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5 Ways to Achieve and Maintain Work-Life Balance

April 19, 2013
Achieving balance between work and your personal life can make you feel richer than any salary increase.

Many American workers overwhelmed by stressful, hectic work schedules are searching for way to achieve both happiness and professional satisfaction. According to Gary Kunath, an entrepreneur, speaker and former CEO who works with some of the world’s top corporations and business schools, the answer can be found through work-life balance.

“I used to be caught up in the spin cycle of thinking that net worth automatically afforded me life worth,” said Gary Kunath, author of the book Life ... Don't Miss It. I Almost Did: How I Learned To Live Life To The Fullest. “I sacrificed time with my family with the justification that I was providing necessary material things, but at a certain point you realize that money doesn’t make you rich, it just allows you to buy more stuff.”

According to Kunath, priorities have shifted for many U.S. workers, who desire family well-being above all else. In fact, 70 percent of professionals said they would trade a pay raise for an increase in personal wellness. Employers would be well served to make a positive impact on their employees’ lives, both inside and outside the workplace, he added.

5 Steps to Work-Life Balance

Kunath offers five ways career-minded individuals can achieve both professional success and personal fulfillment:

1. Look for signs you’re falling into the net-worth trap. For Kunath, those signs were clear on the day his 12-year-old son walked away in dismay when Kunath said he was too busy working to play baseball. “The look of disappointment on my son’s face was something I will never forget,” he said.

2. Don’t be an employee, be employable. Unless you are self-employed, you are always vulnerable to someone else controlling your professional destiny and, therefore, your life worth. But employees can empower themselves by diversifying their skills so that they can have more choices about where and for whom to work.

3. Bad things happen to good people. Adversity finds us all. No one enjoys the worst, most painful moments of their lives. Nonetheless, life events like loss of a loved one, financial ruin, divorce, addictions or illness tend to define us. We need adversity in our lives. Anyone can be a rock star when life is perfect. But when adversity strikes, then the “real” you is revealed. How you face adversity can either extinguish you or distinguish you.

4. Believe in something bigger than you. There will be times when you are utterly helpless, with no control over an outcome. All the money in the bank and all the authority at work will do no good when it comes to, for instance, the death of a loved one. Believing in something bigger than you is an important part of having life worth; it helps you maintain your emotional health when you face life’s biggest challenges.

5. Don’t major in the minors. As Henry David Thoreau wrote, “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” For every evening spent late in the office, there are moments professionals miss out on – and can never get back. Many of us spend time on things that ultimately don’t matter. “The three greatest gifts you can give to your family are: time, memories and tradition,” Kunath said. “These are things in life that matter.” 

Source: News and Experts

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