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The Work Life Balance Mistake

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

I am not a native English speaker. I make mistakes. But there was one mistake I made, which turned out to be beautiful.

I love English. I remember that as a child, back then during the 80s, I used to watch a lot of movies and tv shows without Hebrew subtitles. My mother was sitting behind me, translating what we heard. In time my English skills grew, and I was always happy when I had the chance to practice it.

Today, as an international coaching businessman, I use my website, Linkedin, and other social networks to share my thoughts about various topics in the new world of work, in English. And as much as I try to get the concepts right, sometimes I fail.

Usually, I fix the mistake right when I spot it. But there was one mistake I didn't want to fix. It was just after I published my business introduction video, that one of my friends told me, that the term "Life Work Balance" is not correct. It is the other way around: "Work-Life Balance.

OMG! It took me ages to create this video. I decided to try my best to fix this. I managed to change the printed text, but when I realized that I will also need to replace the entire voice recording, I was terrified. I knew that this change will take a lot of time I didn't have. And then I had a flashback...

I remembered that in one of my performances, I decided to wear a white shirt, and a couple of minutes before it was time to start the show, someone accidentally spilled coffee on my shirt. I looked at the stain, the stain looked at me, and at that moment in time, I made a choice.

I decided to acknowledge the fact that nothing can be perfect, nothing is flawless, and that I am only human. I looked at the stain again, and this time the stain smiled at me, and we went on stage together, smiling. Back from the flashback, I decided to leave "Life Work Balance" as is. I decided to leave it as is because it reminded me of the "stain" and because this mistake symbolizes one of the greatest values in my life - Acceptance. And right there and then I accepted the fact that I am not a native English speaker, that I make mistakes, and that I am only human.

(*The introduction video) During one of my business meetings a few months later, I was talking about "Work-Life Balance", and while sharing this story about the mistake I made, the person with me in this meeting said: "I love this mistake because the whole idea behind Work-Life Balance is to increase the priority of Life, and what better way to do it by moving it to be the first word in the phrase". I smiled again.

Coach Perry

Corporate Coach for employee engagement and diversity and inclusion

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