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