Once upon a time, a little otter decided that playing while working, or working and playing is fun and healthy.
Otters are born swimmers, and they know that to survive they must keep swimming. They eat, rest, and groom themselves in the water. They must swim all the time. But they also love to play and wrestle in the water. You would see them chase their tails and participate in various fun games. Otters are also very curious and like to investigate new things. This is all applicable to people too.
We must work to survive, but we must also play and have fun. We must stay curious and learn new things because this is our essence. This is how we stay happy and healthy. Because of our curiosity and desire to develop, humanity is where it is in science and technology today. It is because people knew that progress comes from action and focus.
Yet, we can be active and focused only when we are well rested and happy. And this beautiful thing happens when we have a nice work and play balance. We should really not define it as work and life balance. Because do we first work and then live? Is this really the reality we want to inhabit? Should we dive into our work until we can’t breathe and then, at our last breath, come up for air? This is not what otters do. Why should we? We, the most intelligent species on this planet, why do we live out of balance? Do we really want to drown in work and forget to play, to rest, to groom ourselves?
Keep your head above the water otter!
The best way to get what we need is by striking the right balance between rest and productivity. Rest could mean jogging, hiking, biking or simply resting at home. But it is about having time away from every day work routine. This is the only way to retain our focus and keep creativity alive. It is the only way to keep our relationships healthy and happy because we are social animals and we need each other. The last week of the year is this special time we are supposed to devote to family and friends, but instead many use the days off to just rest. And as good as this might be, it is also sad because it represents the unhealthy environment we inhabit. The world has gone mad. It is a notion millions of people around the world share. People have become overworked and over-stressed. Not to mention that many are underpaid. In the logistics industry, for instance, the people who spend the least of time with their families are the truck drivers, and they are in many ways underpaid. Every industry has been affected by how the biggest economies in the world decide to do business. By how the politicians decide to do business. But we are not talking politics here. Very few politicians, in very few countries, care to help people to find a healthy balance and achieve happier lives. So, it is up to us to find a way. This holiday season, take the time to think about that.
The sun is shining, look at it more often.
Think about all the things you can do in 2018 that can bring you closer to a work and play balance, work and rest balance, work and smile balance. You can take that construction “work and,” and put whatever you want after it. Just please don’t think about it in terms of “work and life” balance. This sounds scary. It signifies that we don’t live while we work, but then we work most of our waking time. How monstrous would that be. Follow the example of the otters. Keep your head above the water most of the time. Work and play most of the time. Think about that these last days of the year.