Each new year, many set out goals for what they want to achieve or experience. 2020 has challenged us in all-new ways — both personally and professionally — but our essential need to find balance in work and life still remains. How will you use your time in the year ahead? Will you cling to the need for work more than ever, or will you prioritize play and free time that feeds your spirit?
As you look ahead to how work and play will factor into your time, it is worth reflecting on how different cultures and time periods have treated this issue. Perhaps you will find your personal key to work-life balance somewhere in the midst.
Work to Live, Live to Work
Europeans like to remind us that they work to live while Americans live to work. They believe their lifestyle of more emphasis on leisure than work is superior to the American way. After all, it is filled with less stress and it’s less materialistic and less dehumanizing.
With more free time, Europeans feel that they can focus on nurturing their families, building their communities, and cultivating their minds. Frenetic Americans, on the other hand, don’t seem to have much time for such a rich life.