It is, according to the book I read this week.
We are whole people with many facets to our lives. It is narrow-minded to imply that work and life are separate “things” that should be “managed” to a state of balance.
In his book, Off Balance: Getting Beyond the Work-Life Balance Myth to Personal and Professional Satisfaction, Matthew Kelly says that we need to strive for satisfaction in our personal and professional lives, rather than balance.
Satisfaction is different from pleasure in that pleasure cannot be sustained beyond the activity producing it, while satisfaction can.
I mean think about it. I can eat a dozen buffalo wings and feel pleasure in the moment. Two hours later, I feel zero satisfaction in that activity!
Which makes satisfaction uniquely individual so requires deep self-reflection into what is the best way for YOU to live.
As a starting point, Kelly proposes that all people striving to live a satisfying life have three principles in common:
You are here to become the best version of yourself – This demands a journey of self-discovery so you can say yes to the things that help you reach that goal and no to anyone or anything that does not help us become a better version of yourself.
The world prefers virtuous people – and you get to decide your virtues. Are you impatient or patient? Generous or selfish? Honest or dishonest? Courageous or cowardly? Ask yourself “what is important to me?” and live by that standard
The best way to live is with self-control – There is no success without the ability to delay gratification. While not required in ALL situations, it is a required skill in many.
Personal and professional satisfaction are not entitlements or benefits. You have to create them for yourself.
The book continues with the idea that the next leap in human excellence will be the result of energy management and nothing affects personal and professional satisfaction like your energy level.
People, places, things and activities can energize us or drain us of our energy so it behooves us to pay close attention and approach our personal energy management strategically.
There are four levels of energy:
Level I is destructive and leaves us feeling depressed, exhausted, burned-out, defeated, and iverwhelmed (sounds like a good time…NOT)
Level II is high-level negative energy that is still destructive because we feel angy, anxious, fearful, defensive and resentful
Level III is restorative and places us in a positive state of contentment. We feel mellow, serene and content. Most people attain this state with yoga, meditation, or taking a long, quiet walk.
Level IV is high-level positive energy and is where we live our best lives and celebrate the best version of oursleves. We are confident, joyful, enthusiastic and invigorated