Successful and Happy: Achieving the Right Work and Life Balance

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Please welcome  Carlo Pandian who has written this guest post.

When you look at lists of the richest people in the UK one important factor stands out. The majority of people on the list have worked hard to earn their money. Often they have come from quite humble beginnings and through their own talents and dedication have transformed themselves into wealthy and powerful individuals.

Many of the richest people in the world have achieved their successful positions through hard work and single-minded ambition. This has often been at the expensive of their personal lives and many wealthy individuals have had well-documented problems including painful divorces and messy scandals.

Is it ever possible then to become successful in business and still achieve a healthy personal life?

What is a Healthy Work and Life Balance?

The creation of wealth for wealth’s sake offers little chance for a fulfilling life. Money can buy material things but it cannot alone provide that inner sense of peace and contentment which is essential for you to lead a happy and healthy life. However, money can be a path to happiness in that it can offer you opportunities to follow your passions and interests and support your loved ones.

Yet if you work solely for the accumulation of money without considering other physical, mental and spiritual needs then this can lead to a shallow one-dimensional life. Achieving the right work/life balance is about working hard, reaching your goals and also finding time to follow your passions and interests and sharing your life with family and friends.

Health is also important to happiness so don’t forget to look after yourself. A regular health assessment at the NHS; or at private clinics such as Blossoms Healthcare; is essential to pick up any problems early on and ensure you enjoy good health.

Doctors from the world-famous Mayo Clinic; advise a lot of important patients on achieving a healthy and balanced work lifestyle. They advocate the need to continually assess your priorities in life. This will help you to make positive changes that reflect your on-going business and personal needs.

Has Anyone Got it Right?

Looking at the biographies available it is clear that several big-name entrepreneurs do seem to have achieved a healthy work/life balance. These high profile businessmen and women have managed to succeed both in their professional and personal lives.  Names on this list include UK business powerhouse Sir Richard Branson, computer mogul Bill Gates and Facebook sensation Mark Zuckerberg.

If we look at Sir Richard Branson’s life in more detail we can see just how he has managed to achieve a successful work/life balance:

.  Sir Richard Branson is well-known for his frugal living. Although he made his first million by the age of 25 years his feet have remained firmly on the ground.

.  This seems to stem from his modest up-bringing in a typical middle class English family. Money was tight in his childhood and his parents worked hard and made sacrifices to support the family.

.  From these experiences Branson has maintained a healthy respect for money his whole life and deplores a wasteful, overly extravagant lifestyle.

.  Branson has stated that this idea of owning possessions as a pure luxury (that don’t bring in any money) is something he would ‘be embarrassed about’.

.  Although he does own a number of luxurious properties around the world they are nearly all available for rent or lease, thereby earning him money when he is not using them.

.  Branson does use his money however to invest in things he is really passionate about. This includes his ballooning company that although has never made him a profit has afforded him years of enjoyment.

.  Investing in his personal passions is a key way in which Branson has achieved a good work/life balance.

.  His private retreat Necker Island (also available to rent when the family is not in residence) is another key way of balancing his responsibilities with work and family.

.  This is where Branson goes to get away from his high profile life and get back down to the ground.

.  Branson has stated that this island is his ‘escape’ and if one day he had to get rid of everything else he owned; this island would be the one thing he would keep.

.  Sir Richard Branson shows that you can achieve success in both your professional and personal life as long as you keep focused on those things that are really important to you.

Over to You:

  • Is it possible to achieve the right work and life balance?
  • What methods do you use?
  • Please share your valuable view, experiences in comments box below.
  • Please also share this post on your favourite social and professional networks

About the author:

Carlo Pandian is an Organisational Development graduate at The University of London interested in occupational health, start-ups and technology. When he’s not online, Carlo loves cooking fancy meals and foraging wild edible plants in the countryside.

 

22 Comments
  1. Welcome Carlo to Hiten’s blog 🙂

    This is a very important topic to write about, especially for us bloggers who are working all the time online, as it makes us realize the importance of work-life balance we need in our lives.

