“Whenever people ask me what the biggest difference between North America and Europe is, I always say: “North Americans live to work and Europeans work to live.” As much as I love what I do, I think I owe it to my clients to refresh my mind every once in a while so that I can give 100%. Whenever I spend time in the Austrian mountains I experience magic. I admire nature’s beauty and think about life and all of a sudden everything I worry about becomes so meaningless.”
~ Karin Lindner
I just returned from a wonderful trip to Austria and I feel that I would like to share some of my insights about work-life balance. It always makes me smile when people ask me, “So you have your own business and you’re going on a 2 or 3 week vacation?”. Well, isn’t this one of the perks of having your own business, being able to create what you want to have?
With the power of internet, email and Skype the world has become so connected and there is nothing I couldn’t do (if I feel the need) while I am away, except delivering training in person.
Having balance in your life is important. I realize that we live in a fast paced business environment and that we have to do more with fewer resources. However, I firmly believe that it comes down to proper organization and planning of your days, weeks and months in order to get the most out of your life.
You have to look after yourself first, your health, your family and your well being, otherwise you will eventually find yourself overwhelmed, non-productive and disillusioned in your job. This level of frustration will carry over to your family life and your level of happiness.
It is a sign that I am fully relaxed when I can’t remember the PIN of my debit card anymore…. and believe me, this number is easy. 🙂 However, I have to say that I probably have a special gift of being able to switch into total relaxation and vacation mode while I am away. I don’t know too many people who can do that. I also always sleep well even when I have a lot on my mind. My convincing statement before I go to bed is: “There is enough time to worry about that tomorrow. My sleep is more important right now.” I have learned to prioritize what’s important.
Unfortunately I know a lot of people who are held hostage by their work schedule and daily agenda. They cannot exercise the flexibility of making both, their personal and professional life fulfilling. Having a fulfilling career and a lot of money does not mean anything if you have health issues, are in terrible shape, have family problems, no time for hobbies, or no time to spend quality time with family and friends. It is important to strive for abundance and this can only be achieved when you have balance in your life.
How would you feel when the day of your retirement comes and nobody is there to enjoy it with?
It is an unfortunate fact that many employers don’t realize how powerful and beneficial it would be for the company’s well being if their employees would take the time to relax, unwind, and quiet their mind. Creativity and productivity would skyrocket and the amount of mental and other illnesses would certainly decrease.
I don’t think that it is my job to convince you. You have to learn for yourself. You have to experience it for yourself but I do want to leave you with an inspiring movie by Linda Ellis and perhaps you may take at least some of it to heart.