Work Life Balance – Part 2: Choice, Discipline & Desire

Continuing from the previous
… that in general, I do not agree that without financial freedom, you
are unable to achieve Work Life Balance (WLB). For me, WLB is definitely more
related to Choice, Discipline and Desire.  
I believe there still exist many of
us who are under no intense pressure to work during holidays or on leave. Could
it be we just cannot bear NOT to read/reply emails, wherever and whenever they
are. Sometimes you wonder if it is really Damn Urgent? Or could it be, if
you do not that, your colleagues will outshine you, and he will be the next one
to be promoted or have a bigger bonus.
I am one of the victims many
years ago, but nowadays I try to work during non-working hours only when it is
really urgent matters! To help achieve that, you can choose to be more
focus during office hours and eradicate the less inefficient colleague gossips,
chit-chat, surfing net, fondling with hand phones etc. In this way, we can
be more work efficient.
Of course there are unreasonable bosses but in extreme
situation, we need to make extreme choice to speak up in a tactful, yet
cleverly expressed manner. If it does not help, we may need to bid farewell to
the company eventually. In welcoming the new employers, we must be wiser and
more prudent the next time.
Ok, fair enough, when you are
younger, you need to work and LEARN more during non-official-working hours to
scale the career ladder.
Ultimately to have more time for Family, and ourselves, we need
to make the right choice in our life. To make the right choice, you need
experiences and the wisdom of judgment.

A photo I taken, when I was jogging in Norway 

I love exercising and the “sweat it out” feeling. During
weekends, I will exercise with my family members. After exercising and shower,
I will feel extremely refreshed. I will then enjoy my favorite coffee,
accompany by blogging or reading. A nice family dinner with our favorite food
will usually follow later in the day of exercising.
This is Health, Family,
Leisure, Pleasure
and Spiritual
all in one, for me!
It sounds easy to achieve. Apparently, it does require lots of
Discipline initially, to make it a routine.
During weekdays, the busy schedules really make it difficult to
exercise. Coming home late and feeling lethargic after a long day at work, you
just feel like lazing around at home. Discipline is key to overcome this. Another
strategy is constantly reminding yourself that Health is the most important in
our life. In that way, it is easier to put into effect the discipline part.
I will suggest a 20-30 minutes light work out. It can be just push
and sit-ups at home, a slow jog or short swim, or a stroll after dinner with my
wife. Lunchtime exercising if your work hours permit is great too. I use to hit
the gym during lunchtime even though I need to drive 15 mins there. Ok – thanks
to my more flexi work hours.
The serious health and work problems many years ago change my
mindset about work ambition. It is definitely painful at that time when the
problems took place. Yet, looking back, it instill in me a stronger DESIRE to


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10 thoughts on “Work Life Balance – Part 2: Choice, Discipline & Desire

  1. Hi Rolf

    Hahaha, I had to disagree a little with the above with regards to my choice.

    The nature of my role of work makes me unable to have flexibility of choice to take leave at certain point in time (most usually). I get a little irritated if this were to continue for a long foreseeable time to come, especially if I really wanted to spend some time on a vacation with my family and I can't because of those committment.

    1. Hi B,

      I truly empathise u and feel it too! Perhaps, we just need to plan way in advance, unless ur boss never allow u to take leave even more than a month in advance.

      I just rec’d SMS that I need to fly off this Sunday p.m. for work. It’s my best frd wedding! My family programs spoilt too. Arggg…….No choice, this is work as we are bounded! Even if u owned the co, u normally cannot say no, because it is the client’s call! Unless, u prefer to lose the relationship with the clients! Diff story.

      Apparently my wife is traveling this week! The next 3 weeks is traveling for me, which includes coming public holiday in June, where I will spend my time on the plane on that day!

      Since I travel often last 10 yrs (I HATE TRAVELLING), there r countless times that all my planned schedules are disrupted. In my younger days, when I was working on a ship/rigs, I ever spend my entire CNY on board. All the Ah Mohs, never wish me happy CNY, bcos they do not know it is holiday.

      In another occasion, my wife booked V-day celebration for me, and I have no access to H/P and she just keep waiting while I am stranded in the middle of ocean with no boats back. Worst still, my company does not have Offshore allowance, nor can I claim time off for weekday!

      The worst was, I spent my Bday in a Norwegian Hospital for two days, when I was very ill. Superb experience! I was supposed to have a celebration with friends and family, but was cancelled due to work!

      Eventually I left the offshore jobs due to health, but still the traveling and family disruptions continue. I stopped complaining nowdays, GIVE UP! Instead I try my best to enjoy myself on the plane, watching movie, reading and blogging! My stupid sinus irritates on the plane, so sometimes, I see videos of my family, and I feels great!

      Afterall, we are so lucky that we still have our family at home waiting for us.

      End of the day, I make the choice to be with my company, isn't it? 🙂 .

      I REALLY hope that you can stay happy, otherwise u really need to have a heart talk with ur superior!

  2. Hi Rolf,

    Thank you for sharing a great WLB article.
    Like it very much. One of the important aspect is to think positively. Also need to learn to say "No" when it is truly necessary.

    I come across this site "" where this guy do his best but do say "no" when the demand is unreasonable.

    SG L

    1. Hi SG L,

      Thanks for the comments. I see that livingafi is American. Culture is more expressive. That is something we probably can learn, when needed in work at times.

      Yes, think positively is always important!

  3. Rolf,

    Happiness is indeed a choice 🙂

    Discipline is what most people lacks. So its easier to cop-out by saying I'll do this when I've reached that.

    Financial freedom has been used as a "cover" to procrastinate the many things we know we ought to do – right here; right now.

    Only in North Korea or in prison we have no choice 😉

    1. Hi SMOL,

      Sadness is often a choice, but we tend to be unaware!

      It is funny sometimes. If I am a FIRE chaser, I will definitely have the discipline to Save, Research & Invest!

      But when it comes to the most impt things in our life, many at times, we will somehow Lack the Discipline!

      Prison is different from North Korea. Prison is a result of our action! In North Korea, they do not even know what is choice. Their choices are dictated!

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