Work-Life Balance is a Myth

When viewed in the context of philosophical or spiritual understanding, the notion of balancing work and life is an alien concept as it fails to fully capture the essence of a well-rounded and harmonious existence. The notion of having to balance work and life is certainly alien to the one who has reached a high level of self-realisation because the self-realised perceive life holistically without any rigid demarcations or fixations dividing time between work and non-work. To them, life is work and work is life, every act we perform is work, not an arduous chore.

To elaborate on this perspective let us see life with the eyes of the self-realised:

Driven by love and empathy for all beings, these individuals instinctively blur the line between work-related responsibilities and personal relationships because love and empathy see no divisions and are given unconditionally. We owe as much loyalty to our employer as we do to ourselves and our loved ones. To leave a sick child at home to go to work is not loyalty to our employer. We have the gumption to decide our prioritised actions. Love and empathy bear a magic pill and wisdom to guide us toward the right outcome.

In many spiritual and philosophical traditions, enlightenment is associated with transcending dualities and recognizing the unity of all aspects of life. The concept of “work” versus “life” is a duality that implies a separation between one’s professional and personal spheres – the root of conflict and strife. To the enlightened, this division may seem artificial because they see all of life as interconnected and integrated.

Enlightenment often involves a deep understanding and acceptance of the present moment. Instead of compartmentalizing life into work and non-work, enlightened individuals may choose to be fully present and engaged in whatever they are doing at any given moment. This means that when they are working, they are fully absorbed in the task, and when they are with loved ones or pursuing personal interests, they are equally present.

Enlightened individuals tend to live in alignment with their life’s purpose or higher calling. This sense of purpose doesn’t adhere to strict working hours or personal time boundaries. It’s a continuous, integrated expression of their values and mission, which may extend beyond traditional notions of work and leisure.

Work-life balance often implies the need to allocate time and effort to different aspects of life. For the enlightened, life flows effortlessly when they are aligned with their true selves and the natural rhythm of existence. In this state, they may find that they no longer need to compartmentalize their activities or struggle to maintain a balance.

To the enlightened, work is not seen as a burden or a separate domain but as an integral part of their purpose and expression of self. As a result, they may find joy and fulfilment in their work, making it an inseparable aspect of their overall life experience. “Scrubbing floor may be a tedious chore, but only until you begin to think about Heaven. Then it becomes your spirituality!”

For the enlightened, the very idea of “work-life balance” morphs into a myth, sparked by their profound grasp of life’s intricate interplays. They dance through each moment with vibrant presence, seamlessly aligning with a greater purpose. To them, spirituality imbues every facet of existence, artfully guided by a cosmic force that harmonizes the universe itself. After all, it’s this very force that orchestrates the cosmic symphony in perfect balance!

Happy life balancing!

Anil Kumar