Work-Life Balance or Integration

Recently, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos spoke to a group of Amazon interns. Rather than offering sage advice about seeking balance between work and life, he encouraged them to look at work and life as an integrated whole, or a circle.

Balance, he said, assumes there’s a trade-off between work and life, a kind of either-or relationship. But in reality, work and life are integrated. Bezos said he strives to be happy at work, because that makes him happier at home, and visa versa.

It may just be a matter of semantics, but the point seems to be this: Work-life balance means separating the two, while a work-life circle means mixing the two.

It’s an admirable idea, but what about people who are happy to have a job, but don’t necessarily love their job? They might want balance without integration, keeping their work and home life separate.

Perhaps Bezos is saying to his interns that he hopes they’ll love their work so much that they’ll want to integrate it with their lives. That is a wonderful goal for anyone!

What about you and your work? Do you have the kind of work that invites integration with your home life? Or do you have the kind of work you like to keep completely away from your home life?

Please feel comfortable sharing your thoughts with Gino Pezzani.

A Lesson In Diplomacy

If you’ve ever had to deal with the thoughtless behavior of someone, you’ll appreciate this story about the great composer and pianist Franz Liszt.

The virtuoso musician once found himself at odds with an important member of his audience. The czar of Russia, Nicholas I, made a late entrance during Liszt’s concert. Even after being seated, the czar continued to speak with members of his entourage. Liszt realized that Nicholas had no intention of ending his discourse, so he stopped playing and bowed his head.

Noticing the silence, Nicholas dispatched one of his aides to find out why the pianist was no longer playing.

“Music herself should be silent when Nicholas speaks,” Liszt replied. After that, Liszt was able to finish his recital with the czar’s full attention. “Music herself should be silent when Nicholas speaks,” Liszt replied. After that, Liszt was able to finish his recital with the czar’s full attention.

Increase Online Security

By now most of us know to not access suspicious links embedded in emails, and we’re aware of the threats posed by public Wi-Fi networks. However, according to Eric Cole, a cybersecurity expert and author of Online Danger: How to Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones from the Evil Side of the Internet (Morgan James Publishing), there are two more ways to minimize risks:

1. Reconsider your credit card use. Cole suggests having four credit cards. He recommends using your debit card at ATMs to withdraw money, using a dedicated card for recurring payments, such as memberships, another for online purchases and a different one for in-person transactions.

2. Separate your high-risk and low-risk activities. Use one device to surf the web, access email, and shop using apps. Dedicate a different laptop or a desktop for encrypted activities such as online banking and online investments. Keep your virus protections current on every device, and be mindful about how you use them.

Power VS Force

An ancient fable tells the story of how the North Wind and the Sun decided which of them is the more powerful force of nature. For years, they both insisted that their strengths were unmatched. One day, they decided they would end their ongoing dispute with a simple challenge: they would both use their powers to try and get the next person on the nearest path to veer off into the river. The first one to succeed in getting the person into the water would be declared the victor and deemed to be the more powerful force.

No sooner had they agreed on these terms when a traveler appeared on the path. The North Wind flexed with all his might and directed a long, concentrated gust at the hiker. The man lost his balance and stumbled for a moment, but then he righted himself, put his head down, and leaned into the wind to push onward. Once the North Wind realized that his actions had produced the opposite effect of what he had intended, he gracefully stepped aside and challenged the Sun to outdo him.

As the wind dissipated, the Sun beamed brightly, showering the traveler in shimmering rays of light. The man began to feel hot as he traveled along the path and decided to cool himself off with a dip in the river. While the traveler relaxed after a refreshing swim, the Sun was declared to be the winner. The moral of the story: warm persuasion is more powerful than blustering force.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

Promote Positives For Young Athletes

It’s estimated that 35% of children drop out of organized sports each year. That rate increases to 70% by the time children reach age 13. Here are a few things you can do to help your children have a positive experience if they are participating in sports.

  • Don’t compare. What motivates one child won’t work for another. What comes easy to one can pose challenges for another. Never compare the accomplishments of one child with that of another. Look for positive ways to encourage your children to focus on the fundamentals of their sport.
  • Stress variety. Allowing your children to participate in several different sports helps broaden their perspectives and figure out which activities inspire their interest. Keeping children under 12 involved in a variety of sports may prevent repetitive stress injuries that can be common with certain sports.
  • Take your ego out of the equation. A large part of helping your children develop positive attitudes about sports is to be positive yourself. Keep a check on your own attitudes so you’re not attempting to live vicariously through your children’s experiences or
    pressuring them into participating in activities that are of no interest to them.