The Work/Life Balance Fallacy

When we were children, time didn’t occur to us. All our activities fit perfectly into the day. Unless the sun was going to bed, our time seemed endless, wistfully passing by.

Our parents dealt with our schedules, moving and shifting around hockey practices with dentist appointments. Our lives were handled in their responsible care and we were blissful.

Soon after, we matured into self-sustaining adults with our own work schedules and responsibilities. We began to focus on time; trying to fit all the minutiae tightly in.

Then, we became obsessed with time. We became obsessed with balance. It seems that most of us endlessly sought a balanced life.

However, the ‘balanced life’ does not exist.

One of life’s biggest lies is the notion of a balanced life. Nothing ever achieves absolute balance. Nothing.

Between professional and personal life, striving for that perfect balance is most peoples’ mislead goal that they find attainable without ever stopping to truly consider it.

This is tough to believe mainly because one of the most frequent mantras for what is missing in most lives is, ‘I need more balance.’ We hear about balance so much that we automatically assume it’s exactly what we should seek.

It’s not.

We should be seeking purpose, significance, and happiness, the qualities that persist in a successful life.

Seek those important qualities and you will more than likely live a life out of balance, crisscrossing an invisible middle line as you pursue those qualities.

Think of balance as the middle line, and out of balance when we’re away from it. Get too far and we’re now living in the extremes.

The persistent problem with the middle is that it prevents us from making extraordinary time commitments to anything. Stay here too long and our lives will grow stale and ordinary.

Stray away from the middle and we could get reckless, marginally living a terribly hard life, devoid of relationships, fond memories and love.

Knowing when to pursue the middle and the extremes is true knowledge. Results are achieved with perfect negotiation with your time.

The reason we should never pursue absolute balance is because the magic never happens in the middle.

Magic happens at the extremes.

The extremes are where we are truly tested in will and guts. Our strengths are galvanized towards a lifelong dream. We naturally understand that success lies at the outer edges, but we don’t know how to manage our lives when we’re out venturing.

When we work too long, our personal life suffers. We unfairly blame work when we say, ‘I have no life.’ Even when work doesn’t pose a threat, our personal lives can be filled with endless ‘have-tos’ that we, once again, reach the same conclusion, ‘I have no life.’

When we get bombarded by both sides – professional and personal – we face an imminent breakdown and once again proclaim, ‘I have no life.’

Time waits for no one.

If we stray too far to the extremes, chasing our professional lives, we forget to cherish the middle, the simple.

Sometimes our work schedules become overwhelming, but our belief is that if we work hard now, we can enjoy the fruits of labor later.

Push something to an extreme and postponement can become permanent.

We seem to believe that we can make up for lost time.

But do we really think that we can get back a child’s birthday or bedtime story? Is a party for a five-year old with imaginary friends the same as a dinner with a teenager with high-school friends?

In Click, Adam Sandler has an epiphany before death where he says, ‘family first.’ Realizing all the time he spent at work instead of with his family, gave him his biggest regret.

He couldn’t make up for lost time. He couldn’t find balance.

Time on one thing means time away from another. This makes balance impossible.

Finding the right amount is essential to our personal and professional lives. Through careful deliberation of our activities, we can slowly understand where our time is best spent.

We have to spend our time on what matters most to us, instead of scrambling with minutiae. We have to accept the fact that not everything can get done in our days, weeks, months, years, and lives.

We need to realize where our true passions and priorities lie in life. We need to separate all the important activities from the things we think are important.

Professional and personal success are measured equally. If we do not treat bodies with respect, our families and friends with respect, we suffer immeasurable in the latter.

If we do not achieve professional success, we feel defeated and depressed, bringing those feelings into our personal lives.

We must crisscross the invisible line, while simultaneously chasing purpose, significance, and happiness.

We must spend a little extra time sharing memories with our families and friends and being mindful of ourselves – our bodies and minds.

We must also focus on our professional goals by working our hardest – but not longest – and giving our entire being in that singular moment.

Balance cannot be achieved.

The art of counter-balancing is a more realistic goal. With everything that we do in our professional life, equal time must be spent in our personal lives, and vice versa.

When I die, I want to have the shortest list of regrets possible. With that in mind, making sure to be mindful of my body, treasuring my relationships and chasing professional success are goals, which are strived for equally.

Until next time, my beautiful readers,

Be bold, be free, and love on.

