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New Definitions of Work-Life Balance?

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Photo by Gilest

I love the concept of work-life balance.  Putting it into practice, now that's where things get difficult. 

Difficult, but not impossible.  Julie Mortgenstern, who writes alongside David Allen at Business Week offers this as fresh insight:

"Work-life balance is not about the amount of time you spend working vs.
not-working. It’s more about how you spend your time working and
relaxing, recognizing that what you do in one fuels your energy for the
other."

What she's really saying is what Pope Paul VI called for in the late 1960's.  He coined the phrase, "unity of life" and he meant to encourage folks to see their work and personal values as integrated one with the other. 

One of the tragedies of the entire Bill Clinton scandal was not so much what he did (although hardly commendable).  Rather, it was the paradigm that he promoted: private life and public life as separate entities.  I have heard many of my students over the years buy into this gospel- i.e. "what I do in my own time is my business and not yours!"  Both true and false.

So, what is work-life balance?  Simply put, work-life balance is the art of maintaining the integrity of both your labor and your love.  Someone once said that a job is what you're paid for and a vocation is what you're made for.  Now that's work-life balance.