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The Juggling Act: Navigating Career Peaks without Neglecting Life Valleys

One cannot be truly happy and satisfied if your life is in shambles because of your work. Work life balance is not a contractual agreement between work and life. We need to develop a reflexive stance where we recognize that it is an ongoing endogenous accomplishment. This requires introspection and increased self-awareness. We have to redefine our priorities and the measures of success. Is the true amount of success measured in terms of material wealth? Or does it lie in nurturing emotional and spiritual aspect of life? In our search for more physical comfort have we neglected our soul and spirit? These dichotomies have led to an increase in stress, frustration and a feeling of deprivation in life.

To create a harmonious relationship between work and life we must realize that there is no one time fix it is a continuous process depending on the circumstances and priorities that evolve as we progress in our life’s journey. In our effort to find easy solutions we have tried to create a fragmented silo oriented life forgetting that life encompasses a bigger picture and actually a holistic understanding can resolve the issues.

Only when we get down from the treadmill of work and take a mental pause will we be able to evaluate the significances and sacrifices. This evaluation will help us to question the work style and personal life. We are not immortal and therefore time needs to be utilized in the best possible manner so that there are no unforgivable regrets. Let us learn to love our work and also ourselves. We have been blessed with an intelligent brain that offers us options of breaking free from shackles some actual some imaginary. The tradeoffs then will become easier as you will own the decision. Your locus of control will be inside not outside.

Leadership positions demand that we have a good balance of Intelligence Quotient, Emotional Quotient and Spiritual Quotient then only can we create a vision for the organization and for ourselves. While hard skills are very important the soft skills are needed to create a compassionate work place and home (not a house). Professionalism is not about just success at work it involves a broader concept of success in life where there is collaboration between the two not competition. The synergistic relationship will help us to achieve our work targets without feeling burnout and unsuccessful. One would actually feel more empowered, integrated and harmonious.

The concept of empowerment has many dimensions and all need to be addressed to achieve true empowerment that enables all to realize their full identity, rights and freedom to make decisions in all spheres. (UNDP Report 1995). The Report noted that overall development of the human beings cannot be achieved without empowering women. The report emphasized that if development is not engendered, is endangered. The sustainable peaceful development of any nation is dependent on a well-balanced human development governance. As women let us stop running the race of the male dominated world and believe that: Women are always saying, ‘We can do anything that men can do.’ But men should be saying, ‘We can do anything that women can do.’ (Gloria Steinem).

By Dr. Madhumita Chatterji, Director- ABBS School of Management

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