A Different Way to Think About Work Life Balance: Principles vs. Prescriptions


In early 2017, I was invited to give a talk on work life balance (as part of a Corporate Wellness program). The video recording of the 22 minute talk is below.

I advocated for a different approach than the norm. Work life balance is an often over used term, and often unachieved outcome. It’s elusive to say the least. Like a pink unicorn. You’re told it’s out there, but you’ve never actually seen it.

My view is that its ever-elusiveness is based on its basis upon prescriptions, a series of dos and don’ts. I believe that a principled approach is a much more optimal – and enjoyable (which is a significant and key component) route.

Prescriptions aim for Perfection. Perfection is never reached and thus seeking it leads to Failure. Failure leads to Dissatisfaction.

Principles, however, are a set of guiding lights, that can be dialed up, or down, adjusted left or right, based on the circumstances around you.

Great Principles, lead to Great Practices. Great Practices lead to Great Progress. And Progress, leads to Satisfaction.

We are happiest when we are progressing. Principles lead to Progress, over the long haul. Prescriptions do not.

Life is much more a sailboat, than a motorboat, and Principles help you adjust your sails depending on the waves and winds.

I hope you enjoy the talk!





Written by: Paul Attia

2 Comments Added

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  1. Lise February 15, 2017 | Reply

    Paul, I was very impressed with your presentation and found it very valuable. I wish I had heard it when I was much younger however but I am still taking a lot away from this. I think that this could be very beneficial to young people as well who are out there right now looking for jobs and who have high expectations and great dissapointment. Well done. Very inspiring. Thank you.

    • Paul Attia February 17, 2017 | Reply

      Thank you very much, Lise, for your kind words. I am very glad to hear you enjoyed the Talk and found the principles to be of value to you. I agree that the earlier in life we can learn valuable principles, the better, but having said that, sometimes we have to be at the right stage of life to really appreciate them! Thanks again for your comments and insight.

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For people who want to succeed in life in their role as a spouse, as a parent, and in their career. Success in any one of those three areas is tough enough; success in two of the areas is even tougher; and success in all three feels near impossible, on most days.

All great quests, begin with great questions. Asking questions is the genesis of growth and seeking the answers is the route to it.