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Take out Time for Life’s Beauty

November 17, 2010

Image courtesy of scottchan/

I recently came across an article, Washington Post – Pearls Before Breakfast, that made me think about work life balance and how while rushing through life we neglect small beautiful things. The article illustrates the findings of an experiment in which one of the world’s greatest violinists,Joshua Bell, with one of the world’s most expensive instruments was placed in a busy location but received no recognition whatsoever.

Bell, posing as a street musician, gave a performance to morning commuters in a Washington DC subway station. The maestro played some of the finest tunes on an instrument worth $3.5 million, but no one recognized him. Only days earlier, Bell had played at a Boston theatre where ticket prices averaged $100 each yet he only made a paltry $32 from his subway performance.

This experiment made me realize that people are too busy with their lives to stop and appreciate small beautiful things. We are juggling to keep balance in our lives but failing miserably. Is there so much going on we can’t even take the time to notice one of the world’s best musicians playing some of the most beautiful pieces of classical music? If we are too busy for this, what else are we missing in our lives?

Think about it. So what if you’re two minutes late to a job? So what if you can’t catch your subway at 5:45? Taking the time to stop and enjoy the beauty in our lives is priceless. Those moments remind us that we are human and give us perspective that we lose in our business.  Here are three simple ways to slowdown, appreciate life, and achieve better work-life balance

Slow Down. Life is too short to constantly be on the go. Make an effort to “stop and smell the roses” as the saying goes and enjoy the little things in life. Do this by scheduling gaps between meetings and keeping some evenings free of plans. Also, try distancing yourself from things that are causing you stress- like your blackberry (Dr. Randell S. Hansen, 10 Tips for Getting your Work/Life Balance, Quintessential Careers).

Simplify. It is human nature for most of us to take on too many tasks and responsibilities, try to do too much, or own too much. Find a way to simplify your life. Learn to say no to requests for help that don’t fit into your top life priorities. Also, getting rid of the clutter is another way to simplify (Melinda smith, Ellen Jaffe-Gill, Jeanne Segal and Robert Segal, Preventing Burnout, Help Guide, November 2010).

Regain Control by setting priorities. At times it is far easier to feel overwhelmed than to actually regain control and prioritize. You cannot possibly do everything, so choose to do what is most important. Create a priority list and enjoy the satisfaction of crossing items off (Dr. Randell S. Hansen, 10 Tips for Getting your Work/Life Balance, Quintessential Careers).

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