Seven Tips to Attain Purpose and Happiness in Life and Work - Slide 2

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Instead, think “purpose and passion.” It’s true that work/life balance is a topic that seems to be on many minds. But in many ways, a perfectly balanced life is a perfectly tepid life. How much balance do you think Bono has when U2 is on tour? What about an Olympic athlete preparing for a competition? Or the leadership team at Facebook? Probably not much, but their passion and purpose fuel them to work harder and longer with more joy and satisfaction in both work and life.

When your goal is to achieve work/life balance, you’ll be constantly disappointed and so will your loved ones. But when you approach every day with passion and purpose, whether you’re working long hours to prepare an important presentation or staying up late with your daughter to work on her science project, you can find joy and happiness in whatever it is you’re pursuing at that moment.

If there’s one thing that just about every IT professional on the planet can identify with, it’s the difficulty in striking a work/life balance. The nature of the job is such that not only is there no such thing as a 40-hour work week, there’s no such thing as a week in which you really know how many hours you’ll be working. So how on earth do you create a balance under those extraordinary circumstances?

According to workplace consultant and author Jon Gordon, you don’t. In fact, he says, you need to throw the idea of striking a work/life balance out the window, because it’s unattainable, and striving for it will lead to nothing but frustration and disappointment. Instead, Gordon advises that you think of it as establishing a natural work/life rhythm, much like the rhythm of the seasons.

Gordon, whose most recent book is “The Seed: Finding Purpose and Happiness in Life and Work,” has come up with a list of seven tips on how to attain that elusive goal.

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