2pm on Sunday. It's 80 degrees and sunny. I could do any number of things today but I decided to fire up my laptop and get to work. Why? Because I simply love what I'm doing right now, and that's an absolute gift.
A healthy work-life balance is helpful and even necessary for all of us. However, now and again we hit a groove in our careers where the challenges we face make work less of a job and more of an experience. I'm happy to be in one of those phases and I have no qualms about putting in extra hours while it lasts. Contrary to popular opinion, I consider this type of situation to be a blessing - Who wouldn't want to work a little bit more when they are enjoying every minute? While I maintain some balance between my professional and personal time, I feel happier when I'm challenged and I'm more fun to be around as a result. So with the right job (even with longer hours) you can begin to see improvements in all aspects of your life. The converse is true if you find yourself unhappy at work. It's not about the time you spend at the office, it's about how fulfilling that time is.
Nobody can 'make you happy' at work. Our happiness and career satisfaction all come from within. The good news is that, with our careers, we DO have the capacity to improve our situation every day. We also have every incentive to focus on driving any improvement needed. Life is too short to endure a job when you can experience happiness at work.
If you are reading this and automatically generating counter-points in your head, then your first problem is your attitude. Take control and decide what your ideal day at work looks like. If you truly want it, devise a plan to pursue it. Your career progress and happiness is your responsibility and, if you are willing to accept that, you can truly create a daily experience that you find rewarding and enjoyable. There's always a way.