Work-Life Balance. Life questions at work
A few weeks ago, Mirela asked me to coach her. When I asked Mirela, who I met a few weeks before, on which topic or topics she wanted support she told me the next. “Do you know, actually I can’t be that unhappy in my life, but I feel I miss something, something essential. I have my own business and the business is going well, I have a good team of employees, we work well together. I can live well from the business. But still……. I am missing something essential. I am not that happy as I would like to be”.
She is not the only one whom I coach and has this sort of unhappy feelings. More and more people who have questions for me that are going further then work. Essential life-questions like: How can I become happy in my life, how do I want to live my life, who am I? However, in the average organization there is no time for discussing these sorts of questions. Just work hard and use your talents. And do you have a problem with that it’s a matter of time management. Or you are starting to doubt on your competences. And if you keep on asking those essential questions, read a book about it or go to a seminar.
But why people do have these sorts of questions? Why are we not just busy with just work-related issues? Why to have all these essential questions? Apparently, in the past we didn’t have them. A major part of the answer we can also find in the history. Twenty, thirty years ago we had quite strict frame works. We can look for example to our parents. They were quite strict in what was good or bad, how to behave, and what was needed to be a decent member in the social environment. When you could take financially care of the family and you were going regularly to church, you were already on the right track. And then I don’t mention the period of communism, what even had a stronger framework.
But nowadays frameworks become vague and you can’t check anymore clearly if you are a ‘good’ person. Because now a lot is possible. From relations, to have yes or no children. Where to live and work etcetera. How then to know if you are on the ‘right’ path? That you can only know yourself. Because who else has the reference? Friends? Colleagues? Parents? This is the reason that most of us have these essential live questions.
Often, we don’t realize how important our work is in our life. People in Romania make long working hours. Ten hours a day is no exception. In these cases, people spend 30% of their time on work, an equal 30% for family and friends and 40% is spend on sleeping and travelling. And this all includes the weekend. So, I think it is very relevant to think about those life questions. When we don’t try to answer these questions, you will lose your passion, your energy and in the end, you won’t be even a shadow of yourself. Answering these questions is not soft or vague, they can be very practical. I give you an example you can use by yourself.
During my coaching sessions, I often ask people to go back in the recent past and think about a working day that you went home happy. That you really had the feeling: This was an excellent working day. When the client comes up with that day my next question is: What made this day so special for you, what happened, what did you do, or even what didn’t you do? Clients have concrete examples. And with these examples in mind we continue: What is needed to make every day special. And how can you strive for that from now on. That is a small but essential step to make a real change.
If you do this exercise and you can’t find a ‘special’ day, think harder. If still you cannot find a ‘special’ day, maybe it is better to find another job and follow your passion and talents.