“When you’re following your energy and doing what you want all the time, the distinction between work and play dissolves.” – Shakti Gawain
Making a living is about securing what you need to survive, and making a life is about recognising what you want in order to thrive. The first journey follows a track where we spend almost all of our time and energy to make enough money, and it often costs us our health, relationships, and freedom of time. The second journey considers that we need a work-life balance, time to include all areas of being wealthy: to thrive.
All work and no play make Jack and Jill rather dull.
Society lost the plot during the industrial revolution (the first one in the 1800s), with workers having extended hours and seven-day weeks. In the fourth industrial revolution, we are aware that we have created an environment where work can become all-consuming, and we’re lauded for overtime and extra effort. In the 1800s, the solution was to have workers take a day off, which later became a two-day ‘weekend’.
But in those days, ‘work’ was primarily manual, and once workers left the site, they also left their work behind. They were genuinely able to rest, away from work, without having to think about it or worry about what might be going on in their absence.
Times have changed; we are now in touch 24 hours a day. If we don’t put boundaries in place, we will never have a break. Gone are the days of shops being closed over weekends and everyone working 9-5 in the same time zones. Hence – the origin of ‘work-life balance’.
It was probably first used in the UK in the late 1970s and in the US in the mid-1980s. It has, however, taken on a new meaning in the 4IR. Smartphones, remote working technology and the like have meant that, even on holiday, we find it hard to ‘switch off’ and genuinely rest. A complaint we hear is that our clients feel like they are expected to be ‘on-call’ at all times without being allowed to have a life outside work. It’s harder than ever to find that work-life balance.
Here’s how we can change from making a living, to making a life.
1- Identify the problem areas
Before we can make a change, we need to understand where we are and know what’s going on. Take a few minutes every now and then through your day to journal and track what you are doing and who you are doing it for. Keep a record of the hours spent working and the hours spent doing things you enjoy. If you’re feeling brave, ask your friends and family to help.
2 – Craft the ideal scenario
Once you have an idea of what life is looking like right now, step away from that and take an hour or two to imagine how your ideal life could look, for you and your family. Would you like more time to prepare meals at home, or maybe you’d like to have more time and energy to develop a skill or hobby? Would you like to have more space where you can enjoy your family or friends without feeling like you have to rush off to finish something for work or attend a video meeting?
3 – What changes need to be made?
Now that you have a good idea of where you are and where you want to be, you can map the steps needed to move forward in the right direction. Remember, this is not necessarily about eliminating work completely (although financial independence can be a long term goal); it’s about finding meaning, purpose and fulfillment today.
Our goal is to help you thrive, and we believe that there are many ways to do that and that it means something different for every person, family and business. We hope this blog helps, but if you’d like to chat more and have an accountability partner in this journey of change, let’s chat!