Saturday, March 2, 2013

Life-work balance, a paradoxical word

Recently, I sometimes hear the word “Life-work balance”.

I do not know whether you use this word or not in other countries.
In Japan, all men worked hard at highly developing age after WW II to 1970s. Industriousness was a great virtue. I remember that a popular commercial song said “Do you work 24 hours?” in my childhood.

However, the sense of values had changed gradually since 1980s. Some people died after overwork. Women were struggling to get a high class job to fail.
And price bubble occurred in 1988. Some people spent enormous money for worthless purpose. A lot of people borrowed money to buy land.
In 1991, Japan bubble corrupted. Japan began to wander in economic maze. Over 30,000 people committed suicide in a year.

And now, we have not escaped from severe depression yet. Prime Minister Mr. Abe promises to save Japan from fiscal crisis. But the prognosis is unknown.

Now, not a few people take account on life-work balance.
I guess one of the reasons is that we know to make the effort is not always successful.
“Money does not make us happy. Effort does not bring money to us.”
“Do not work so hard. Attach greater importance to quality of life of you.”
So life work balance is important, they say.

However, I am doubtful for this kind of thought above.
From the beginning, life and work are not opposite concepts to each other. Of course, work is a part of life. If you thought that work was apart from life, you would be a ghost at work time!

There are three components in human life. They are, work, family and hobby. Moreover, one-third of life is sleeping. Then work cannot be independent from life itself. It is only one-fourth of life. The problem is how to deal with it.

Second, so called successes are all workaholic. Their “life-work balance” is distorted. Should you not copy them? My answer is “Yes”. If you hope for success, you must distort some balance of your life. It makes your own life unique.
Successes mean they control their life for their own desire. They cannot think about life-work balance.

Drop your balance. And you will do you should do.

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