TED Talks – How to balance life and work

TED Talks – How to balance life and work

If you sit down, think a moment about your life, and ask yourself: “If this was my last day on Earth, will I be proud of this?” and the answer isn’t a loud “yes!”, well..you may need to reconsider your priorities a bit.

Sometimes people dive into work, thinking success and ambition are the only things that matter.
What if it is not like this?
What should a life well-lived be like?
This videos humbly try to answer to this questions:

Nigel Marsh has a question: what makes a good life? Sometimes we put so much time and effort in doing things we do not like in order to please people we do not like either. Being happy and having a good work-life balance does not mean having a child-care facility at work, because that is misleading, that would just make you stay more at work. Understanding the true meaning of work-life balance means understanding that small things count, and that does not even mean a dramatic twist in our life.

Robert Waldinger is the director of a 75-years-study that observed the life of 724 men. Just 60 went actually through this entire experiment without any break or interruption. This experiment was aimed at understanding what was essential in life to make people happy. What should we care for, and what should be at the center of our efforts and energies? This study showed that what keeps us healthy and happy is relationships. Not low cholesterol or blood pressure, but commitment.

Laura Vanderkam is right: in a 168-hours-long week (not considering bed-time and work-time) what is left is still a lot. In case of need, we find the time. This mean that is all a matter of priorities. Like Laura says: “We don’t build lives that we want by saving time. We build lives we want and than time save itself”. Every minute we spend is a choice we make, and we need to get in charge of our choices.

Shawn Achor talks about positive psychology here, and claims that it is not necessarily reality that shapes us, but it is the lens to which our brain sees the world that shapes reality. If you can change lens, you can change your happiness, but also every outcome in your life. Everybody thinks that if they work harder, they’ll be happier and more successful. But Shawn Anchor says it is completely wrong.

In front of a stressing situation, staying calm results quite hard: under stress our brain releases cortisol, so a bunch of systems shut down and we do not give our best. This talk can be useful to keep in mind when we are very stressed for work, and we realize we need to balance priorities in our lifestyle.

Being successful and ambitious in life and work is certainly a quality, the important is to get the most from everything by remembering to keep a good an healthy life/work balance, and understanding how to manage time in the most efficient way.


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