The Myth of Balance in Life

I am reading Mitch Joel’s blog where he tells a story of Patrick Pichette, CFO of Google, responding to a question: “Do you have work/life balance?”

With all of the perks, gimmicks and toys that seem to be part of the life of a Googler, and their commitment to 20% time to focus on areas of your own interest… this could be an interesting answer.

Patrick’s answer:  “You don’t take a job like this if you want balance”.

I love the simple honesty.  It rings true.

Anything worthwhile comes with required sacrifices.  I wrote last week about choosing to suffer for 15 minutes each day.

The key is that the arrangement is a conscious choice, an open accepting of the realities of life.  Idealism creates a lot of suffering.  Patrick could be an idealist and say “I want to be successful at Google, and play golf off of a 3 handicap, and be home every day by 6pm…”  but then he would not be CFO at Google…

Reality can suck, but it is real.

Author: Conor Neill

Hi, I’m Conor Neill, an Entrepreneur and Teacher at IESE Business School. I speak about Moving People to Action.

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