The following post comes from Kip Hollister, CEO and Founder of Hollister Staffing and the Hollister Institute in Boston. Kip will be the keynote presenter at the Maine HR Convention on Wednesday, May 9, 2018.

So much has been written about work-life balance; but, let’s face it, the whole work-life balance thing is a total fallacy! Work is life. Life does not compartmentalize even if we try.

Let us begin by looking at the word “work.” Many of us consider work as something we are obliged to do and, in many cases, we would rather not do it.  What if we chose to look at work differently? What shifts would occur if we chose to consider our work as being all of our actions in the world with no boundary between what we are paid for and what we are not? If we feel our lives are out of balance it likely refers to the fact that a large part of our actions in the world do not nourish us. They do not reflect who we really are. They do not take account of or foster our possibilities to exercise our creativity; our passion; our joy; our potential.

When most of our actions in the world do not feed our soul, we work harder, longer, and more fervently in the hopes of finding some deeper satisfaction. This usually does not help. If anything, it makes us tired, dejected, and sometimes embittered and even morose.

Instead of work-life balance, what we are really looking for is simply life balance. Life balance requires that we make sufficient time to foster and nourish our deepest potential; that part of us that makes us the unique, authentic person we were created to be.

Finding this potential is an important part of self-awareness. It is so easy to collude with our daily misery and call it poor work-life balance. Instead I want to challenge you to take time to discover your true passion and purpose and take the risk to push your true potential forward. Growing and developing requires time and attention. Can you give your potential the time and attention it deserves? Once you begin, you will find you are able to bring your whole self to life and work and will experience a new whole-heartedness in everything you do.