Ditch Work-Life Balance and Find Real Happiness: Part II

Ditch Work-Life Balance and Find Real Happiness: Part II
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Part II: Your Blissful Others

Well hello again!

The last time we met we discussed the notion that the real problem with work/life balance isn't that you can't achieve it.

It's that nobody can.

We talked about the fact that the idea of balancing our separate professional and personal life components into neat, TV dinner-like trays is no longer an option. That, thanks to technological advancements and work space solutions, everything is mixed together into one, messy stew.

We also talked about how finding true balance in your stew was in letting some of it go. That, in order to be able to be successful at the professional and personal components in your life, you must not try to have it all. Instead, you must figure out your all... meaning you focus on what matters most and then let the other activities and relationships go.

It's easier said than done, of course. Which is why holding yourself to a truly balanced life requires having the right group of people around you.

Your blissful others.


So who are your blissful others?

To start with, your blissful others are just plain fun to have in your life, sharing in meaningful experiences and providing positive energy.

These blissful others will also be that critical, sturdy support mechanism, helping you stay true to your all, providing wisdom, validation and ideas when you're feeling stressed, unbalanced, or just plain unhappy.

After all, we've all got a lot going on. It's easy to get overwhelmed. To feel stressed. To feel guilty when you can't get to it all.

And so every once in a while you'll need a boost from a blissful other.

These people are positive. They are hopeful. They are believers in you. They are sure to tell you how amazing you are to take on the role of work-at-home mom in the first place.

Sure, they let you whine when you need to whine, but they let you know when you've exhausted your whining privileges. They do not commiserate with you unless it's to validate you. They cheer you on enthusiastically and feel only delight when you achieve new heights. They never, ever judge you.

And who, exactly, are not your blissful others? Who do you not want as part of your stew?


They are the judgers. The critics. The creators of doubt. They bring a competitive air. They love to gossip and point the finger at others because it makes them feel better about themselves. Their misery loves your company.

Finding your blissful others -- and eliminating those who aren't -- are some of the most important things you can do to stay balanced, peaceful and happy.

Let's get balanced for real...
The following exercise will help you assess just who are your blissful others, and who are not.

  1. Describe in general the blissful others you want with you in your balanced, blissful stew. What are their characteristics? How do they communicate? What kind of support do they offer?
  2. Who in your life matches this description? Who gives you positive energy? Who do you trust completely?
  3. Who have you seen and felt energized by in the last three months?
  4. Who specifically will you count among your blissful others moving forward?
  5. Who in your life takes away your energy? Who do you find focuses on the negative and/or drains you?
  6. In the last three months, who have you allowed yourself to gossip with, complain with, be negative with?
  7. Whose name makes you cringe when it comes across your cell phone, email inbox or other digital communication device?
  8. Who is decidedly not one of your blissful others moving forward?
  9. How will you go about decreasing their presence in your life? How will you stick to this?

Kudos! You're taking steps to find greater balance and happiness by creating the best blissful others team around.

Next time we meet we'll focus on another topic: your blissful you.

A few notes:

- This post first appeared in the WAHM blog
- This exercise is an example of one of several that are featured in the book Bogus Balance.
- Special thanks to Matt Lemmon for the blissful others pic... and to Joe Goldberg for the not-so-blissful others photo!

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