Symbol of scales is made of stones on the cliff
Symbol of scales is made of stones on the cliff

4 People We Must Avoid AT ALL COSTS.

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with” – Jim Rohn

Well, I think it’s more like ten to fifteen. The ten to fifteen people we see the most have the greatest impact on us.

Surrounding ourselves with positive people changes our perceptions. As our social groups encourages, pushes and lifts us up, our own system does the same for them.

Conversely, toxic individuals are completely exhausting to be around. When we surround ourselves with negative people, it will take a toll on our mind and body.

Eventually it seeps in and consumes us. Slowly, we become complainers, judgers, gossipers, and victims.

The distractions and emotional baggage that toxic people bring into our lives are unnecessary obstacles that we must inevitably cross.

We all know a few toxic people – they might be our distant co-workers, family spouses, or our closest friends. Even a modicum of regular contact with these people influence our decisions and thought processes.

The sooner we remove them from our lives, the better. Here are four toxic individuals that we must avoid at all costs.

The Complainers

It seems that everyone has something to complain about. Even when life is completely amazing, these individuals find something to rant about – the weather, crime rates, global warming, etc.

Even for trivial issues, these individuals find something. It seems that they create problems when everything seems to be great, just to possess the right to complain.

As we consume others’ complaints, we forget how good our lives are and we begin to create problems out of thin air.

Avoid The Complainers at all costs.

The Judgers

Judgmental people will find a way to criticize anything and everything they come in contact with. They draw conclusions without understanding all the facts.

These individuals believe that they’re right in every situation. They feel like they have the right to impose their views on others.

No matter what we say to these individuals, nothing can be changed. Save your breath and your life.

Avoid The Judgers at all cost.

The Gossipers

People gossip because they feel insecure with themselves and their lives. They cannot separate fact from speculation and when facts twisted, wrong information is spread out, and peoples’ feelings get hurt.

Gossiping can quickly change a friendly environment into a hostile environment. As people begin to gossip to us, we should change the subject or ignore them completely.

We must ask ourselves, ‘do I want to partake in hurting someone’s feelings?’

The answer to that question should always be a resounding ‘no.’

Avoid The Gossipers at all cost.

The Victims

These individuals never take responsibility for their actions. They are constantly making excuses or blaming others for their mistakes and wrongdoings.

They feel like the world has a personal vendetta against them and choose to lie down and give up.

As these individuals experience further turmoil, it’s just more reason to play the damaged victim.

When you surround yourself with these people, you internalize a victim attitude. You begin to perceive the world as evil and never accept responsibility for your actions.

Avoid The Victims at all costs.

The Four

If any of these toxic individuals ring a bell, there is a high chance that you have one or more of these people in your life.

These four individuals consume our minds from the inside, out. As we constantly receive their messages, we start to identify with people.

When we turn into these people, we start to negatively impact those that close with us.

Pessimism breeds more pessimism.

However, the same can be said for optimism. As we surround ourselves with optimistic people, we, in turn, become optimistic. We spread our positive energy to those closest to us.

Pessimism and optimism are a choice. Which one do you choose to surround yourself with? Which one do you choose to spread to the rest of the world?

Until next time, my beautiful readers,

Be bold, be free, and love on.

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The Recalibration Technique

Habits control every aspect of our entire lives. What time we wake up in the morning to what we consume daily to whether or not we binge eat those cookies are all governed by habits.

What is a habit?

A habit is a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.

As we continually do the same activities every day, our brain becomes accustomed to the same stimulation. It forms strong neural connections, which makes the activity easier and easier to occur.

Eventually, our brain conducts itself automatically. It chooses to take the shortest, simplest path to immediate gratification.

Binge eating cookies is just an automatic habit because our brain knows we love cookies. Smoking cigarettes when we’re stressed are automatic patterns that our brains use because at one time we used cigarettes to cope with stress.

Building strong effective habits are the foundation for a stable healthy lifestyle. But today, we’re not going to focus on my unhealthy addiction to cookies or someone’s unhealthy coping mechanisms.

Instead, let’s talk about the Recalibration Technique

Everyone has goals and aspirations that they want to achieve. We have dreams that garner all our attention and energy but over time we dwindle, until our dream is left stranded.

But when was the last time we sat down and consciously thought and put purposeful energy towards our purpose?