    I agree, not everyone who is successful is happy, in-fact they are quite unhappy internally I feel because they have all got what it takes, yet their personal lives (I’m sure) takes a back seat. You can’t have your cake and eat it too like they say 🙂

    I guess someone has to pay the price for your success, unless you balance things out, and it’s mainly the family members or your personal life that suffers in the run. I like what all you shared about Sir Richard Branson’s life, who seemed to have worked on maintaining the right balance, which is very rare otherwise.

    Speaking of myself, I sometimes do face problems maintaining a work – life balance because of the work I do online, and unless I chalk out a routine for myself, or plan out my day about what I will do and will not do, things don’t really work! If I don’t do that, I would be doing things I shouldn’t be doing and that would affect my personal and family life, and who suffers – my family, and my kids. It makes only sense to prioritize the work and then proceed through the day.

    Thanks for sharing this with us. Have a nice day ahead, both of you. 🙂

    1. Hi Harleena,

      I totally agree with what you said about Carlo’s post being usefulfor people like ourselves who do a lot of our work online! I had the same thought when Carlo sent over his post for review.

      As you said, those people who are really successful, although they have huge amounts of wealth, unfortunately lack true wealth in terms of good family relationships and health. I believe each one of us can have a taste of this, ourselves. If we keep chasing external things, then sure we may get them, but if we haven’t sorted ourselves out from the inside and maintained a healthy balance by looking after our personal and family life, then we will always feel something is missing, even when we gain material things. Such things will never make us happy for a long time.

      I really appreciate what you wrote about creating a routine where we have planned out both our personal and professional life, as a way to ensure we are dedicated to balancing out both.

      Many thanks for your brilliant comment, Harleena! 🙂

  2. Definitely possible to achieve work-life balance but we have to prioritize it. We have to schedule work time and schedule non-work time. If not, many of us will allow our work to run our life. While I’ve tended to be a workaholic in the past, I’ve actively changed my life to work only during work times – not all times. Consciously stepping back was key for me.

    Thanks for sharing your insight Carlo.

    1. Hi Vishnu,

      Many thanks for adding your views to the discussion and it’s great to hear you believe it is possible to achieve a work-life balance.

      Yes, your opinion seems to be the same as Harleena’s above that it can be achieved only if one prioritises work activities and personal and family activities. I agree when you say if we don’t do this, then indeed, work will run our lives.

      I can relate to what you said about being a workaholic in the past. I’ve been the same and the truth is all it creates is unnecessary stress and anxiety.

      Thanks for adding your great insights and experiences, Vishnu. I much appreciate it.

  3. You know I never thought about the right work and life balance. I can understand that one can easily get carried away. You are right in saying that money cannot buy inner peace, you are absolutely right on this. Money does pay the bills and helps buy a lot of things but its all in the mind. One just needs to be happy in what they have.
    Its amazing how those entrepreneurs achieve a healthy work life balance. Many of them who are successful are successful in all their activities. I think its fully possible to be successful in business and still achieve a healthy personal life, its all about priorities and time management.

    1. Hi Shalu,

      I loved what you wrote in your comment!

      I totally agree with what you said. Money cannot buy inner peace. Those who believe it can, will end up spending many years chasing happiness through material gain and find out they are still unhappy. First we need to be happy and cherish what we have, no matter how big or small it is. The smaller, the better as it will help us to remain humble.

      It’s great to hear you opinion and how you believe a decent work and life balance can be achieved! As you said, it’s about ensuring we have got our priorities right and have managed our time well.

      Many thanks for your brilliant comment, Shalu! 🙂

  4. Hello Hiten, great post and very interesting. I would have to say success always comes with a price and in most cases it’s not always good. I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying money can’t but you happiness well it’s really the truth.

    Balancing your work life- is something so many people have trouble doing because they get warped up in their work and sometimes leave the most important things that matter the most their families.

    Thanks so much for a very interesting post my friend.

    1. Hi Rob,

      I’m so glad you enjoyed Carlo’s post, my friend.

      As you quite rightly said, great success often can come with a heavy price. I know a few senior businessmen who were very successful in their professional endeavours. However, they have all told me the same story. They wished they had spent more time with their families when they were younger.

