The Secret to Well-Being: Balance

Everyone wants to have well-being at work, but it’s not straightforward to achieve. That’s because well-being isn’t simply about feeling good; it’s about balance. Being balanced comes with a host of benefits, but what does it mean, exactly? Here are four ways of approaching balance to help you flourish at work:

1. Balancing happiness

Most people want to be as happy as possible, but this may be a mistake. It can be better to be moderately happy than extremely happy, particularly at work. Compared to people who are extremely happy, people who are moderately happy — who score, say, an 8 on a 10-point happiness scale — attain higher levels of education, are more politically active and go farther in their careers. In other words, extreme happiness can interfere with success, particularly when related to achievement. The fact of the matter is that you can have too much of a good thing. As Aristotle suggested millennia ago, the good life is about a balance between deficiency and excess.

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Dr. Jamie Gruman

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Dr. Jamie Gruman is Professor of Organizational Behaviour at the University of Guelph’s College of Business and Economics. He specializes in human sustainability and productivity in the workplace, and recently published the book, Boost.

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