Real Life Work Balance: Andrew Ferguson

The corporate world is beginning to adopt Enlightened or Holistic Enterprise, but it misunderstands one crucial aspect of this.  It thinks Work Life Balance is something to do with flexitime and maternity leave.

Real Life Work Balance is a strategy for life.  It is person-centred, and makes no concessions to the corporate collective.  Individuals empower themselves to apply every dimension of themselves in the life-long search for authenticity and their own personal integrity.

We harness Creative Imagination to discover who we are and who we could become, and as we grow through the phases of life we keep uncovering new dimensions of what it is to be human.  Music and the Arts are the ideal forum for this, but we can all be artists of our own lives in our own way – thinking like a jazzman, exploring new perspectives, expressing our take on life.

Our Intuitive Self acts as a lightning conductor connecting us to the awesome, to the natural world, to awareness of our  journey and to the genuine needs of humanity and the planet.

Work then becomes, as I described it 25 years ago, “a place we each create in order to learn and grow” and work our Authority.  The more we let go of unhealthy attachments and addictive materialistic behaviours, the more likely we are to find our real needs met … but only of course if we apply ourselves enthusiastically and work our Will.  This takes an open heart, a willingness to trust, risk and be vulnerable, to put ourselves out in the world and take what it throws at us – to learn and grow.

Real Life Work Balance starts therefore with a visionary strategy for your own personal evolution and self-empowerment.  Without this you have very little to contribute … at work or at home. Without this there is no ‘balance’; there is just a diminishing of the human being, reducing everyone to the lowest common denominator – the epsilon in Huxley’s Brave New World.  No wonder 70% of the workforce have psychologically left. 

The 3 building blocks

The Mental faculty has to be kept in perspective – thinking things through, creating simple solutions, giving intelligent feedback, philosophising, applying the mind are all good; but analysis paralysis, long-winded bureaucracy and clever, clever sophistry take us away from life not towards it. 

Far more important is the ability to be emotionally present to yourself and others, to have care in the process; this is the basis for all our relationships. You don’t think your way to emotional intelligence, you feel it.

The Emotional Self has been treated with undisguised contempt for many years, but this is changing as business creates a workplace that is life-enhancing and fulfilling.

Real emotional intelligence is experienced and developed through feeling, not thinking.  We must enter the light and the shadow of feeling, and release all the the stifled energy locked up there.  We must in particular practise being joyful, but also face and come to terms with our anger, shame, guilt and sadness.  Only then can we get out of our way enough to hear anybody else.

Finally Work Life Balance requires we take care of our physical selves – health, nutrition, exercise and physical activity – working with the hands.  Stress builds up when we lose touch with our physical selves; we deprive ourselves of an outlet for tension and suffer adrenalin overload.  The only cure for stress is physical activity.

When you colonise all these 7 human energies, you take your whole self to work.  You can do this on your own, but to restore your own Life Work Balance, it seriously helps to surround yourself with others who have made this their priority.

Isn’t it time you joined the world you want to live in?

 (based on an article originally written October 2003)

© Andrew Ferguson


Andrew Ferguson: Freelance Small Business Specialist                      t: 020 7473 5544

MA Oxon, Chartered Marketer, FRSA, FCIM, FIBC

SFEDI accredited and award-winning Business Advisor

Breakthrough Centre, 29 Adine Road, London E13 8LL                                               e:  www.TheKitchenTable.CO                                 www.BreakthroughNetwork.Net

Andrew Ferguson’s Life Shift Books provide in-depth explanation of the issues each phase of life presents – visit for books and more.  He is also available for 121 Coach/Counselling and small group work round www.TheKitchenTable.Co  

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