Browsing around the internet today searching the keyword “life balance” I found several sites that advertise personal concierge services. The common theme among them was that they all promised a way to balance one’s life. Another interesting thing was that the sites were quoting a finding from a Woman’s Day/AOL poll from August 2nd, 2005 which showed that 67% of the people would hire a personal assistant over a life coach to help complete their daily tasks. Interesting. Life balance is about what you say it is. It’s your definition that matters. But what I can say is what doesn’t work for me and would I like to have a staff of people to cater to my ever need? Not if it causes me additional stress by increasing demands on my time and energy to the point that my work-life balance is leaning too much towards work.
In an earlier post today, I wrote about examining our motives when it comes to buying things – goods and services – to seemingly make our lives easier.
The vicious cycle looks like this: We work hard and long, so we wind up dining out several nights a week, or we hire a service to attend to our lawn or our homes or our pets because we “don’t have enough time.” We rely upon these things, and they become integral to our new budgets. This becomes our new ‘norm.’
We then want still more, so we work even harder, finding ourselves with even less time …. The pattern goes on and on.Well, I was bombing around the Web today and came across several results in my keyword search for “life balance.” What did I find most intriguing, you ask? I discovered several Web sites for companies advertising personal concierge services. But that’s not all. There was a common theme here: the obvious one, because of my search, was that the sites that I focused on were promising a way to balance one’s life.
The second interesting fact was that many of these sites were quoting the following finding from a Woman’s Day/ AOL poll from August 2nd, 2005:
67% of the people who opted in to the poll would hire a personal assistant over a life coach to help complete their daily tasks.
What that survey result tells me is that I wasn’t alone in my past choices (read my story here). Many of us are so caught up in “getting ahead” or trying to have it all and do it all that we’re losing sight of why we’re doing “it” in the first place.
Dr. Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, said that one of the biggest problems people face in creating life balance is that “the person has not yet sufficiently paid the price to get very clear about what matters most to them.”
I think this is clearly illustrated by the WD/AOL survey. After all, it’s human nature to find an immediate fix to a problem rather than to look for its root causes and make the time and effort necessary to examine alternative courses of action.
Now I’m not here to pass judgment. Life balance is about what you say it is. It is your definition that matters, not mine. Only you can define what a balanced life looks like to you, and only you can create that balanced life.
What I can share is what doesn’t work for me. Would I like to have
a staff of professionals lined up to cater to my every need? Not if it
means that I’m creating additional stress in my life by increasing
demands on my time and energy to the point that my work-life balance is
leaning way too heavily in the direction of work. I don’t want to
create the vicious cycle that I referred to earlier. I experienced
that already earlier in my life. I know that doesn’t work.
Ultimately, I have to ask myself that nagging question: Am I living to work or working to live?