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Finding Harmony Instead of Work-Life Balance

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You can achieve work-life balance (shudder!). Balance—the very word teeters on the heavy side of the guilt seesaw. So much is being said about work-life balance these days that we feel compelled to justify that we’re “in balance” lest we admit our lives are out of control or that we’re unhappy with the choices we’ve made. Let’s just ditch the word altogether. What’s important is that your life is in harmony.

What does a harmonious life look like? Who cares? I want to know: What does a harmonious life feel like… to you?

Remember, every person’s ideal harmonious life is unique to them. If cranking out projects late into the night, feeling like an accomplished parent while wearing your suit and heels, passing your significant other in the airport en route to different work trips, or entrepreneuring as a weekends-only warrior is what brings you pleasure, then you, my friend, are in harmony. We clearly can’t do everything at once and calendars often collide, but if you find happiness, for the most part, with the chaos that only you would understand, then don’t fix what’s not broken. describes six components of balance:

  1. Self management
  2. Time management
  3. Stress management
  4. Change management
  5. Technology management
  6. Leisure management

A harmonious person seeks self-actualization. Kendra Cherry wrote a great piece about the characteristics of self-actualized people. She described how balanced people are grounded in realism, are motivated by solving problems, have frequent peak experiences, enjoy autonomy,

solitude and privacy, have a sense of humor, and are spontaneous. This is a wonderful list. It has nothing to do with whether you choose to have children or not, whether you have a traditional job or are on the promotion track, whether you started a business in your 20’s, or are in the creative arts going long stretches without regular work.Other experts describe the harmony as effectively merging family, work, friends, community participation, spirituality, and personal growth. Naïve sites claim that you only need to chose between work and children. Your life’s satisfaction will only come, however, from finding the space that fulfills you. That space may be different at various times of the day when you have different emotional needs and when you’re with different people. It will evolve as you age, learn new things, and it will vary with your fatigue level and changing goals.

Yes, work-life balance is about the harmony—so get going with your own version of success. Set lofty goals, whether they’re work related, personal, communal, or creative, and adjust your schedule to achieve them in the manner that provides the most support (from your spouse, family, partner, boss, students or yourself). Of course you can do it all, but what is your definition of “all”? Hopefully you know by now that your “all” is yours, and yours alone.

What do you think about the goal of “harmony” versus “work-life balance”? Have any tips on how to strive for either? Share with us in the comments!

Ask Levo Mentor and former Office Hours guest Jehmu Greene, Fox News Political Commentator, how she thinks about finding harmony in her own life!

To learn more about Equal Pay Day and Levo’s #Ask4More campaign, click here.


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I absolutely LOVE the idea of substituting "harmony" for "balance"... balance often seems to be much too unattainable, while harmony is more fluid and flexible... great piece!

This reminds me of how often the media dredges up the old question of whether women can "have it all." If you consider all the goals and dreams that people try to balance in their lives, it seems silly to ask that question! I love the idea of doing away with the concept of "having it all," and instead moving towards your own idea of success, dictated by the things you actually care about.

Balance has become something I feel that everyone is searching for; if you have balance, you have it all--that's the mentality a lot of people are looking for. Balance doesn't exist though, things will always overlap and your schedule will never be perfect. Harmony is a great way to think of balance and I think if we all start looking for harmony, instead of balance, we'll see a lot more results. Wonderful article with great tips!

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