If you think about it, work-life balance is a strange aspiration for a fulfilling life. Balance is about stasis: if our lives were ever in balance — parents happy, kids taken care of, work working — then our overriding thought would be to shout “Nobody move!” and pray all would stay perfect forever. This false hope is made worse by the categories themselves. They imply that work is bad, and life is good; we lose ourselves in work but find ourselves in life; we survive work, but live life. And so the challenge, we are told, is to balance the heaviness of work with the lightness of life.
Yet work is not the opposite of life. It is instead a part of life — just as family is, as are friends and community and hobbies. All of these aspects of living have their share of wonderful, uplifting moments and their share of moments that drag us down. The same is true of work, yet when we think of it as an inherent bad in need of a counterweight, we lose sight of the possibility for better.
It seems more useful, then, to not try to balance the "unbalanceable," but to treat work the same way you do life: By maximizing what you love. Here’s what we mean.
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