The Art of balancing Love and Work

The Art of Balancing Love and WorkI fully enjoyed going through Richard Templar’s simple list of love rules in his book “The Rules of Love” and when I found out that he wrote other books with similar topics I wanted to see what he had to say about work in his book “The Rules of Work”. I was curious about the differences and similarities between these two worlds that are such a big part of everyone’s life and how one can learn to balance the two and know which rules not to mix up and which to apply in both circumstances.

Both books have some great mutual tips:

– They both share the rule of not lying, and being honest. It is an honorable thing to do all around in life and it naturally applies to both love and work.

– Another great rule is that whether in a business relationship or a loving one, one needs to share the same goals with the person they are in a relationship with and be 100% committed. And in the same way, one needs to remind oneself that they are choosing this relationship every day and they can choose where it is going, how and why.

– Being presentable, looking good and always going that extra step to improve and be a better partner for the person that we share a relationship with are also great suggestions Templar offers in both books.

– In discussions and arguments, not belittling the person and losing one’s temper is another virtue. And of course, on the flip-side, admitting one’s mistakes and learning to say “I’m sorry”.

– Listening and finding solutions together is also super important in the two worlds. If the other person has a problem, you have it too and the relationship will struggle unless you work on it together, whether in business or love. Some stand-alone rules are also great, for example, if your are looking for someone to share a loving relationship with, make sure to go through all the four seasons with that person to really be sure. Although this rule would work in a work setting too and many jobs do a trial period with new employees. What I am mainly interested is when certain rules can be damaging to a relationship if transferred from work to love or vice versa. Templar’s rules gave me a great roadmap and here are some examples:

– Although it is important to listen to the other person in both work and love, the subject matters in the two fields are usually very different. Work is about getting things done and moving forward with solutions and working through solving problems. Having a person on a team that is well organized, always on time and gets work done is every business-owner’s dream. In love on the other hand, the relationship is not about crunching numbers and getting the job done, it is about the other person directly. When one listens to the other person, most often it is about just being there for someone and being present and not about solving some problem. One needs to just be present and allow the other person to just open up and express without being judged, fixed or having their “issue solved”.  When we’re at work, the focus is usually on building loyalty, efficiency and competence, where in loving relationships it is about building trust, intimacy and companionship. Now, this might vary for various relationships. Some people might be looking to build personal relationships based on whether the other person is bringing financial sustenance, competence and efficiency in raising a family as a priority rather than intimacy and connection. And vice versa, some people like to work with people whom they can fully open up to and build intimacy with. Some people like to work with the ones they share love with. What’s your preference?

– Templar’s first Rule of Love in the book is to “be yourself”. One of the best ways to find someone who will love you for who you are is to be yourself as much as you can, and know yourself. And also accept others for who they are. On the contrary in the world of work, Templar reminds us that we need to “assume everybody is playing by different rules” and that you “need to look after yourself”. He suggests blending in, having a motive when listening to or supporting someone at work, having a “game plan”, always being cheerful (even when you are having a bad day), keeping an eye on the opposition, finding the opportunity and getting that promotion before they do; basically, not being yourself at all and not trusting anyone.

More so, he suggests that you should know the ultimate job position you do want and to work toward it by going through any intermediate work relationships along the way. Basically, to “break up” up with all your work partners until you’ve gotten the job that you really want. Imagine if one was dating people just so that they can get to the person they are really aiming for… One would never think that way about love, right? Or wait, maybe that’s not entirely true, because what is dating really if it’s not trying out a relationship? What is the “go through four seasons with someone” rule before you commit about, if it’s not about testing if this person is someone you “click” with and want to continue the relationship with?

As much as these two worlds are very different, in many ways, the strategies are very similar, yet the needs are not. How many people do you know that have figured out what exact work they want to do in order to meet their need for sustenance and shelter? And how many people do you know that have figured out what exact person they want to commit to in order to meet their needs for intimacy and love? Or maybe even meaning for both worlds? Do some people choose a job and commit to it because that’s what needs to be done? Or do they keep changing jobs or partners in hopes in finding what fits them? Then again, some people commit unconditionally and then might realize down the line that that’s not what they really want to commit to.

Life throws us curved balls at all times. Some people might not be very trusting of others in the first place and bring that into all their relationships, work or love. Some people stay in a job they don’t like because because they don’t want to be financially insecure and some people do the same with relationships so that they wouldn’t be alone. Some people on the other hand, hit the jack-pot and really make it work and have fulfilling work and/or love. (This thread reminds me of Billy Joel’s “Innocent Man” lyrics 🙂 )

Being yourself and finding yourself in work and in love, and ultimately in life is a life-long process; and balancing commitment to work or love, knowing when to act and when to simply listen, being present and supportive, while discovering new ways of having them in one’s life is something that all of us are in the same boat together. Welcome to the club. In order to figure out your place in love or work, Templar delivers nice, simple rules that are really great starting points, and I merely mentioned a handful in this post. I recommend both books, check them out, they are great reads!

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for next month’s edition 🙂




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