Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Work/life balance. Goals, dreams and expectations.

Hello everyone,

It has been a while since I have posted a blog.
I have been very busy traveling between Europe and the USA lately and just didn't find time to get it done. It was hard to combine the me with the professional me.
It turns out that that is exactly what I'm writing this blog about (but perhaps in a more philosophical context):


Work life en social life.

Finding a way to connect personal dreams with your professional career and your professional dreams with your social well-being.
After all, I am a partner, son, father, brother, friend, colleague, boss, professional and a whole lot with more specific characteristics. All of which are 'roles' to fulfill at full satisfaction. I'm here to meet and exceed expectations. As a person. Not just in my job.

So.... who are you? Which roles do you have?

Sounds pretty heavy perhaps, but the reality is that we all have relationships, professional or personal, in which the 'other party' has an expectation. Over years, those expectations partly build your image and identity to the outside world. They become you, so to speak. Because they reflect your goals and dreams and your ability to achieve those in the minds of the people you are connected with. Often we know relatively well what we want, but have you ever asked yourself what others may be expecting from you?

Perhaps a long prelude, but here's where I wanted to get into the work/life balance:

The me-athlete and the corporate athlete need to be in sync with your environment.
If your milestones and achievements as a social and professional individual are connected with the expectations that others may have from you, you will be more successful in both your relationships and your career.

So....it's important to find out what standards to maintain, what expectations to meet or exceed.

Both as a professional as well as a private individual.
The goals and dreams that previous blog posts described, are goals and dreams that should be united for everyone as a person. Not just as a professional.
Be a successful individual, rather than a successful professional with a miserable social life.
Or a relatively happy individual with a pretty mediocre career (if you want a career that is).

Think about what you'd like to achieve both as a professional and an individual. As a person.
Ask your friends, your family, your partner what they expect from you. Long term. Not just today. Reward yourself for attaining goals. Set milestones for you as a friend, partner, father, son, brother etc as well as setting milestones in your career.

New concept to you?

Yes, probably to some. Most people plan their careers pretty extensively.
But have you thought about what you mean to others outside of work?
What can you do to mean more to them? Does your circle of 'friends and family' include people that are destructive to you or your dreams? Should you make decisions about who really is your friend and who isn't or shouldn't be? Do you have friends that are really important to you, but you haven't really told them lately? Is your partner expecting things from you that you may not be aware of or may not be willing to fulfill? Did you tell him/her that?

Starting with the end of the road in sight (see previous post) really means starting with you as a person and including everything you do in life and what you mean to others as an individual over the long haul.

Start asking those questions. Write your own expectations.
Commit to next steps and hold yourself accountable for them.
Write a letter to yourself, give it to a good friend and ask that friend to mail it to you exactly one year from today.

After review - did you live by your own rules?
Did you find a balance between you as a professional and you as an individual?
Did you improve or deepen your relationships?

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