Recently, I saw a conversation between three team members who were working out a stuck point at 1:30 A.M. As I read through it, my immediate thought was how dedicated the individual team members were to our company goals. As I considered the difference between those who want to achieve at a high level and those who NEED to achieve at a high level, one thing came to mind.
Work/life balance is a term used to refer to one’s ability to balance their personal and professional lives, and it’s usually looked at from the perspective of time. At the end of a day, you shut off work, and then at the start of the next day, you turn it back on. Because time is a quantitative measure, it is very easy to understand. And it’s true, of course, that having adequate rest is vital for achieving results. In terms of this understanding of work-life balance, a 1:30 AM conversation would be considered a failure. The disconnect between work and rest has broken down and soon leads to burn out. As technology enables us to remain connected after the work day is over, this balance can be harder to achieve.
Work/life harmony, however, happens when both personal and professional life are aligned toward the same purpose. It happens when a person understands how their presence in the world helps it grow. This presence is directly aligned with their values. When every professional action points toward their personal values, balance is no longer necessary. Harmony is natural. When they live to work and work to live, the hours are removed from the equation. Work and life become a mission and each step is a re energizing shot of dopamine. Because dopamine increases happiness, life is approached with a different mind. Getting out of bed with purpose feels like Christmas morning as they can’t wait to help the world grow. No longer is life measured by quantity (time) but instead by quality (results). They don’t look forward to going to a job, but instead to make a difference.
Confidence rises, results follow, and more importantly, they begin to take small risks. Failure in a purpose-driven person is a road map toward their goals. Why? Because they understand the larger picture. Small setbacks give them the knowledge needed to attain their life aspirations.
A purpose-driven team looks at how their goals will positively impact the world, whereas a quantitative team looks at goals purely from a numbers standpoint. When we are working toward something that we are proud to hang our hats on, attaining the numbers is a byproduct. There is no doubt that everyone will face adversity in life. But purpose-driven people see it as a stepping stone, whereas quantitative focused people see it as an annoyance. Just think about that last sentence, and you can feel the difference in your heart.
Working toward a purpose comes from us. Not others.
So ask yourself three questions:
– If I didn’t have to “work”, what would my life ambitions be?
– How do my work values align with these goals?
– How do I contribute toward this big picture, and how does it make me feel?
If you look hard at those achieving great things in their lives, the reason is likely not skill or intelligence. I would bet it’s not the money, although they likely have what they want. It’s because they work for a cause. They work to change the world.
The Purpose of Elliott Homes is “Creating a Place Where Life Gets Better”
What is your purpose? How does it align to your work?