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Life's Balance

There is often a distinction made between work life and personal life. Some people seem to have the sense that we can compartmentalize one part of ourselves for work, and another for everything else. Work/life balance is one of the concepts discussed in this theme, as well as the idea that you can somehow leave work at the door when you walk into your home at the end of the day.

I'm not convinced that this is a sensible or realistic approach. To speak to an analogous situation in my life right now:

I've started training for a very long trail run in April 2020. One of the primary activities to train for a trail run is to spend time outside running on the trail – go figure! That said, if I just run on the trail day in and day out, it would be a highly ineffective approach to training. The specific workouts I do at the gym complement and augment my trail running. It's a separate activity, but the impact from my gym training cannot be completely compartmentalized and separated from the impact it has on my trail running. Sleep is a major contributor to recovery, diet plays a critical role, stress of any kind (including stress from work) has a material impact... the list goes on.

In the example above, I've used trail running as the lens, but one could easily flip this and use any aspect of your life. It seems clear to me that although we create these categories in our lives, it's a mistake not to see how interconnected they are. At the end of the day, we are whole humans, and what happens in one category of our lives will impact the others. The distinctions between these categories are helpful conceptually, but have very little basis in reality.

I want to encourage everyone to see the work challenges you encounter as life challenges. They are an opportunity for you to grow as a whole human, not as some business bot. As humans we're built and wired to engage in challenges, particularly challenges which require us to effectively coordinate with other humans to overcome.

High growth businesses are like a supercharged portal for your development as a human. Do you have insecurities? You can bet your bottom dollar that they will be touched on in a high-growth business. Do you have trust issues? I can guarantee those are going to be encountered in this environment. Are you a people pleaser? Woah, the opportunity for this to play out will happen again and again in a high-growth business. There is an opportunity for you at work to transcend these issues, which will have a positive spillover effect into all aspects of your life.

These are just a few examples, but the principle is what matters here. If you shift your mindset, and stop seeing work as some separate compartment from the rest of your life, it is the most incredible tool for your growth as a human.

Work isn't just something we do to earn money, rather, it's an activity we choose to do for our own growth, and to make a positive contribution to others.


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