Are you struggling to balance your work and family life at home? Do you focus most of your energy on your earning potential instead of spending it on those who you care about most? That thinking can destroy your life and everything you’ve worked for.
I know because I was caught up in the spin cycle of thinking that net worth automatically afforded me life worth. I sacrificed important things in my home life and justified it by providing my family the best vacations, schools, clothes. What I learned was that the only thing my family truly wanted…was me.
What Matters Most in Life
The best things in life are NOT things. One thing I know for sure is this: money doesn’t make you rich.
Once you have money, the myth of how your life will be better with it is erased. Money changes nothing about you – it just allows you to buy more things.
Related: How To Have A Positive Money Mindset
More professionals are trying to find a path to life worth, rather than centering their behavior on net worth. I figured it out before it was too late. My life is now better than your best vacation. There is NO reason everyone should not be able to say the same thing about their own lives. Here are ways you can achieve that balance:
How to Achieve a Healthy Balance Between Work and Family Life
1. Understand that money does not make you rich
I thought that if I had lots of money, my life would be perfect. So I worked hard for it. I justified my absences by telling myself that I am sacrificing so that my family won’t have to. Then one day, it was like someone had smacked me on the head, when my son, then 12, walked away in dismay after I said I couldn’t play baseball with him as I was too busy working on a business proposal.
The look of disappointment on my son’s face was something I will never forget. What was I doing? What could be more important than playing with my son on a sunny Saturday?
Related: How To Raise Happy Kids
I dropped everything and spent the day with him. I promised to myself that would NEVER happen again.
Have you had a moment like this yet? If not, you will. Just make sure you have that realization, and make a change, before it’s too late.
2. Don’t be an employee, be employable
Unless you are self-employed, you are always vulnerable to someone else controlling your professional destiny, and therefore, your life worth. But you can empower yourself by diversifying your skills and experiences so that you have more choices about where and for whom to work.
Make being marketable and employable a top priority. Knowing that you have skills that are in demand is liberating and allows you to redefine how you choose to work and gives you the freedom to balance your life in your current job, even if the company you work for won’t.
3. Recognize that time is short
We think we have all the time we want and that our world is full of tomorrow. The truth is that every day counts and one day you will turn around and 30 years will have gone by.
Time is precious, especially if you know that you don’t have much of it left.
Why is it that people who have faced death live the most? Why must it take a close call with tragedy, or tragedy itself, before we realize that it could all be gone in an instant? Start living NOW!!
4. Don’t major in the minors
Henry David Thoreau wrote, “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” For every evening spent late in the office there are moments you’ll miss out on – and can never get back. Make sure you’re not spending time on things that ultimately don’t matter.
And guess what? The three greatest gifts you can give to your family are time, memories, and traditions. These are things in life that matter.
Gary Kunath is the founder of The Summit Group, which grew to a multimillion-dollar global enterprise ranked among the top sales-training companies in the world by Selling Power magazine. He has lectured extensively at schools including Duke University’s Fuqua School, Miami University’s Farmer Business School, Emory University, Cornell University, and Arizona State University, and he is currently an adjunct professor in the Citadel’s Sports Marketing graduate program. Gary is also the author of Life … Don’t Miss It. I Almost Did: How I Learned To Live Life To The Fullest
Photo by Evil Erin
Originally published May 2013 and updated June 2014.