There’s an inner conflict so common that it’s practically a cliché. Someone works hard because they love their job and it gives them meaning. On the other hand, they want to spend more time with their family.
Maybe this isn’t your conflict. It might look similar, though. Work versus study. Family versus me-time. Reading classic works of literature versus writing one.
There’s only so much time to go around, so how to you divide it up?
The common advice is to go for “work-life balance” or something similar.
Sure, go for that if you want.
It’s your loss.
Because if you were to find this balance, you might be tempted to settle for it.
Whereas if you kept looking… and I mean really looking… you’d find something a whole lot better.
Here’s how to look beyond a balanced life:
Keep the situation clear in your mind. You want to do X and you also want to do Y. Think on this as you put yourself into a hypnotic trance.
And let yourself go as deep as you like.
In a trance state, your mind is open to all sorts of possibilities. There are no limits here. You can think new thoughts without being railroaded into the old ones.
You’re in the right place. You need new thoughts.
Ask yourself: what does X do for me? In the classic example of work versus family, what does working do for you? Is it a sense of pride, accomplishment, power, fulfilment? Are you driven by financial concerns or do you like solving puzzles?
Exploring why you like doing what you like doing can be interesting. Often it’s so obvious that we like something that we stop wondering why we like it.
Don’t stop wondering. Explore what drives you.
Then repeat the exercise for the other side – for example, family. I know it might be strange to ask why you like spending time with them – they’re your family, after all.
Ask anyway. There are hundreds of reasons why someone might love their family.
Motivation is more complex than you might think.
When you have your answers – and you might realise that both sides want the same thing – then use your trance state to explore. Among the infinite possibilities that would better satisfy these drivers, which appeals to you the most?
Sure, you can balance your life. You can compromise one aspect to appease another. Or you can dig deep to find something truly worth pursuing. Something that naturally satisfies every part of you.
No balance required.
Of course, I glossed over how to put yourself in a hypnotic trance.
That’s the easy part (once you know how).
And if you want to learn how… well, that’s where this eBook comes in. Read about it if you want to learn how to align your life to your true values: