After 40 years of trying, I’ve finally gotten it right! I have achieved the elusive work-life harmony so many of us chase and never find. Notice I did not say “work-life balance,” because they’re rarely equal.
Harmony is about having ample time for the things you’re passionate about away from work; spiritual, family, exercise, hobbies, recreation, or volunteer service, for example. But that’s only one side of the coin. It’s also about having work you enjoy and find rewarding.
Doing work that doesn’t suit or please you reduces that work to something you do just for money, which I’ve found is a miserable way to live. It feels like it’s not worth getting out of bed for in the morning. On the other hand, doing work you love to do, with people you love to be with makes all the difference in your attitude upon waking up each day. It’s like you’d almost do it for free, but you’re paid!
I spent 30 years that way myself, until finding EOS ten years ago and realizing I had discovered what I was put on earth to do at last. Since then, I’ve been able to achieve the work-life harmony that we in EOS® call “The EOS Life.®”
Gino Wickman recently published The EOS Life®, his sixth book in the Traction Library series. In it, he shares the five things that comprise true work-life harmony*:
This list has been my roadmap in building the fabulous life I now enjoy. In my work, I also strive to help my clients achieve the same five. It has enabled me to get a good start on checking off many of the items on my bucket list, which for me is what item #5 – time for other passions – is all about.
Bucket list items need not be grand or costly. For example, over the last two years I’ve achieved three unusual ones at very little expense:
Next, I really want to continue focusing on having my work make an important difference to those I serve. That might be spiritual or vocational. For example, on the personal side, I’m planning to become proficient at helping people understand the Bible without preaching to them. I’m also excited to be part of Row Alabama, a teach-youth-to-row program aimed at helping youth of all socioeconomic backgrounds reap the benefits and joy that comes from engaging in a team sport.
If you don’t have a bucket list, here are 150 ideas to inspire you. At least 30 of these center around getting better satisfaction from your career, or improving your personal skills that could help you improve your work skills.
You will likely need to re-invent yourself to achieve your own EOS Life. But as the saying goes, “If it were easy, everybody would have already done it.” Be prepared for a rocky road at times. You will likely experience the series of highs and lows, so be prepared because doing anything great is an emotional journey. But at least for me, the reward has been worth every minute of effort to get here.
We only have limited time on Earth. Prepare yourself to Work to Live, and forget about working just for money.
*Gino’s book is primarily directed at business owners and managers, but the content can be equally useful for many others who may not own or manage companies. I urge you to read it as soon as you can get a copy.
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