Getting Off-Kilter to Achieve Work-Life Balance

This morning I attended a talk by Nate Manny, presented by Creative Mornings Seattle. I had no expectations except that I’d hear a successful, talented designer talk about life, design, which could spark some creative/entrepreneurial inspiration in me. Well, it did more than that. It kind of capsized my perception of career success and achieving work-life balance.

A little bit about the chat (from the event site):

“…Learn about always being mindful and present in one’s life as a creative professional and examining the significance of one’s everyday patterns.”

What I loved about the presentation is that he has taken a nontraditional route to get to where he is (artist > rock star (literally) > designer), yet he still is constantly conflicted by where he is and where he wants to be. It was a lightning bolt moment for me to hear that, since I figured reaching that upper-echelon in the design world automatically created complete life satisfaction. I’m constantly questioning my career choice: if I’m doing enough, if I’m doing too much and pulling away from the things in life that I really love. Am I successful enough? Am I wasting my time? Should I spend more time with my daughter? My husband?

There were several takeaways from the chat that warmed my heart and got my creative gears rolling:

  1. Complacency leads to Boredom leads to Atrophy
       The constant questioning of yourself, your career, and your life, is necessary to keep from withering in any of those areas.

  2. Taking Time to do What Fuels Me leads to Inspiration leads to Tackling the Next Thing
       Going to a museum or going on a bike ride isn’t a waste. Whatever gets your juices going can be the thing to get you to where you want to be.

  3. Evaluate What You Love then Balance Work with Life
    I made a little graphic to demonstrate the process.

    Committed: Do What I Love

    Thanks to Nate Manny for the inspiration.

    If you’re working all the time and don’t have the opportunity to enjoy the spoils of your effort, maybe you should cut back on some of the hobbies and extras and work less to fund the ones worth keeping. It was a new way for me to think about things, and I hope you find it useful too.

    What resources or methods have you found helpful in achieving career satisfaction and work-life balance?

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