Warning: The “Work-Life Balance” Myth Is Ruining Your Life

Work-life balance. Financial freedom. Self-help. Motivation. Lifestyle advice.

The “ten minutes” this or that. The “five steps to” this or that. The easy way. The shortcut you never knew needed.

Building a life you’re proud of.

Somehow managing to come up with more than twenty four hours in a day, so you get to do all the things you want to do. Yay!

There are an awful lot of gurus out there telling you that life can be easy, if only…

If only it weren’t hard.

Life is pain.

Can we move on now?

There’s no such thing as a work-life balance. Life is not a balancing act, unless you want to fall flat on your face from a great height.

Life is meant to be experienced.

Running away from experience is the kind of experience that leads to feelings of unfulfillment, depression, fatigue.

Don’t believe me?

Ask yourself this question: would you rather live a year as a lion or ten as a sheep? Would you die on your feet or live on your knees?

Do you want freedom or comfort?

Do you want satisfaction or a balance?

Here’s the truth about life: it’s hard. It’s a struggle. Everything alive is fighting to stay alive, or kill everything else that is also alive for the purpose of staying alive.

You cannot create a balanced life, unless you sacrifice an awful lot of satisfaction.

You can have anything you want in life, but not everything.

Stop chasing a damn fantasy.

Fairytales only exist because people have chosen to escape reality instead of accepting it.

What’s the worst that could happen? To die? So what? You’re going to die anyway.

I see this in all aspects of life: people who have no social skills whatsoever dream of finding a soul-mate and somehow living the rest of their lives in peace and harmony with said soul-mate.

Wannabe writers want to “have written” but not actually write.

Entrepreneurs dream of billion dollar businesses and cute “I’m CEO” cards rather than actually building a business.

You want the dream, but not the hustle that comes with it.

The dream is free, the hustle is sold separately.

People want fame and fortune, but never stop to think about all the pain and suffering that fame and fortune provokes. And how there’s no way back.

You’re lusting after the milk and honey, without thinking about the bee stings. You’ve probably never even seen (or smelt) a cowshed.

Think about it. Think about the balance you are trying to create, and whether or not you’re in fact simply selling yourself short.

Settling for less than what you want in various areas of your life.

There are a lot of fantasies in this world that get passed around as if ineffable principles of the universe. They’re not.

There is no balance. There is no happily ever after.

If you sit on your couch and Netflix and chill yourself to the point of stupidity, you’ll die alone.

Failure is the default in life.

If you fail to act, then you’re setting yourself up to fail.

There’s no way around it. No shortcut. No nothing.

There are no guarantees in life.

If you naively allow yourself to be seduced by the work life balance myth, you’ll expose yourself to all kinds of mental self sabotage. Your unconscious mind knows you don’t really want to divide your time in such a way as to please everyone in your life.

Your unconscious self, in its infinite wisdom, will work hard to make sure you spend as little time possible on what you don’t think is that important and spend more time on what’s truly important.

Eventually it will “save” you from having to balance life altogether! This is what people call “failure”.

Your work is your life. If it isn’t, then you’re not really working. You’re pretending to, and then pretending to get mad because you’re not getting paid as much as you’d like. And then you feel guilty because you’d much rather be writing, or painting, or vlogging. And then you do that in your free time, and then you feel guilty for ignoring your family or friends.

See?

There is no free time. You only have time. That’s it. Time. Small parts of your life, parts that you’re never getting back.

The idea that a job is something that pays the bills, a vacation or two a year, and for goods and services, is bullshit.

This is ruining your life.

Hate your job? Try something else. Damn it! There are like a million things to try in this world, and you’re going to settle on that one job, with the boss you hate, doing things that don’t mentally challenge you?

Really?

And then you’re going to balance everything in what way? By the use of magic? By hoping that decision fatigue is a myth? That you can somehow build enough self-restraint not to go crazy before the not-so-frowned-upon middle age crisis hits you?

Your job is your life. Your business is your life. Your family is your life. Your friends are a part of your life.

You have to make educated choices. That’s all life comes down to.

If you want to sacrifice your life to become the greatest photographer this world has ever seen, then you got to pay your dues. And that means losing friends, losing the opportunity to stupidify yourself in front of a TV every workday for three or four hours. It means dedicating your life to learning. It means dealing with a lot of haters and naysayers and people who’ll judge you. It means being single for longer than other people.

It means giving up comfort.

It means giving up on immediate pleasures.

You need to know these things, and then ask yourself, genuinely ask yourself, if you’ll enjoy the journey as much as the result, if not even more.

There is no balance. There is only satisfaction, and the trouble we must go through to find it.

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17 thoughts on “Warning: The “Work-Life Balance” Myth Is Ruining Your Life

  1. “There is no free time. You only have time. That’s it. Time. Small parts of your life, parts that you’re never getting back.”
    I agree man. This is one of the most pervasive myths that gives people like us a huge advantage. Christian I became single today because I had thoughts like these… “I’ve been watching netflix with my girlfriend 5 nights a week” …
    The default is failure. You are right, “No lives matter”. The average persons life means nothing

    You know what I’ve done? I bought 5 new books related to my field in the past week, started a blog, programming daily, because while every one of my peers is coasting along and being idle learners, I’m studying my ass off to get ahead.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Actually, yes
        You are right to assume programming is boring but that’s because most programmers are doing web-development, back-end or front-end development, devops, testing, systems. But the area I am headed is very intellectually stimulating and fun, I enjoy it a lot and it’s the space I can have the greatest impact in
        cheers, i may make a post in response to this

        Liked by 1 person

  2. “You want the dream, but not the hustle that comes with it. it. The dream is free, the hustle is sold separately.”

    Good one there. Before the beautiful fruits come, the hands got to be soiled. Work work work and work hard

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I do not agree. Being sedentary and not working towards your goals is destructive BUT it is not the same as working in one’s own timeline and progressing slowly but surely, enjoying the journey instead of obsessing over the goal.
    Not striking a work-life balance will only lead towards saturation and an unconscious resentment towards what might have been once been his passion. Think about the costs? Is unbridled passion and preoccupation with it to the extent that it starts exerting control over your entire life really worth it in the end? Here,I do not mean to say that passion is wrong. We humans are driven by passion and are prewired to excel in the things we are passionate about but the whole problem starts when this passion turns into an obsession, leading you to neglect everything else as you believe that excelling in it is the over-arching purpose of life. This is exactly where the work-life balance helps.
    Striking a balance, as you mentioned is indeed impossible,but aiming towards it is a definite possibility and it is not a myth.

    Like

  4. Thank you for this powerful piece Christian. I was feeling pretty crappy before I read it because I have a lot on my plate and on my mind today; your words bring life affirming tears to my eyes. I am okay. I’m here, I’m living my dream, and all the things that I take on are my choice, and I really appreciate you articulating this (for me).

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Couldn’t agree more. Work life balance is a mirage which people chase. True work life balance can be achieved only if you absolutely enjoy your work and it is your passion and you are ready to sacrifice a lot for it.

    Liked by 1 person

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