From time to time it’s worthwhile to stop and take stock of our lives. But it seems we only do this practice towards the beginning or end of a year.

To deepen our understanding of our purpose we must first learn lessons from the past and move with purposeful action towards the future. We must continue to refocus our lives and slowly build clarity of our purpose.

The Recalibration Technique provides a framework to build focus and clarity. Through these two simple questions that we developed, we are able to recalibrate our minds when we falter.

1) Am I purposefully using my time and energy towards my dream?

With the constant hustle of life, it can be hard to focus on our purpose and ourselves. We get lost in the fast lane, as life passes us by.

We should ask ourselves this question to refocus our life and make small steps towards our passions. Aim to move towards your goal by just 1% each week.

If you want to write a book, write just one paragraph (or page) a day. If you want to paint a masterpiece, just do a few strokes a day. If you want to learn, sing, or act, just make some small moves by reading, humming or roleplaying every day.

Every day is a new day to move closer to your dreams. Use it appropriately.

Without a clear understanding of where our lives are heading and when we will achieve it, we are just wasting our most precious resource – energy.

2) Where can I expend less energy to spend more on my dream?

Everyday we are constantly bombarded with mind-numbing tasks. People want our energy and time and we allow them to steal it without batting an eyelash.

Refocus your spare time and energy towards your goal. Ask yourself where you frequently compromise your time. Where do you frequently consume negativity because you feel like you are stuck in a situation?

We are never stuck in any situation. We choose to be in the current situation through our mindsets and perceptions.

Which situation or action can we desist to pursue more purposeful actions towards our happiness and dream? When can we say a resounding ‘No’ to the negative energy, people and situations in our lives to pursue the positive counterparts?

Your choices and decisions make up whom you are. Chose them wisely.

Here is your mission if you choose to accept it:

Ask yourself these two simple questions once a week and slowly move towards once a day. Take some time, find a quiet spot and write or type your way through the answers.

The Recalibration Technique is intended to help you live with greater purpose and more passion. As the habit is solidified, your brain will constantly refocus your life and will take the shortest, easiest path towards it.

Until next time, my beautiful readers,

Be bold, be free and love on.

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Recharge Your Life Through A Quote

I tend to stay away from fiction novels. I can’t visualize what’s happening. I don’t have a very active imagination.

Recently someone recommended Coelho’s The Alchemist. I haven’t been able to put it down. This novel is a masterpiece. Every single page has at least one quote that resonates with me.

How is it that Coelho can create something, where everything he writes is a quote? I don’t think anyone is quoting us anytime soon.

Quotes can be incredibly powerful for our lives. They are able to inspire, change, and challenge us.

Quotes can inspire us.

They’re able to make us garner all our energy toward a singular goal. They’re able to make us fight for something we believe in. 

“There is only one way to learn. It’s through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey.”

Only through diligent consistent action can we learn and improve. Let us strive to be our best selves.

Within us lies unimaginable strength and will, if we only unlocked it. Let us have a positive unshakeable mindset, as we chase to be the strongest version of ourselves.

Quotes can change us.

They are able to alter our mindsets and allow us to view life in a different perspective.

“At a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and ours lives become controlled by fate. That’s the world’s greatest lie”

We’re told that fate and luck governs our lives. We’re told we can’t help what’s happening to us and ‘everything happens for a reason.’

However, most often than not, we can change. We can alter our lives and regain our personal freedom. We possess the ability to decide where our passion lies and which road to walk.

Quotes can challenge us.

They are able to test our strength and willpower. They are able push us to our limits. All the personal growth we’ve experienced as a human being has been a result of a real challenge.

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”

Before, 2HelpfulGuys, we’ve failed at everything. We started organizations that tanked and projects that flopped. But that fear of failure never stopped us.

Each time we failed, we’d try something else. Everyone possesses the power of perseverance – the power to push forward to the very end despite failure.

Failure is necessary.

But the fear of failure prevents us from ever starting. We foresee the future and all the horrible things before we even take our first step. We get scared and run away.

In achieving our dreams, we must overcome the fear of failure. We possess the power to look beyond failure and persevere.

It is these moments that our concentration was galvanized, our best efforts called upon, and our strength, will and courage tested.

Quotes have the ability to impact our lives. We read quotes every single day for an inspirational recharge or a motivational boost. We can place ourselves in the author’s mindset and experience their feelings.

