By Abeer Al Matooq
For as long as I can remember, I was always puzzled by this term and by this thought (work Life balance) I mean in my opinion, life is so grand and there is so much to it, so much to do, so much to experience and so much to be, why would I want to balance all my life with one aspect of it which is (work)?
As a life coach, and a curious being who is always on the look for better ways for designing a life and ( being ) in it I started reading, researching, and investigating this idea, to find out that it has a lot to do with how our modern societies have programmed us to tie our identities and define our happiness and success in life through our career success and hence yes, all your life with all what it has will be on one side and career or work will be on the other side and you will have to balance them both!!
I didn’t like the idea, and I do not subscribe to it, and here is why (mind you that I am a career woman who has been tying her success in life to her career success until I concluded the following which I invite you to give it a thought with me:
1- What is it that we all want in life and from life? happiness right? happiness in whatever way you want to define it, contentment, peace, joy, love…etc
2- For that to happen each and every one of us needs to know first what is it exactly that gives his\her life meaning and how happiness is defined in his\ her terms, in total isolation of any external expectations of the same (or internal expectations that come from society conditioning for that matters)
3- Once that is done and some clarity is established, now we start finding out that there is little chance that ( work ) can give us all that, looking at where career\work is going to serve us to achieve those meanings that you have sat for yourself, and we start realizing that the other areas of our lives that we often neglect or leave nourishing them for( when our busy schedules allow ) are actually the areas that bring us fulfillment and balance besides fueling us to perform better in our career because of the alignment with our true life vision and the soul nourishment that it is going to achieve.
On Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs career or work doesn’t come anywhere, what we have though are meanings and values that sometimes can come through work but most of the time through your (life work) which is not necessarily the work that you do to achieve your income.
Having said all that I can see some arguing that we can’t be bothered with self-actualization or else when our basic needs are not met, and that only work can guarantee that, in my defense, I would ask, would you be happy living your entire life running the rat race, passing through days, scarifying your physical, mental, psychological, spiritual and social health for that kind of security? or would you rather give a wider more expansive view of the real meanings in life and look for ( Balance ) rather than ( life work Balance ).