Work life balance… Now there’s a hot topic that I have some opinions on. Let’s talk about this.
In recent years it’s been almost villainized to want to work as hard as you can. “Your work life balance is off” they say. Since when did we assume as a society that work was this evil thing that we wanted nothing to do with? I love working. It’s very common that you’ll hear me on a Friday groaning about the fact that it’s the end of the week, much like you’d hear most groaning on Sunday about the end of the weekend.
I’m an extremely goal oriented person. I have some insanely lofty goals for myself, and I always have. From getting a job at a startup out of college with no real background in engineering, to being the CTO of a startup by the time I was 30, and now to future goals of controlling over 10 million in real estate assets plus some other net worth targets (we’ll talk about these another time). When I’m not aiming at some insane goal, I’m just demotivated. I’ve been in this situation once not too long ago and didn’t realize it until Kimmy (my wife) pointed it out.
So we get to the “life” part of this whole “equation”. When I’m talking work / life balance, I’m really talking work / family time balance because, like I said, my work already is my life. The balance of family time to work is a real tricky one for me. My happy place is when I’m being productive towards my goals. This is why I tend to struggle with the weekends. By this point you probably already have some awful image of me hating my family. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
When I think about my role as a parent, I think about what I want to teach my kids about the world and about life. I believe there is no greater endeavor than to work towards your dreams. We live in a world where anything is possible. I want my kids to look at me and know that I’m working hard, like really hard, to achieve my goals. I want to teach them that anything is possible. I want to teach them to put in everything they’ve got to reach their goals. I see too many people in the world that have consigned themselves to the role they are in, hating their job for no real reason other than the idea that work is supposed to be horrible. This is not the life I want for my kids.
When it comes to work / life balance, I always liked how Bezos put it as a circle. The concept that it’s not a tradeoff between the two with a hard barrier between them, but rather a smooth ever changing flow amongst them. When I’m working it should be towards goals that are going to make my family more successful, and when I’m spending family time I like it to be productive in some way as well. Whether that’s by teaching my kids how to learn something new, helping them learn creativity, or sometimes even just letting them help me work on my projects.
I’ll wrap this rant-ish post up by saying that you do you. Stop listening to people that would judge you for your “horrible work life balance”. Do what makes you happy. Reach for the stars. Truly nothing is impossible.
What’s your dream? What are you doing to get there?