"You need to find balance", "I want work life balance", "a happy life is a balanced life." I hear this all the time from clients and many other people, that they need to find the balance between their work and home as well as living for today and the future. This has become an increasingly more important subject in the workplace as millennials become the biggest demographic in most companies.
At Endeavour Wealth Management, I am a huge proponent of life balance and encouraging the stakeholders in our company to take advantage of opportunities in their lives and have implemented policies including having minimum vacation time instead of capping it. We choose to measure performance and effectiveness instead of wasting time counting how many days people take off. Encouraging balance is great but what I have found is the more difficult challenge is helping people to understand what that balance really is. The reason for this is that every individual and family is different and so there is no set definition of what balance is and even your own personal definition of it needs to change as you grow during your lifetime.
To find what your balance is I believe you need to understand 3 core concepts:
- What makes you happy?
- Be honest with yourself
- Be responsible to your future self
How can you find your balance unless you know what makes you happy? Balance has been misinterpreted for years. Being balanced does not mean that you spend as much time at home as you do in your career. That's not realistic for most people, but it could be in the future if you plan right. Understand what and who in your life makes you most happy and then take steps to spend more time doing that. For some that might mean making their working space more flexible, so that they can work at home if needed, comfortably and effectively. For others who are more career oriented, make sure that when you are home you are giving it 100% of your attention, this will help you to feel less guilty when you are at the office plugging away.
No matter what is, you can't take strides to spend more time being happy unless you understand what it is that makes you happy. You should always be honest with yourself, hands down. Too many people kid themselves into thinking that "one day I will do this". If something is important enough to you, prioritize it in your life now or prioritize executing on a plan that will accomplish your goal in the future. The world is full of should have, could have, would have people (as my Dad would call them), so don't be one of them.
As many of my clients can attest to, I'm a big advocate for living for today. I have known too many people (as we all have I am sure) who have passed away prematurely and were unable to realize all of their life goals. But, live for today responsibly meaning that you need to remember that your future self also wants to live a rewarding lifestyle doing the thing that makes them happy. So live for today but be responsible to your future self by having a solid plan in place which understands your priorities in life, can adapt to your changing lifestyle as you grow, and takes care of what needs to be done financially to achieve all of your goals.
Just a final thought on finding your balance. When you do ultimately find it for yourself, don't feel guilty about living it. There are many people out there who have ideas on how everyone should live and probably a lot of the resentment comes out of the fact that they aren't doing what makes them happy. That's not your problem. In turn, don't make others feel guilty about living the way they want to either.
- Grant White, CIM, CFP
Grant White is an award-winning Portfolio Manager/Investment Advisor at Endeavour Wealth Management with Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. Together with his partners he provides comprehensive wealth management planning for business owners, professionals and individual families.
This information has been prepared by Grant White who is a Portfolio Manager for Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. (iA Securities) and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of iA Securities. The information contained in this newsletter comes from sources we believe reliable, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy or reliability. The opinions expressed are based on an analysis and interpretation dating from the date of publication and are subject to change without notice. Furthermore, they do not constitute an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any of the securities mentioned. The information contained herein may not apply to all types of investors. The Portfolio Manager can open accounts only in the provinces in which they are registered.
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