In Pursuit of Profession:
Where’d my ‘life’ go?
Special to the Star-Telegram
Picture yourself as a youngster running around the World’s Fair fairgrounds in New York in 1939. You and your chums are racing each other around the World of Tomorrow exhibit to see who can get the best view of everything that tomorrow has to offer. As you press your nose up against the glass, there it is in all its glory…The bright shining future! Look, there’s the seven-foot tall robot Elektro that will do all of the household chores! And his little pal Sparko the electronic dog. No need for real dogs and the work that goes with taking care of them. Sparko doesn’t need to be brushed, bathed or fed. And think he needs a pooper-scooper? No way! Yes, in World of Tomorrow all the work is done by robots and all humans need to do is sit back, relax and enjoy themselves on a never-ending vacation.
I don’t know about you, but fast forward 77 years and I’m still waiting for my Tomorrow-land to arrive. Where’s my robot bringing me a fancy cocktail that I can leisurely sip on a lounge chair? What about the computer program that can write all my articles for me while I go on a long hike in the woods for several hours, or even days, and not worry about missing any deadlines? In fact, I think that most of us would even settle for how it used to be before being tethered to work after we’ve left the office for the day via smartphones and email. Do you remember those days when leaving the office meant leaving work behind so you could go and enjoy hobbies or uninterrupted time with your family? As technology continues to make us more efficient as workers, it’s also continuing to blur the line between work and life. In some electronics museum somewhere, a dusty Elektro and Sparko might even be thinking how ironic today’s work-life imbalance truly is.
It starts with “Why”
Tricia Molloy is a corporate leadership speaker and author of Working with Wisdom. At business conferences and for companies
like Marriott, Deloitte, GE and Walmart, she speaks to workers about the why, what and how of improving work-life balance. “My program is called, Work-Life Balance Wisdom: 7 Smart Strategies for Less Stress and More Success,” said Molloy. “I start with the why (What would you do if you had more time, energy and other resources?) because people need to develop new habits and make changes—and it helps to keep them motivated when they have a clear picture of the end result. Most people’s “whys” are usually to take better care of themselves, spend more time with their children or apply for a promotion. The simple strategies I share include using affirmations (or positive self-talk), managing your energy and expressing gratitude.”