COM­PLAIN­ING ABOUT YOUR POOR WORK-LIFE BAL­ANCE IS A SELF-IN­DUL­GENT ACT

Finweek English Edition - - MANAGEMENT -

The be­lief that our ul­ti­mate goal in life is to feel good makes no evo­lu­tion­ary sense. It stems from a dis­torted in­ter­pre­ta­tion of pos­i­tive psychology, which, in fact, fo­ments self-im­prove­ment and growth rather than nar­cis­sis­tic self-in­dul­gence. This mis­in­ter­pre­ta­tion ex­plains why so many peo­ple in the in­dus­tri­alised West­ern world seek at­ten­tion by com­plain­ing about their poor work-life bal­ance. It may also ex­plain the re­cent rise of the East vis-à-vis the West. You will not see many peo­ple in Asia com­plain about their poor work-life bal­ance, even though they of­ten work a lot harder. Un­em­ploy­ment and stag­na­tion are in part the re­sult of pri­ori­tis­ing leisure and plea­sure over work.

In short, the prob­lem is not your in­abil­ity to switch off but to switch on. This is rooted in the fact that too few peo­ple work in ca­reers that they en­joy. The only way to be truly suc­cess­ful is to fol­low your pas­sions, find your mis­sion and learn how to em­brace the work-life im­bal­ance.

Dr To­mas Chamorro-Pre­muzic is a pro­fes­sor of busi­ness psychology at Univer­sity Col­lege Lon­don, vice pres­i­dent of re­search and in­no­va­tion at Ho­gan As­sess­ment Sys­tems, and co­founder of metapro­fil­ing.com.

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