Sunday, February 6, 2005

Work Life balance

Work-life balance is a fad in recent years. I think the main concern comes from the white collars being more health-conscious, partly because of the booming health industry and their advertising campaign. In my view, work-life balance talks are on the wrong path of advocating less work and more play. Work-life balance actitivies are now mostly on stress management and relieving oneself from work. They are very useful but they are only cure for the imbalanced people. We need the right message to promote a work-life balance culture, i.e. work well and play well.

The article below from CLC is a good attempt which views work-life balance in a new perspective. The four elements: health, wealth, wisdom and relationship are the cornerstones for a sucessful prefessional and personal life. Actually, if you focus on all elements in either activity, you don't have to worry about any imbalance. Of course the most important is the Fifth Element, which is yourself.

Living through the Success Elements by Greg Langston

Much has been written about finding a harmonious balance between work and life, and this article does not intend to discredit any of it. It is essential to strike a balance between the professional and personal. True success is multidimensional, and if you focus exclusively on work your personal life suffers, and vice versa. Limiting your perspective of success to the two dimensions of work and personal life can lead to a lack of balance within both professional and personal success. To separate life and work into disparate entities misses the point of true success.

The Success Elements

There are elements of success that are the building blocks of professional and personal life. The Success Elements principle is founded on the four elements of Health, Wealth, Wisdom, and Relationships. By achieving balance in all of the Success Elements, you can be assured that your success will transcend both your work life and personal life.

Applying the Success Elements

The application of the Success Elements in your personal life is easy to see. If you focus on Wealth too heavily, your family life will suffer. If you neglect your Health, all other areas of life will suffer. Even focusing on Relationships too much - which on the surface seems laudable - can disrupt everything else.

So now that we have established that the Success Elements are applicable to your personal life, what about business?

Health

Good Health benefits more than your personal life. In business, success in Health will lead to fewer sick days, less burnout, increased focus, greater profitability, and more energy. Health can also lead to a longer and more fruitful career.

Wealth

This has the most obvious application in professional life and needs little explanation. As long as you realize that exclusive focus on any one Success Element can be disastrous, pursuing Wealth is good. Pursuing Wealth, though, does not imply that money is everything. Wealth is about complementing the pursuit of excellence in the other Success Elements.

Wisdom

The Wisdom element can have tremendous impact on your business life. The modern economy rewards innovation and flexibility, and Wisdom is about the continuous pursuit of knowledge and insight. You should seek to constantly expand the horizon of your skill sets, as this will assist you in reaching your professional dreams.

Relationships

At first glance, many think that Relationships only applies to friends and family. But Relationships also applies to your supervisor, subordinates, colleagues, mentors, customers, and community. It is essential for business success to develop strong relationships with everyone in your professional circle. Seek to add value to everyone in your network.

And by all means, do not forget to build a network!

The unique aspect of the Success Elements is that they transcend the individual and can be applied corporately. A company cannot afford to neglect any of the Success Elements. Each element has a place in the business world, and balance among the Success Elements is just as essential for companies as it is for individuals.

So ask yourself, is there balance in your life - in all areas of your life?

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