Lie: Work/Life Balance Matters Most
Truth: Live-in-work matters most
We think the authors really hit their stride when they focus on the meta-work subjects and how to think about pulling those out of your team.
"Burnout isn't the absence of balance, but the absence of love."
Work is hard, the only way to do it sustainably is to have areas of work that you love. The number doesn't have to be that high - only around 20% and it's not a cure-all, because work is hard. BUT, if you love a good chunk of your work, you are most likely to be able to do it successfully and sustainably over time AND you avoid much of the downside like burnout and all of the healh-related issues that come along with it.
This chapter really spoke to me. I feel like I am most balanced in my life when I am professionally exhausted. I don't even need 40 hours a week to do that, but I need something interesting and challenging and difficult to work on with a sufficient degree of autonomy. If I don't have that in my professional life, I've found that my personal life suffers - even if I don't have that much on my plate.
"This person didn’t find this work—she didn’t happen upon it, fully-formed and waiting for her. Instead, she made it. She took a generic job, with a generic job description, and then, within that job, she took her loves seriously, and gradually, little by little and a lot over time, she turned the best of her job into most of her job."
"She tweaked and tweaked the role until, in all the most important ways, it came to resemble her—it became an expression of her. You can do the same. "
This is very much tied to strengths, this idea of leaning in on those, expressing them, growing them. This is the key that unlocks professional love.
Autonomy/Mastery/Purpose - Dan Pink and Cal Newport talk a lot about this. They would argue following your passions is silly. The probability that you have a passion that you are born with, that is something you are good at, will love for your entire life, and is actually useful are slim. They argue you build passion over time by building strength.
Story about Miles the anesthesiologist and what he loves about work, other similar doctors loved a different aspect, but they all had roughly the same job.
"The world won’t do your weaving for you—it doesn’t care about your red threads. The only person who can stop and be attentive enough to identify these threads, and weave them intelligently into the fabric of your work, is you."
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