Work/Life Balance - Is It Really a Myth?
Written by
Jothi Dugar
December 2018
Written by
Jothi Dugar
December 2018

People always ask me if my job offers “Work-Life Balance”. I always find that to be an interesting question and one that I’ve found difficult to answer. I’ll explain. The term work-life balance assumes that a person is only capable of doing or thinking about one thinking about one thing/aspect of their life at one time. If you have a job, kids, hobbies, passions, other activities, you are allowed to only think of one thing at a time. That is how many perceive it. So, what if you had a bad day at home on day? You are expected to put that aside in puzzle piece one, and move on to puzzle piece two which is work.

If you think of each aspect of your life as a puzzle piece and each of those puzzle pieces make up the bigger picture (You), then aren’t all those puzzle pieces connected somehow in the picture? Can I take away, destroy, or throw dirt on one piece of the puzzle without affecting the whole picture? If I spend a lot of time focusing on putting together one side of the puzzle and no time on another side, is that different than spending equal amounts of time on all sides of a puzzle? Regardless of how much time you spend on any side of the puzzle, they still form the same picture don’t they?

A person is made up of all these pieces of a puzzle put together in one whole being. Each person brings different puzzle pieces with them, making each person a totally unique picture, and no one puzzle piece can be the same. So if something is different in one puzzle piece, it most definitely will affect the entire puzzle, either positively or negatively. Say for example, your child is running a fever of 103 degrees, and you do not wish to take off of work as you have a deadline to meet. So, you leave your sick baby with a nanny and head to work. Mentally you try to forget about your home life and your baby, but subconsciously you are feeling guilty about leaving a small sick baby at home.

Your boss comes in and asks if you are on time with your deadline today. You want so desperately to say Yes! However, you manage to sneak in a somber yes as you are not battling an emotional and mental tug of war in your conscious. You manage to meet the deadline however the quality of your work is definitely not your best. You race back home the second you are done with your work to be with your baby. Now when you’re with your baby, you start to feel guilty that you submitted a piece of work that was not your best quality. You being a perfectionist is torn between not being there for your child during the day and not doing your best on your work.

Let’s take another story as an example. You just had a book launch party for a new book you published and it was a major success. You are so excited and overjoyed. You celebrate with your friends and family that night and are on Cloud 9. The next day you head to work still living in a high state of mind. The day does not disappoint, a lot of unexpected obstacles show up at work that you were not prepared to take care of. However, since you are in a high energy state, you manage to solve all the obstacles and still have energy for more. You think to yourself that you are not going to let anything come in the way of your high energy state.

What do these two situations have in common? In both, one puzzle piece affected another in the big picture. If you think of each puzzle piece as an aspect of you life, each piece affects all the other pieces. More so, each puzzle piece represents various parts of you as a whole. One puzzle piece represents your mind or mental state, another represents your physical body, another represents your emotions, another represents your spiritual state/higher state of consciousness.

When one puzzle piece of you gets affected, say your emotional state, your physical state will be affected in some way as well. For example, you feel really sad that you did not get a job you wanted and you start feeling really depressed. Pretty soon your physical state will start to deteriorate as well. You start feeling a headache or body pains. You do not realize they both are connected and you start taking medication for it. The medication simply masked the pain of your headache. It did not fix the root cause which is the emotional puzzle piece. It also did not find you another job which is why your emotional state was down to begin with.

As we start realizing that we are all made up of different types of puzzle pieces put together to make us whole, we can truly understand what makes each of us unique and so special. Every piece is unique and therefore every puzzle as a whole is unique.

Since every puzzle as a whole is unique, the greater the variety of all the puzzles put together, the more creative, colorful, and extravagant the overall big picture will be. For example, let’s look at Jasmine as a whole puzzle. Her pieces of the puzzle include the fact that she’s from India, young, an only child, has kids of her own, has several sports as hobbies, and is a Type 1 Energy (animated, outgoing, extravert, fun, bubbly). Due to her experiences, personality, culture, upbringing, and ethnicity, she is very hard working, passionate about her job, determined, has excellent people skills, and loves a good challenge.

Let’s take Ricardo as another example. Ricardo comes from a broken home. He worked his way up as a kid and earned every cent he has now to be successful. He does not have much experience in the professional job world, however he will do anything to stay in America and not have to go back to his own country. His puzzle pieces are very different than Jasmine’s.

With a team filled with Jasmines and Ricardos, and other diverse people bringing their own unique brilliant puzzle pieces with them, the mission is bound to succeed. Too often especially in the technical and specifically Cybersecurity fields, we see the Executive Board or senior leadership dominated by one race, culture, gender, and/or ethnicity.

When we have only one kind of puzzle making up the bigger picture, the picture loses its appeal. The picture will be too bland, too pale, not enough color or complexity or substance to it. The picture will attract just more of the same, nothing new. Who wants just more of the same?

Let's be friends

The Women Behind She Writes

519 articles
12 articles

Featured Members (7)

123 articles
392 articles
54 articles
60 articles

Featured Groups (7)

Trending Articles

No comments yet