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Work-life Balance and the Five-Mega-Realities

Work-life balance is the ability to experience a sense of control and to stay productive and competitive at work while maintaining a happy, healthy home life with needed leisure

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In the 1st edition of my book Breathing Space which appeared in 1990, I discussed five major trends – what I called mega-realities – that influenced every aspect of our being, and from which no one was immune. Briefly, these five mega-realities include:

* an expanding volume of knowledge
* mass media growth and electronic addiction
* the paper trail culture
* an over-abundance of choices
* population growth.

Knowledge – In one way or another, everyone fears being under-informed. The enormous volume of new knowledge broadcasted and published in every field exceeds our ability to keep pace. More words are published and broadcast in a day than you could ingest during your lifetime. America leads the world in sheer volume of information generated and disseminated.

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The impasse of this over-information era is that the time necessary to learn the rules for effective living now exceeds your lifetime. This is why management books so often miss the mark: they list dozens — if not hundreds — of rules, when you are already grappling with more rules than you can handle.

Mass Media – The effect of the mass media on our lives continues unchecked. More than four out of five American households own DVD players. In 1972, three major television networks dominated television – ABC, NBC and CBS. Now, there are more than 500 full-power independent television stations. Many cable TV subscribers receive up to 200 channels that offer more than 72,000 shows per month.

With its sensationalized trivia, the mass media glut obscures fundamental issues that do merit concern, such as preserving the environment or feeding the poor.

Paper Trails – Like having too much data and eyewitness reports, having too much paper to deal with makes you feel overwhelmed and overworked. Americans today are consuming three times as much paper as ten years ago. There are two basic reasons why society spews so much paper:

* We have the lowest postal rates in the world.
* We have the widest base of paper-generating technologies.

The typical executive receives more than 200 pieces of unsolicited mail each month – about 12 pieces daily. The average family receives more than 100 catalogs that they did not request, on top of those they did request.

An Overabundance of Choices – Having choices is a blessing of the free market economy, but it’s overwhelming, increases time expenditure, and is a mounting form of exhaustion. More than 1,260 varieties of shampoo are on the market. More than 2,000 skin-care products are for sale. An excess of 75 different types of exercise shoes are available, each with scores of variations in style, function, and features.

Population – From the beginning of creation to 1,850 AD, world population grew to one billion. It grew to two billion by 1930, and is now approaching eight billion. Every three years, nearly 250,000,000 people are added to the planet.

Each day, world population (births minus deaths) increases by more than 265,000 people. Geometric growth in human population permeates and dominates every aspect of our earth, its resources, the environment, and all living things.

The Quest for Work-life Balance

Against this backdrop, the quest for work-life balance is more vital than ever. Predictably, a preponderance of speakers, trainers, authors, journalists, and others whose professions entail regular communication with the masses, proclaim the virtues of achieving and maintaining work-life balance.

However, a glaring question arises. What, exactly, is work-life balance? Compared to the legions of instances in which the term is cited, surprisingly little has been written in articles and books about what the concept actually entails.

During my 33 years in pursuit of understanding why the pace of society has sped up, what the impact has been on the typical individual, and how each of us can forge our own sense and experience of breathing space throughout our lives, I have honed and refined the tenets of what I consider work-life balance.

What Exactly is Work-life Balance ?

For several years now, those who apparently have no idea what work-life balance is and have virtually never experienced it are proclaiming that it is passe — in favor of work-life harmony or work-life integration.

The truth is, these terms all mean approximately the same things. You can split hairs anyway you want, and I suppose that’s a good way to differentiate a program if you’re seeking to offer one to clients, but the reality is work-life balance is the overarching issue of our time that all career professionals strive to achieve.

Work-life balance is the ability to experience a sense of control and to stay productive and competitive at work while maintaining a happy, healthy home life with sufficient leisure. It is attaining focus and awareness, despite seemingly endless tasks and activities competing for your time and attention.

Work-life balance entails having some breathing space for yourself each day; feeling a sense of accomplishment, while not being consumed by work; and having an enjoyable domestic life without short-changing career obligations. It is rooted in whatever fulfillment means to you within 24-hour days, seven-day weeks, and however many years you have left.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



 
 
 

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Life

With Representatives Like Kelly Daughtry, We Can Take Back America

Daughtry is a soft-spoken woman who gets things done

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When President Trump takes office next January 20th, he’s going to need a cadre of strong-willed Congressional representatives. It’s not enough to simply retake the White House, we need the foot soldiers with the unshakeable resolve to restore America.

In North Carolina’s 13th district, one candidate is firmly rooted in the values that made this country great, and will make it great again. Her name is Kelly Daughtry and, quite frankly, the nation needs many others like her.

Raised in rural North Carolina and the daughter of a U.S. veteran, farmer, lawyer, and entrepreneur, Daughtry has been a practicing lawyer for the past 25 years in Johnston County, where she makes her home. She’s been in the trenches and is not skittish about the slings and arrows that come with taking bold, conservative positions for what is right.

