Balanced =/= Sustained Happiness. We can work more than 40 hours a week.

Originally written and published on my monthly newsletter, November 04 2019

Controversial Opinion: I don’t think the “balance” in life often understood as spending half of your time working, and the other relaxing/resetting is what we should be striving for.

I think our view and understanding of balance is flawed. From a first-principles perspective, the objective of achieving “balance” is for people to experience a sustained amount of joy, and to prevent burnout.

I think that for most people, investing in the things that can help create this (taking care of hormones and your body via diet & exercise, meditating, working on something meaningful, investing in genuine relationships) every. day. is probably more stressful than it is joyful. Especially considering the difficulty of maintaining several habits at once.

I actually think “balance” can be subjective. The objective doesn’t always have to be trying to spend 50% of your time on work, and 50% relaxing. It can be healthy for people who love what they do to work 80-90% of the time, and then spend 10% of their time with friends and family, working out, meditating etc. The key here isn’t the amount of time you spend on both, but instead how present you can be while you’re doing both. My hypothesis is that if you know when to take breaks, take them, and can be present and reset during those breaks – you can avoid burn out and achieve this so-called “balance” life.

What do you think?

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