When we allow the quote to set within us, it changes the way we perceive life. We’re more open, engaged, present and fulfilled.

I wonder if our work has impacted anyone out there yet. I doubt it. But maybe someday, someone will read something we write, and it will resonate with them as much as The Alchemist has resonated with me.

Reading this novel has made me want to delve into other fictitious works. So if anyone has any recommendations, feel free to leave a comment.

As always, my beautiful readers,

Be bold, be free and love on.

the-alchemist

6 Easy Tips To Simplify Your Life

Is your day-to-day life full of stress and chaos?

Are you scrambling for a brief peaceful moment in the day just to relax? There is just too much each day to worry about, keep track off and deal with.

Everyday, we’re plagued with the trials and tribulations of life. We’re put to the test and forced to deliver. If we don’t, we disappoint someone, or worse, ourselves.

Amidst the chaos, it can be hard to find a peaceful moment. So then, what is the solution? It is quite simple – simplify your life.

We’ve compiled some of our best tips to help you simplify your life. We use these on a day-to-day basis and it grants us perspective and allows us some quiet in the chaos.

1) Believe in Yourself

You are your own worst critic. You are your own judge and jury. What you think about yourself directly affects how you feel and act.

Strive for a positive mindset. Look for the good in every person and every situation. Sometimes it’s hard to find. But the harder it is to find, the greater the reward.

However, at the same time, realize that you are just human. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself when you don’t accomplish a goal. There is no perfect person.

Instead, call it day and reset tomorrow. Every day is a new day to start believing in yourself again.

2) Be Grateful

Something we do on our worst days is a ‘Be Grateful’ list. We list all the things that we’re glad to have in lives. We usually aim for 10.

Sometimes it is hard to find things to be grateful for.

But, even through our worse times, there is always something. Dig deep and search. When we have a questionable day, we write down anything that comes to mind.

Here are a few for today. I’m Grateful for:

  • The ability to breathe
  • The ability to think and feel
  • The sunshine that gives me energy and life
  • Clean water

We often take for granted the simple things in life. These simple ‘gratefuls’ are often overlooked but they matter the most.

We don’t miss something until it is completely gone. We never know when we’ll lose the ability to breathe or think and feel the sunshine. So, let us cherish it while it’s still in our lives.

3) De-clutter Your Life

Naturally we are simple beings. We grew up knowing only the simple pleasures. It’s not until recently that the latest cellphones and biggest televisions consumed us.

Now, we’re consumed by physical trash. We’re surrounded by more and more clutter that prevents us from every feeling truly happy.

We start to attach our happiness to frivolous items that fade. As the item fades, our happiness fades along with it. Then. we purchase more clutter to attach and sustain our happiness.

In order to achieve some clarity in our lives, we must first de-clutter our space and then de-clutter our minds. We must shed the attachment to shiny items.

We must reduce, cut back and simplify. Throw away anything you haven’t used in the last 6 months.

You’ll start to realize that the less you have, the less you’ll want.

4) Use Everything in Moderation

One time I ate too many oranges (because they are good for you) and I got a sore throat for 2 weeks. Even vitamin c is bad is large doses.

Too much of anything – good or bad – will wear us down. Whether it’s work, socializing, eating, shopping or television, eventually it will take its toll on us.

Practice self-restraint and you will achieve some piece of mind. When we go overboard with anything, the consequences are always negative.

5) Limit Complaints

When were you on the tail end of a chronic complainer? No matter what seems to happen, this person has something to complain about. How did you feel hearing all of his/her complaints?

Complaints are always a negative reaction to a situation. Complainers are chronic negative people that can’t see the positive.

Limit your complaints, or better yet, avoid it all together. Try to avoid complaining for an entire day. When you catch yourself, stop and change the topic.

You can be one of two people: a problem person or a solution person. Are you going to whine about your issues or are you going to deal with or fix your problem?

6) Self-Reflection

Almost everyone has a few moments when they’re laying in bed at the end of the night. But how often do we get lost in our own thoughts.

Use these last moment of the night to reflect. Ask yourself questions about your day:

  • Was I the best I could be today?
  • Could I have helped someone more?
  • Did I do something of importance or significance?

Spend some time today constructing your own meaningful questions. If you fail a question, strive for it the next day. Always aim to improve.

Aim to feel happier, be more fulfilled and grow endlessly.

Until next time, my beautiful readers,

Be bold, be free and love on.

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