Is there a work life balance?

Fading Team

I recently started reading yet another of those books that seeks to tell you how to get the most out of life, how to tap in to your best inner talents.

How to get to the end of your days with no regrets.

It’s called Die Empty.

I’ve always been a fan of personal productivity books. They help me to think and re-think about how I am approaching my life and work. Many of them are written with a very personal perspective, as if their primary purpose is to lead to great life fulfillment for the individual.

But our best professional work comes when there is a lot of consistency and synergy between both our personal goals and our professional goals. For the most successful among us, there always seems to be little or no separation between the two. Top-tier politicians, executives of small and large companies, movie stars – all of these folks always seem to live and breathe their best work in every facet of their life.

But for the “lower levels” – the folks at middle management, in entry-level positions, etc… these folks tend to fall into two camps.

  • Either they seek to maintain as much distance as possible between their work and personal lives – always leaving the office promptly at 5pm.
  • Or, they dive so deeply into their work that it completely replaces their personal life.

Neither of these are healthy attitudes toward work.

Yeah, there are gradients in between. But what I’m really trying to focus on here is that wide gap between folks who work because they have to vs. folks who have found ways to work professionally that complement and enhance in magical ways their own personal goals and achievements.

I haven’t gotten very far yet into Die Empty. I know so far that the overall message intends to be that you should let your best self out onto the world every day and in every way. But I wonder whether it will also talk much about how this relates to businesses.

Not only is it a good thing when employees and managers can find a lot of personal fulfillment in their work (i.e., their best self that they are supposed to be emptying onto the world can be expressed to achieve their professional goals as well as their personal goals), but also the fundamental principle of “die empty” is a great one for the business itself to embrace.

Not that you ever actually want your business to die – in the best case it will last longer than any of its original founders. But wouldn’t it be great if a business could approach each work day as if it were its last? Not meaning to take risks that will drive it off a cliff, but simply to ensure that the company embraces boldness, does not imagine greater risk than there really is, and empties its best self onto the world during every day of commerce.

I’ve got a lot of books on my shelf right now (well, actually – on my Kindle app). So it may take me a while to get through this book. But I’ll try to spend some time on this blog in the near future talking more about this topic.

The best lessons we learn for ourselves about achieving our dreams and goals are surely important lessons also for our businesses and professional selves to learn!