According to the Cambridge Dictionary, Work-Life Balance is defined as: the amount of time you spend doing yourjobcompared with the amount of time you spend with yourfamily and doing things you enjoy. That is confusing, by definition that means you do not enjoy time at work. W. Edwards Deming, the famous quality management expert strived to help people experience “Joy in Work”
If we are entitled to Joy in Work, doesn’t that mean work should be a benefit, not a balance? Why are we only shooting for balance? What does that mean? We should generate a Work Life Benefit! We should design our life at work with the aim to have our experiences at work and life outside of work be reciprocally beneficial. Life should be mutually beneficial and reinforcing.
We gain skills at home and work by developing relationships and understanding how to be more competent at tasks. Our increased competency in each area of our lives should make the other parts better – if they are not, some adjustments are needed. Realize, this is a choice.
The idea that the impact work has on us is a choice was explained in the Harvard Business Review Article, Work-Life Balance Is a Cycle, Not an Achievement by Ioana Lupu & Mayra Ruiz-Castro. The article explains balancing work and life is “… not a one-time activity, but rather a cycle of continuous re-evaluation and improvement.” The article however is mostly focused on how to make sure work doesn’t cause problems. They recommend using these 5 steps:
Pause & denormalize
Pay attention to your emotions
Consider your alternatives
These steps can be valuable if used proactively to make work and life mutually beneficial, not just less damaging. I recommend we change the perspective towards seeing how we develop and become a better person and actively make work a benefit, not a burden.
In other words, our aim each day should be to generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions at work and home so everyone and everything benefits. As we do that we will develop not just a work/life balance, but a work/life benefit.
I noticed I had several drafts about the same theme. In all these drafts I was wondering, why do people believe I think outside the box?
Out of the Box thinking is described to be when people think in an original or creative way.
I had always assumed that thinking outside the box meant you were being creative and finding better solutions. I assumed it meant you did not accept traditional norms and that a person thinking outside the box was not doing things the way they were always done. This is accurate, in a sense, however there is more to “Outside the Box Thinking”, at least according to Wikipedia, and it all started with 9-Dot Puzzle.
What Would be “ThinkingOutside the Box“?
I work in the health field and my focus is on what creates, generates or causes better physical, mental and social well-being. How is that original or out of the box thinking? Couldn’t that represent in the box thinking, just from a different angle? While I don’t go directly at well-being, I focus obliquely on factors associated with improved well-being such as relationships, personal and group development, physical activity and food selection. Although the goal is not specifically well-being, it is pretty direct. We also know that John Kay explained to us why, For Complex, Oblique(Obliquity) is More Effective.
Well-being, life, health and society are about as complex as it gets. This then suggests that traditional and prevailing approaches may not be as effective as they could be. This may also may explain why traditional approaches in health, business and the environment could benefit from a different perspective. From an outsiders view, it seems they started by thinking outside the box and need a better perspective. Lets review:
For Business: thinking generally focuses around how to decrease costs and avoid problems…Instead of thinking how can we serve customers better while we also, simultaneously, clean the air, land and water from their uses. In other words how can we be multipliers of our time (see: Be Fruitful and Multiply – Time That is…) For many, and based on how society has progressed, it appeared our “Take, Make, Waste” system was effective. However, if we take a different perspective in the box, as Ray Anderson did with “Interface”, that takes into account that everyone and everything is connected. Using this approach, Ray demonstrated how we can be even more effective, efficient, profitable as we also improve everyone and everything. (see We Must Make It Better – Saving the Planet not Enough!)
In Health: thinking generally focuses on how to treat diseases and or avoid risk factors…Instead of thinking how can we increase physical, mental and social well-being. The majority of the focus and effort being used by health is how to find disease and treat it. It is as if we are trying to be a day late and a dollar short with regard to improved well-being by “Thinking Outside the Box”. We could be in the box using Antonovsky’s salutogenesis and focusing on what causes health. Many of these ideas are capture here: We Need to Use the 3rd Alternative
As I reviewed this information about “Thinking Outside the Box”, a proverb came to mind:
“To change and to improve are two different things.”
Time for a Reboot
Sometimes we need a new start, a reboot. We need a reboot because now some things are backward, upside down and confused. Let’s get in box and use a better perspective. Life is all about probabilities. It is time to turn the tables in our favor by getting “In the Box” and using a better, “Net Positive” focus and perspective that uses oblique factors related to helping everyone and everything.
A “Net Positive” results from using a Selfish, Selfless, Synergy focus. Selfish, Selfless, Synergy efforts help generate comprehensive benefits by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits, or the practice of paneugenesis. Please share you engage in #SelfishSelflessSynergy so everyone and everything benefits.
Last week in my post, Being Paid in Multiple Ways, and in many others I have emphasized how quality, environmentalism and generating health can generate comprehensive benefits from which everyone and everything can benefit. Evidence suggests these methods that bring all these benefits together are more efficient, less expensive, impact more people in a positive way and are better for the environment, which of course helps everyone and everything.
In other words, a lot of my posts are what Rory Vaden called “Time Multipliers” (see Be Fruitful and Multiply – Time That is…) because over time, they give you more time to do what you want to do. It reminded me of how Steve Jobs explained the computer was a bicycle for the mind because it helped you do things better and faster. Steve explains this concept here and below.
All this came to mind as I was listening to Amber McReynolds TED talk, “An election system that puts voters (not politicians) first”. She describes a voting system that brought everything together and showed how it helps everyone learn more, do more and be more involved. The voting system she describes can help our government be a bicycle for society. Better voting from more educated citizens enables a better system that will function more efficiently. I strongly encourage you to listen to Amber’s talk – it is very powerful and empowering.
I also realized this post is overdue, especially after learning more about the hidden massacres like the described in this NYTImes Daily Episode, The Burning of Black Tulsa. If we work together, many answers will evolve that can help everyone and everything make progress. As we all know, voting is a current issue and Biden puts Harris in charge of efforts to protect voting rights. If we use Amber McReynolds ideas, we can not just protect voting rights, we can improve the voting system.
Please share how you will help empower and enable yourself and others to be the best version of themselves so you can feel the glow and pride for acting in selfish, selfless, synergistic ways. I believe this this was captured well by Simon Sinek and Time Shriver podcast in Episode 34: Learning to Love with Tim Shriver. Though they talk about problems, it seemed they were promoting us to help others more and to practice paneugenesis by doing selfish, selfless, synergistic actions.
My hypothesis, that has been supported by a lot of evidence, is we can generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic acts that benefit everyone and everything. What do you think?