I don’t know who started this, but it needs to stop. I’ve heard a lot of people recently say that they don’t believe in work-life balance. The thinking goes that if you love your job enough, who needs balance?
That’s a dangerous way to think.
I actually like the passion behind the statement, and I think it’s great to love what you do for a living. The world is better off when people pursue things they’re passionate about.
In a post last week, I even linked to a reader quote about this disregard for work-life balance because it makes for a provocative quote.
But the more I thought about it, the more I realized the concept is all wrong.
Doing something you enjoy for a living and living a balanced life are two completely separate topics.
There are plenty of great things in life that are enjoyable in moderate doses but dangerous when addicted to. Sex, drugs, adrenaline-fueled sports, watching TV, exercise and the Internet all come to mind. Some are dangerous to your health, others are dangerous to your mental state, your finances or simply because they cause neglect in other important areas of life.
Work is no different. If you love what you do, it’s easy to become consumed by it. If you let it go too far, you’ll start to neglect other things.
When it comes down to it, work isn’t at the top of the “most important things” in life list. It should probably take a back seat to health, family, friends and intellect at the least.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Dull boys have fewer friends. Friends are important to happiness.
Maybe the “I don’t need work-life balance” people really don’t mean it, or maybe they’re just being sensational. Either way, it’s dangerous to make people believe it’s OK to be a workaholic because you like what you do.
Separate the arguments and let’s all agree. Being passionate about what you do is a good thing. Living an unbalanced life is not.
What do you think?
photo by Pink Sherbet Photography