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The Surprising Thing Others Expect from You

ug_of_war.jpgBigg success is life on your own terms. When we talk with people about their biggest challenge in living their lives on their own terms, one of the most common responses involves work – life balance in one way, shape or form.

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The tug-of-war

For many of us, it’s a perpetual tug-of-war. We love our family. We thoroughly enjoy our time with friends. We relish time to ourselves.

But we also love the work we do. We take pride in our accomplishments. Rightly so.

But we’re only human. We can’t be two places at once.

The result? We’re not as happy as we should be. We’re not completely fulfilled.

It may cause feelings of guilt. Depending on where the knot is in the tug-of-war we’re playing – which side is getting more attention – we may feel guilty about not giving enough attention to the other side.

When we’re at work, there are times when we may feel guilty about not being home. When we’re home, we may feel guilty at times about not working. It seems like a no-win situation!

The sacrifice

Research shows in our effort to have it all we’re sacrificing something that’s very important to our well-being: sleep.

So we end up dragging at work. Or we’re spent before we get home. By the time we get there, have dinner and do some household chores, we only have enough energy to crash on the couch.

But we keep pushing. Day after day, we push to the point of exhaustion until, finally, something inside of us says, “Enough!”

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The surprising thing

Stewart Friedman is a Professor at Wharton and the author of a fantastic book on leadership. It’s called Total Leadership: Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life.

In his research, he has uncovered an answer to this work – life balance problem. It has to do with a surprising thing others expect from you. They expect … drum roll please …

Less!

Dr. Friedman’s research shows that other people expect a lot less of us than we think they do. In many cases, they’re not the ones putting the pressure on us. We’re putting undue pressure on ourselves!

You are the entrepreneur of a very important enterprise – your life. Just like any entrepreneur, communication with your key stakeholders is crucial.

  • Talk about expectations. Great entrepreneurs have these conversations with their employees. They talk about expectations with their investors. Follow that example – have a conversation about expectations with the key stakeholders in your life.
  • Discuss options. Ask for their help in discovering options so you meet their expectations.
  • Reach an agreement about respective participation in each other’s lives. Think of it as a service level agreement.

You’ll come away with a clear understanding of the expectations the most important people in your life have of you. Then you can focus on scheduling your days to meet those expectations. Or better yet, exceed them. After all, this is the community for bigg goal-getters!

Thanks so much for the gift of your time today.

We’ve heard over and over again that money can’t buy happiness. Please join us next time when we ask, “Can happiness buy money?”

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00445-072409.mp3

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Flipping Work Life Balance

Taking Time Off to Get More Done

Why Work Life Balance Doesn’t Work

(Image in today's post by KevinKLuu)