. Examining our life brings tremendous freedom. We must control our lives and we must set aside some time during the day for some reflection. We need to check whether our behaviour is aligned with our values and goals or not and take corrective steps every day to meet this alignment. We will definitely feel happy once our goals and actions will be congruent with our values. So, let us look at what is our value, what is important to us and what makes us happy.
At the end – what is that ` I want to be remembered for’
We all know Alfred Nobel, the man behind the Nobel prize. Do you know what made him create Nobel foundation? Alfred Nobel was a businessman and the owner of Bofors. He invented the dynamite. He made tons and tons of money by producing explosives. When his brother died, a newspaper mistakenly wrote a long obituary of Alfred Nobel as they thought that it was Alfred Nobel who passed away. Thus, Nobel had an opportunity to read his own obituary while alive. He was horrified with what the newspaper described him as; ‘A man who had made it possible for people to kill more people more quickly than anyone could ever imagine. He realized that this is how he was going to be remembered once he dies and it was not how he wanted to be remembered after him. Soon after this incident, Alfred Nobel introduced the concept of ‘The Nobel Prizes’ and today, we remember him for this contribution.
We all should take a lesson from this incident and start wondering on ‘how we want to be remembered as…’
Do you want to be remembered ‘as a person who worked for very long hours’ or as ‘a person who was embraced by his family and known ones for the time you spent with them, for the love, the care along with the resources you provided them with’?
Whatever we want your tombstone to be engraved with; from now on let us work towards that. This is what would give us a sense of fulfilment which we long for and which will make our life worth living.
Albert Einstein said `Life is like riding a bicycle’. To keep our balance, we must keep moving. Let’s move on in a direction where we want to end up and make this world a better place to live in for us, our family and for our upcoming generation.