Work-Life Balance has become some kind of a cliche, and the more it figures in our talks, the less we seem to have of it.

To begin with, the name itself is a misnomer. Work is a part of life, how can we balance a part with the whole and is it not vain and futile to even try to do that ? What is actually aimed at, is a Work Life-Personal Life Balance, or more briefly and correctly, Work-Family Balance or Integration.

But even that becomes unnecessary as a struggle when we have the right attitudes, rooted in right values which create right perceptions. We do not need to get the happy balance in our lives, we merely have to remove the unhappy imbalance that is there in our minds. Stephen Covey knows it when he says, 'the way we look at the problems, is the problem'.

We should realize that so long as people do not get along with themselves (which they won't until they take time to know and like themselves), they can never get along well with others. For, who can get along easily with a stranger - whether within or without ? It is all about Self-awareness.

Nor is this balance about distributing hours, even admitting that working overtime regularly would naturally create an imbalance. These days most people have long working hours topped by an insane commuting time, so how many hours can be spent with family anyways, since the day,in the face of all technological marvels, still remains just 24 hours ?

But love and care are matters of hearts, not hours ; two people can stay together for a life-time and remain strangers. As a matter of fact, most people are strangers even unto themselves. The key is, where quantity is lacking, quality can surely compensate. If there be love, a sense of belonging and understanding, a balance will always strive to manifest itself. Our life is as we think, it is the result of choices we make everyday ; we need to work at that basic level of thought and perception. The sun of true intuitive understanding ever glows within each of us ; we merely have to remove the clouds of ego and ignorance in our thinking and perceiving process, to have the light shine forth.

Let us remember that it is not how long we work that stresses us, but the way we look at and treat it, and also our inability to enjoy it with a happy role-playing detachment. Like the ocean in turmoil at the surface but calm and serene deep down, our outer activity has to be anchored in an inner tranquility. Our technology is giving us a crazy speed ; it must keep pace with the inner sense of direction, too. We need to make 'pause, ponder and pray' our daily discretionary mental habit.

Unless we learn to do that, even our personal life which we are trying to side with in the name of work-life balance, will be a stressor - like at workplace, we shall have conflicts in personal life as we already do. Then,where shall we go ? Are we finding a solution or an escape ? Unless we have balance in our values, balance in our mental attitudes, there can be no balance in our living. Unless we choose balance in our values, thoughts and aspirations, i.e. within us, how is there going to be one outside ? We can eventually only live 'inside out'.

Work, like love, is probably the most beautiful expression of life - rightly done, it can be as liberating as meditation. That can happen only when we bring our heart to our work and enjoy what we do - no matter how modest the work may be ; that's when all the barriers will melt away. Role-role conflicts may occasionally surface but they will always be manageable for a mind that is anchored within.

Life, my Master Paramahansa Yogananda, author of 'Autobiography of a Yogi' ( and taught us, "is a joyous battle of duty and at the same time a passing dream". We take our roles too seriously, with a crippling sense of egoistic doership,so we fail to play them well. To consider Work and Personal Life, two important departments of life, first as rivals, and then to try juggling and balancing them out, is a self-defeating fallacy.

We must stop working like 'slaves' merely slogging for livelihood, which will inevitably happen when we work just for money. Money is not evil, but to work for money alone, certainly is an evil drudgery. With that attitude there can neither be a feeling fulfillment at workplace, nor happiness in personal life.

Work life and personal life are complementary to each other, not opposites. We do not need to balance them ; we need to balance our minds.


Be Calmly Active & Actively Calm -- Sri Paramahansa Yogananda, author of 'Autobiography of a Yogi'

Author's Bio: 

Founder-President, Holistic Health & Luminous Learning Inc.,Noida,India
Yoga-aided Spiritual-yet-scientific Training for Body-Mind-Soul
Website : ; mail :