Work, Love and Play are the three realms of life discussed by Erik Erikson. Erik Homburger Erikson was a German-born American developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst known for his theory on psychosocial development of human beings. He may be most famous for coining the phrase identify crisis.
“The richest and fullest lives attempt to achieve an inner balance between three realms: work, love and play.”
In his biography, “When Pride still mattered,” David Maraniss, wrote of Harry Lombardi, Vince’s Dad; a strong man butcher had each hand tattooed, the left WORK and the right PLAY. The author makes the point that Coach learned these values well. One might ask did Coach learn work, love, play and have work-life balance?
It is so easy to just exist – to make a living as opposed to making a life. The 5th Century mystic St. Benedict once gave a devoted follower the memorable advice, ‘Pause for a moment, you wretched weakling, and take stock of your miserable existence’.” Not a bad piece of advice to apply to your own life at least once a year.” Nigel Marsh is the author of “Fat, Forty and Fired” He quotes St. Benedict and advises this concept work, love, play or work life balance is too important to leave in the hands of your employer or the government.
Henry D. Thoreau wrote in Walden
“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.” Alas for those that never sing, But die with all their music in them.”
Often misquoted or paraphrased as, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” Do you think Thoreau was speaking of work life balance?
Today, we can discount any gender difference. Work-life conflict is not gender-specific. According to the Center for American Progress, 90 percent of working mothers report work-family conflict. In a recent article by Christina Huffington wrote on workplace stress for women. “If you’re sitting stressed out at work right now — or lying in bed too stressed to sleep — you are not alone. A new survey by the American Psychological Association, conducted in January and released on March 5th, found that “one-third of employees experience chronic stress related to work” and that work stress is especially acute in women.”
In ”When Pride Still Mattered” Maraniss shows not only that winning isn’t everything, it’s not even what it’s cracked up to be. He artfully paints the picture of the stressed relationship between the legendary coach and his son, comparing him to Willy in Death of a Salesman and how the coach’s wife battled alcoholism and he had his own demons, ” the familiar cycle from success to anguish,” he writes. ”The more he won the more famous he became; the more famous he was, the more a target of criticism he became; the more he was criticized, the more he felt misunderstood; the more misunderstood he felt, the more anguish he carried.” Erickson, Thoreau, Huffington and Nigel Marsh all ask, suggest and recommend we find a work-life balance.