As I watched people speeding from one task to another and facing the daily deluge of ‘work’, I couldn’t help but wonder where all this so-called ‘balance’ was coming into play. The only balance I could see was a scale tipped heavily in one direction, and that was in favor of work, not life. Then as I glanced through the newspaper I was fixated on the latest gas, oil, stock market, and employment numbers. I wasn’t a heavy business buff, but always wanted to get a sense of the world.
Employment was up for a change, a good sign. Then I began to read article, after article on the bad state of full-time employment and the fact that all the new jobs were part-time based. It was a familiar refrain. Somehow, it seemed suspect.
It reminded me of a book I’d read recently by Jacob Vossestein, Dealing with the Dutch, where he argues that people in the Netherlands are highly sceptical of the hierarchical work environment and don’t envy those who climb its rank like Americans, Canadians, or Brits would, whose self-esteem is closely tied to work.
There is an over-emphasis on full-time work which gives the illusion that people are gainfully employed, working, happy and that the economy is a great benefactor. What’s great about this book by Vossestien is that he highlights that the Netherlands actually passed a law that gives employees the right to modify their working hours and organizations can only refuse based on the grounds of sound business reasons. People actually want the ability to modify their working hours so that they have the ‘means’ to create real and meaningful balance in their lives. Results of this law even show that employers believe that they benefited quite well through increased employee satisfaction and it also improved their ability to attract employees.
We can learn from the cultural influences of such countries as the Netherlands, which seems to have found, against all pressure to change them, a recipe for balance that seems to be working. So take solace, getting off the work treadmill isn’t some faraway notion. Instead of looking at these employment ratios as a negative, perhaps we should look at it again through a different lens, as maybe people are taking strides to actually find balance in their lives for a change.
Have you found balance in your life?
Feel free to share your answer in the comments.
Other Time Trading Gurus
Ashok Grover presents Ashok Grover posted at Ashok Grover, saying, “All improvement is self improvement. Others can support you, guide you; but the action has to come from oneself to see any improvement!”
Jana presents How To Master Our Finances By Mastering Ourselves posted at Wisdom Ink, saying, “How much money one earns and keeps is a direct reflection of their inner state of being on this topic. Read here to discover more deeply how mastering ourselves can support us in mastering our finances.”
Daniel presents Force Yourself To Save With A 100% Personal Tax posted at Sweating The Big Stuff, saying, “With income taxes, you pay the government for money you earn. But with a personal tax, you pay yourself for money you spend.”
Evan presents It is Amazing How Local Personal Finance Can Be posted at My Journey to Millions, saying, “Most people discuss personal finance rules in absolute terms. I hate it! I truly believe there are almost NO SET PERSONAL FINANCE RULES.”
FI Pilgrim presents Build A Better Budget Part 1 – The Mindset posted at FI Journey, saying, “It pays dividends to think through the process of creating a budget before you get started. What’s the purpose? What does it consist of?”
John Schmoll presents Do You See Money Through the Eyes of the Rich or the Poor? posted at Frugal Rules, saying, “Money and handling finances often comes down to the mindset you have. Is your mindset on the present, or is it on building a better future for yourself? Those that are looking at money through the eyes of the rich, generally speaking, are looking towards the future and always looking for ways to make money work for them and not the other way around.”
ebele presents Creating the life of your dreams | Street-side convos posted at Street-side convos, saying, “A conversation with successful entrepreneurs on creating the life of your dreams.”
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