Warning: your belief in the so-called “work-life balance” 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 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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13 thoughts on “Warning: your belief in the so-called “work-life balance” is ruining your life

  1. “The dream is free; the hustle is sold separately.” That spoke to my soul on so many levels. I read that line, stopped reading and ran to comment. That says everything in a nutshell. You could have stopped writing after that and still said a mouthfull. Wow!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Life is work and work is liife. No two ways about that. You can’t have both on separate plates and go eat one small then come back and sniff a little at the other for THE balance. Work and life are siamese twins. Binge Netflixing and things like that only send people on a wild goose chase for some fantasies wrapped in phrases like you mentioned. No quick fixes. At the end of it all, those magic steps etc won’t lead to satisfaction if no dues are paid. You’ve said it all so philosophically. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Wow Cristian, very passionate words. At first I wasn’t sure that I agreed with your thoughts but then, I could see your point. So many lives are stuck in the muck. Hating their jobs, too tired to do anything fun. What a hamster wheel and for what? That is not living. It’s almost like waiting to die.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Life is that, sacrifice. Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. Action during those pivotal hours is the author of what becomes the storyline of life. Great exposure on a cultural myth; however, it is imperative to find an equilibrium between physical, emotional, and spiritual health in our endeavors to put our nose to grindstone and carry the burden of suffering that the crossroads of a dream can promote. Carpe Diem!

    Liked by 1 person

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