Work/life (im-)balance – how to attain success?

Below, some thoughts about success.

Seema Krishnakumar - Hole to success.., https://flic.kr/p/4ChXYS
Seema Krishnakumar – Hole to success.., https://flic.kr/p/4ChXYS

1. Attaining success is hard:

kennedy“There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation many never come again. But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.” (Source – John F. Kennedy Moon Speech – Rice Stadium »)

2. In order to have success is important to invest in yourself:

warren-buffet…Like I said, the most important message you can deliver to a young person is that anything you invest in yourself, you get back ten-fold. And nobody can tax it away, they can’t steal it from you. So we’ll be trying to deliver those messages. You have to do it with a good story. They’re not going to watch it to get a lecture. They’re going to watch it to get entertained, and in that entertainment we hope there can be a good message. (Source: Warren Buffett Says You Should Invest in This Amazing Asset »)

3. How much to invest in yourself? In order to have success, you need to give up on work-life balance, and get im-balanced. As in “invest hard”:

tysonQ: I’m just curious how you balanced those two? (note – dancing/wrestling vs. studying)
A, Neil DeGrasse Tyson: No, they were never balanced. When I was wrestling I said. «I should be studying». When I was studying I said: «You know, I want to get back on the mat.»

So, there’s the psychological discomfort knowing you should be doing something else. And we presume that balance is a good thing.

The very fact you ask the question that way implies that we should seek balance in our lives.

There are whole philosophies on that, and so I’m not here to debate that – but what I can tell you is that something is out of balance you can get quite innovative in your attempts to resolve that fact. And in my life I have resolved imbalance by creating other imbalances that brought me to new talents, to new investigations.

And so, life is always about how you are juggling and balancing things, but, provided that you’re still getting stuff done, that’s quite a fun ride.

You know, you don’t go to the amusement park roller coasting and say «I want to be balanced». No! You want to be as un-balanced as you possibly can, because that’s the thrill ride.

Q: That’s actually the precisely what I was going for. I mean – in my life I didn’t get my act together as a student, until I started taking sports really seriously. It meant that by shrinking the amount of time that I had to focus on my studies, it added pressure and imbalance and made me really get my act together. There’s two sides of my life.

A, Neil DeGrasse Tyson: If it doesn’t kill you, I think, the pressure conserves some value in your motivation.” (Source: Podcast: Neil DeGrasse Tyson On Big Data, Race, And Why Work-Life Balance Is Overrated | FiveThirtyEigh »)

4. “Don’t overdo this”. On a 100% different note, Andrei Pleșu says that culture, in general, should play a role in everyone’s life (yes, even business professionals) and that people should allocate some time for themselves (do-nothing time):

andrei-plesuQ: Citind studiul, nu ieși foarte optimist, pe de altă parte te gândești – «Se referă la o parte a oamenilor, e făcut în general în firme care cultivă individualismul, egoismul» – și v-aș întreba cât de optimist sunteți în privința societății românești – pentru că, așa cum spuneam – totuși, lucrurile evoluează. Noi ne plângem, dar lucrurile evoluează.

Answer, Andrei Pleșu: Nu sunt foarte optimist, ca să fiu sincer, și nu din cauza strict a defectelor poporului român, ci din cauza contextului global.

Două lucruri sunt grave:
1. (l-am menționat deja) O anumită marginalizare a formației culturale. Cultura nu mai este neapărat un element pedagogic frecventat intens.
2. Oamenii nu mai au timp. Noi trăim într-o lume în care timpul privat, singurătatea (benefică) dispare. Oamenii lucrează toată ziua pentru succes, oamenii se investesc în carieră mai mult decât în orice, și decât în familie, și decât în orice. Și atunci copiii cresc într-un anumit fel, iar oamenii nu mai au răgazul reflecției, al distanțării de imediat, al analizei lucide. Oamenii sunt prinși într-un iureș, sunt, cum se spune mereu, «ocupați». Noi uităm mereu sensul acestui cuvânt. «A fi ocupat» înseamnă «a fi sub stăpân». Nu mai suntem liberi, nu mai avem singurătăți, nu mai avem momente de răgaz. (Sursa: 9 din 10 români vor să fie șefi. Explicațiile filosofului Andrei Pleșu și ale sociologului Dorin Bodea »)

to-do

I am a Freelancer. My expertise is in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) / UX (user experience) / WordPress. Co-founder of lumeaseoppc.ro (series of events on SEO & PPC) and cetd.ro (Book on branding for MDs). On a personal level, I like self-development - events, sports, healthy living, volunteering, reading. I live in London, and lots of things live in me.

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