Caleb, my 18-month old son, woke me up one morning, clutching the iPad. ‘Music', he demanded. For me, like most sleep-deprived parents, this was not a good start to the day.
I scrolled through my playlist and selected my favourite personal and business mantra, courtesy of Canadian rockers, Nickelback. It was their 2009 hit single If Today Was Your Last Day.
“My best friend gave me the best advice
He said each day's a gift and not a given right
Leave no stone unturned, leave your fears behind and try to take the path less traveled by that first step you take is the longest stride
If today was your last day
And tomorrow was too late…….”
I've heard the song umpteen times, but the words get me every time.
What if I decided to live like that every day? What if I listened to the words every day and reminded myself of their meaning? Would my future be different? Could this change the way I approach, experience and enjoy life?
Most people feel overworked today, for many reasons: work deadlines, kids' homework, or finding enough quality time with friends and family. It's not surprising we feel unbalanced.
Even businesses acknowledge the advantages of protecting the work/life balance to protect the bottom line. So the question is: what are you doing about it? Do you have a strategy or plan to retain the balance? If it's an easy way to keep your staff motivated, then why hold back?
Back to Nickelback
My challenge was to develop my own plan to help me experience and enjoy life more. The plan was to focus not on the unbalanced, tired life and day ahead, but to rather focus on what that day and life could be.
What if I took Nickelback's advice and challenged myself with some of the experiences the song mentions, deciding to purposefully enjoy it while I was at it? Would this alter the success of the experience?
Achievement and enjoyment
Achievement and enjoyment are core elements of an effective work/life balance because they answer the big question: Why? Why do I come to work at all? Is it because I want more money? Is it for a new house and car? The kids' varsity fees?
You probably all understand the meaning of achievement. But what about enjoyment? Do you have a grasp on what brings you joy in life? Ultimately, true enjoyment is about happiness, celebration, pride and love.
Achievement and enjoyment are two sides of the coin called value in life. Many ‘successful' people are not completely happy because they have one without the other.
An ace at work and hero at home
A friend said to me, “I want to achieve something today and I want to enjoy something today. If I do both today, I'm going to have a pretty good day. And if I do both every day, I'm going to have a pretty great life.”
There's so much truth in that.
Savour the achievement of acing that presentation at work. And then enjoy the moment when you leave the office in time to be home for dinner with the kids. Combine the two and enjoy the achievement. It's a worthy goal to work towards, creating inspiration in your life and that of those around you.
When was the last time you achieved and enjoyed something? As the song suggests, why not decide to mend a broken heart…shoot for the stars…donate every dime you have…forgive your enemies…find that one you're dreamin' of… finally fall in love?
So tonight before you open the door when you get home, challenge yourself to achieve and enjoy. And then act accordingly. Once you've made the decision, make it happen, for yourself, your family and all those you care about, every day for the rest of your life. And if you need help, get a professional coach to walk your walk with you. Achieve and enjoy.
Thanks, my boy
Thanks Caleb for your early wake up call that morning. Thank you for reminding me that music can actually change your life. asa
Author: Stanford Payne CA(SA) is an Executive Business Life Coach, member of ICF and COMENSA.