      I think such stories are wake up calls for all us and prompts for us to ensure we consciously make effort at creating a healthy work and life balance.

      Many thanks for your great comment, Rob!

      1. Hello Hiten, you are most welcome, there’s no reason why we can’t include our love one in our successful lives also, it would make it even more worth while.

        Have a great weekend my friend….

        1. Hi Rob,

          Absolutely, I loved your attitude. As you said, there is no reason whatsoever why we can’t succeed with both our family and professional lives!

          Have a great week ahead!

  5. Carlo,

    I often wonder if there really is such a thing as work-life balance. It seems to never work out as such. Sometimes life requires more work than life and then it swings wildly to more life than work.

    I think it’s knowing when it’s time for work and when it’s not is the key to living not just a balanced life but a fulfilled life.

    1. Hi Joseph,

      Welcome to the blog!

      Many thanks for leaving your comment, which was very interesting. I guess there can be people in situations, where the balance sways to both extremes and as you said, sometimes one can spend longer periods working and then suddenly it is the opposite, where one is spending more time on his/her personal and family life. I think this would happen more so with mothers.

      I agree with what you have said. When we have set strong schedules for when to work and when not to, this will help us feel like we’re living more fulfilled lives.

      Thanks for leaving your insightful comment and adding to the discussion.

  6. Great post Carlo! I think true success is winning in both our personal and professional life. This of course requires living and maintaining a balanced life. Great examples!

    1. Hi Dan,

      I’m so glad you liked Carlo’s post!

      As you quite rightly said, real success is when we have won in both our personal and professional endeavours. I think during these times when people are so busy, we need to make as much effort as we can to ensure we are truly living a balanced life.

      Thanks so much for adding to the discussion, Dan!

      1. I agree, balance is important. With that being said their are time when we must focus more time and energy on one area of life more than the others due to the demand. This of course should only be short sprouts for example like when launching a book or having several speaking engagements. Then once those busy times pass we can then take time to focus in on the other areas of our life like family. Though we have to be careful still.

        1. Hi Dan,

          Many thanks for adding an additional dimension to this post. You’re right. Life is such that the balance will sway in a particular way depending on what our demands are at that time.

          I think being mindful about creating more balance once the busy period has passed, will help to ensure that we do actually do so.

          Thanks, Dan!

  7. HI Carlo,

    Welcome to Hiten’s blog.

    I really try to maintain the work-life balance but I learnt this the hard way. When I was in the job I use to overlook my social life and during that time I lost many of my friends as universal law of reciprocation applies everywhere, in friendship too.

    But I’ve started enjoying my social life for the last few months and I’m getting along with my friends now and this has really helped me a lot.

    I’m not too much for material things as I know too much is also less so my aim is to focus on work and building strong relationship as this is what matters in life.

    I want to be remembered as a good human being who was easily accessible rather than a rich person who doesn’t have time for her family and friends.

    Thanks Carlo and Hiten for this great share.

    Sapna

    1. Hi Sapna,

      Thanks so much for your awesome comment and sharing your experiences in this area!

      I can totally appreciate the point you made about the universal law of reciprocation applying to friendships, too. If we don’t make effort to spend time with our close friends and loved ones, then we risk damaging the relationships we have with them.

      It’s great to hear how you’ve been able to change your schedule now and spend more time on your social life and with your friends!

      I love the way you have used not being a material person as a way to make more effort to on building strong relationships. This is wonderful.

      Indeed, looking at life from the perspective of how we want to be remembered once we’re gone, is a great way to set our priorities right.

      Thanks for leaving your brilliant comment!

  8. I like to combine my work an my life, have them flow one to the other. They are not separate for me. My job is my life’s work. I do my life’s mission in every action I take.

    1. Hi Jodi,

      I loved your comment and what you wrote about your life being your job. This is such a beautiful and profound attitude.

      Thanks very much for sharing this with us.

  9. There’s a great discussions going on here. In particular, I would love to point out how we should stop from the influence of social media in the spare time, especially for those working in the digital industry. Achieving a great work-balance life is also being able to follow your passions and take care of the family.

    @Jodi: I found myself in my same situation where my free time is also contributing consistently to my work life

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