Did you ever want to just pack it in, sell everything you own, and have the freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want? Kathleen Osness, CMT, has done exactly that.

I’m not talking about someone who’s reached retirement age (she’s not even close), or who’s made a killing in real estate. Kathleen is a member of the fastest-growing segment of the workforce: knowledge workers. She makes a modest living working two days a week as a certified massage therapist, in addition to her part-time duties in the Air National Guard. After all, when you sell everything and live in an RV, you quickly find out you can get by on a lot less. And you have none of the worries that Harry and Harriet Homeowner do: lawn care, property taxes, wailing sirens, barking dogs, traffic jams, graffiti, you name it.

Most of her time is spent in the crisp, clean air of the Colorado Rockies: hiking, camping, and water skiing. Whenever she feels like it, she gets in her RV, and takes off. Where to? Anywhere. Out there. That-a-way.

Don’t look for her website, either. She doesn’t have one. Doesn’t need one. At least not on this part of her journey through life.

I met Kathleen at a conference, where new ways of educating the military workforce were being introduced. Like iPods. We talked about the changes that were happening. Then we discussed the fate of so many who remain trapped in the old ways. Stuck in the pursuit of financial gain. Burning the candle at both ends. Trying to make senior-level rank. Although they live in affluent suburbs and high-rise condos, they are pitifully unhappy. Visiting the shrink every week. Popping anti-depressants.

Solving the problems of the 21st century demands that we have all of our faculties. We need every ounce of creativity we can muster. What are you doing to provide a creative environment for yourself, for your family, or your employees? They need time to learn. To think. To innovate. To experience. To get creative. And they can’t do it in the pressure cookers we call offices. Same goes for neighborhoods.

To survive in a global knowledge economy, you don’t need to sell everything and live in an RV like Kathleen. But you can find plenty of worn-out Industrial-Age baggage you can shed. Those albatrosses which are dragging you down, holding you back, stressing you out. Draining not only your productivity, but your creativity as well.

Try this one for size: Has the growth in your well-being kept pace with the growth in your paycheck? We will always need money, but maybe not as much as we thought. In a knowledge economy, there are many different forms of capital. Relationships. Knowledge. Well-being. Fulfillment.

What does your work-life balance sheet look like?

Author's Bio: 

For over twenty years, Dr. Art Murray has helped organizations transform themselves into knowledge enterprises. A knowledge engineer by trade, he has the unique ability to capture and grow deeply embedded institutional knowledge. His lifelong passion is building the Enterprise of the Future, a new business model for competing in a global knowledge economy. His many clients include government agencies, non-profit organizations, and companies of all sizes. He is CEO of Applied Knowledge Sciences, Inc., and Chief Fellow at the George Washington University Institute for Knowledge and Innovation, where he is also Co-Director of the Enterprise of the Future Program. His many board memberships include the Billion Minds Foundation, Going Global Ventures, Inc., and numerous other international corporations and non-profit organizations in the fields of science, integrative medicine and organizational learning. He is a keynote speaker, an editorial board member and reviewer for several scientific journals, and has been featured in numerous trade publications and radio programs. He holds the D.Sc. and M.E.A. degrees in Engineering Administration from The George Washington University, and the B.S.E.E. from Lehigh University.