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Clear Positions on Vital Issues

Daughtry is exceedingly clear on where she stands and on what will improve the lives of American citizens. She is a vigorous supporter of law enforcement and decries ‘de-fund the police’ movements wherever they arise. She understands that, by and large, the men and women in law enforcement are dedicated, hardworking individuals who, in many instances, put their lives on the line.

Similarly, Daughtry supports the U.S. military and our veterans. She knows that nations around the world with rogue leadership wish to do us great harm, and that we must maintain a strong military at all times. Not coincidentally, a strong military is the best prescription for peace.

On the border issue, Daughtry recognizes that the Biden Administration is firmly committed to swamping our country with illegal aliens. Why? Because the U.S. Census count doesn’t focus on U.S. citizenship, only the number of residents per county and state.

Hence, Democrats can gain a 20-seat advantage in the U.S. House of Representatives by continuing to flood our nation. This ploy is precisely why Biden and company have brought lawsuits against border states seeking to protect themselves.

The drugs, the crime — the murders — and the bursting budgets of towns and states trying to cope with the onslaught of illegals should never have happened in the first place. Daughtry knows what needs to be done, and done immediately.

Reversing Biden’s Reckless Agenda

Daughtry will go to work on restoring our nation, dismantling Joe Biden’s reckless agenda for America. She understands that Biden’s policies towards China in particular, and the bribes he has taken, have been nothing less than devastating for hard-working Americans and for our national security.

Most notably, she is firmly opposed to the Chinese Communist Party and their representatives who are seeking to buy farmland throughout North Carolina as well as every other place in the United States.

Biden’s out-of-control spending has particularly hurt North Carolinians. Farmers have taken the brunt of the punishment. The unending inflation that we’ve faced for 38 months also has dealt a crushing blow to North Carolina small business owners and families in general. One of Daughtry’s first agenda items will be to help steer our country back towards fiscal sanity, which in turn will have a direct impact on the cost of groceries and gasoline.

Americans First

Like President Trump, Daughtry understands the importance of putting Americans first and of safeguarding or voting procedures, elections, and indeed what it means to be an American citizen. Of note, she has no misconceptions about the differences between men and women and will work to stop the malarkey that the Left imposes on us every day, with their “56” types of genders.

Daughtry is a soft-spoken woman and in her quiet way, gets things done. If Donald Trump had an army of Kelly Daughtrys, the country would be on firm footing in relatively short order. She knows what hard-working Americans want and need, and is exactly the type of politician that North Carolina must send to Washington D.C.

It is not an exaggeration to say that in Wake, Harnett, Johnson, and Wayne counties in North Carolina, as well as the entire state and entire country, the 2024 election will be the most important in our lifetimes. This has been said about other elections at other times, but considering the damage that the Democrats have wrought on America, the time is now to reclaim our great nation and, with the likes of Kelly Daughtry, we can.

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Life

Provocative Questions to Get You Moving

What would make you pause and think about what’s really important?

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Suppose I asked you four questions to make you pause, think about what’s really important, perhaps take some action steps, and get you moving in a positive direction. What might I ask?

Here are four such questions:

* What would you do if you truly only had six months to live?

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* What would you read if you could only pick six books for the rest of your life?

* If you could return to any age what would it be?

* If you could live anywhere other than here, where would it be?

 

By way of example, here is each question with my own answers to help stimulate your thinking:

What would I do if I truly only had six months to live? I would visit everyone who ever mattered to me one more time; visit all my childhood haunts; visit three or four tourist destinations in the world that I’ve wanted to see; eat like an incredible pig; parcel out my assets carefully and accordingly, safeguard my daughter’s financial future and well-being to the best of my abilities; and donate many items to charity.

If I could only read six books for the rest of my life, they would probably be The Timetables of History, Childhood’s End, The Call of the Wild, The One Hundred, From Dawn to Decadence, and The Culture of Celebrity. Runners-up would be The Demon-Haunted World, Crime and Punishment, Moby Dick, MacBeth, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, and The World of Our Fathers

If I could be any age what would I be: 38, because at that age I had the optimal mix of capabilities and faculties, unbounded potential, and unbridled enthusiasm. My career as an author was beginning to bloom and amazingly I hadn’t yet been on my first of 45 cruises.

If I could live anywhere other than here, where would it be and why aren’t I there? The places I could settle include Asheville, NC; Austin, TX; Monterrey, CA; Sausalito, CA; Tucson, AZ; Las Vegas, NV; Vancouver, British Columbia; London, England; Paris, France; Vevey, Switzerland; Montreux, Switzerland; Bruges, Belgium; Helsinki, Finland; Gothenburg, Sweden; Stockholm, Sweden, and any place where it is spring, birds are chirping, and large lakes invite you to swim.

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