by Lynette Silva
Recognize This! – Work-life balance is a myth, but we can learn to blend work and life through purpose, positivity and possibilities.
Rounding out my book review posts for the author panel I’ll be leading at WorkHuman is Work-Life Reset, by Fawn Germer. When we think about what it really means to “WorkHuman” we must always include the reality of the person’s life outside of work.
I like Derek Irvine’s concept of work-life blending instead of balance as balance implies work on one end of the spectrum with life on the other and a constant struggle to get the two to balance out. Work-life blending, on the other hand, acknowledges the reality that we bring our work experiences and interactions home with us, just as we bring our families and personal needs into the workplace. Fawn tackles many of these ideas in her latest book, defining “reset” this way: “Reset is all about taking back the power you’ve lost, whether it was due to adversity or personal resignation. Reset is reclaiming your energy, joy, verve, hope, direction and essence.
” I’m enamored of the idea of how we “take back that power” at work and at home – how we “claim joy” and all that comes with it in both environments. I found several themes woven throughout Fawn’s book on precisely how we do that. Let me share those themes with you.
Finding Purpose –
We all have a purpose in this life. It’s discovering our purpose and finding joy in it that’s the trick. Here’s Fawn’s perspective on that work-life blend:
“Your purpose on this earth is to develop as a human being. Love your work, enjoy every possible aspect of it, but don’t let it consume your opportunity to develop on a deeper human level… We don’t get spiritual points for being good at our jobs – we get points for being good at our role in humanity.”
Of course we must be good at our jobs or we won’t have them for very long. But it’s how we WorkHuman at our jobs that helps us fulfill our purpose. That’s where the real value – to ourselves and to others – lies.
Overcoming the Fear of Failure to Embrace the Possibilities –
We will all fail. It’s part of the human experience. What we choose do with that failure is what defines us, personally. Avoiding failure or living in fear of it at best keeps us from achieving our true potential and at worst traps us in horrible situations. It’s putting aside the fear to embrace possibilities that brings us fulfillment. Fawn says:
“Life really is an out-of-control experience- if you’re living it right. If you hang on tightly, trying to ensure a positive outcome at every turn, you are never in the discomfort zone long enough to learn what you’re really made of. You are missing the downside, where you swing and miss and suffer for it. You’re also missing the upside, where you grow into a stronger, smarter and deeper person… “But the biggest excuse for inertia is fear. Legions of people will endure endless abuses at work or in relationships because they are frozen in place, afraid that they won’t be wanted elsewhere or won’t be able to be successful in another environment.”
Happiness and Positivity Is a Choice
– Life is not always good or easy. Yet even in the toughest of times, our own outlook and reaction is very much a personal choice. Per Fawn:
“Having money or having everything you ever wanted does not fix what is already wrong within you. If you can’t be happy with your current set of problems, you probably won’t be happy with the next set of problems, either – unless you make a mental shift and decide it is time to be happy… “People who choose positivity create a very different reality from those who always look for what is wrong. We can influence our experience by having a good attitude.”
I take this one step further. I believe we have a responsibility to reinforce positivity for others. In true WorkHuman environments, this can be quite easy. It’s as simple as pausing to recognize and appreciate others, to proactively tell them, “I see you. I notice the great work you do. You are a valuable and important part of our team and what we do. Thank you.