You know that situation when your partner says precisely what needs to be done, but it only sinks in when you hear it from someone else? So, last night I found myself in a predicament, trying to figure out how to best allocate my time between tending to my family, getting to my class, and finding time for myself. My husband was on crutches, one of my kids coming out of a fever, and my two other kids actively fighting fevers, one of which also had an eye infection requiring my attention - just lovely... For the past ten days, I’ve virtually been acting as a single mother, taking care of four boys 24/7.
Nonetheless, my family is a priority and what I value the most. I almost gave up attending a fascinating class I am taking because it meant I could not give it the attention it warranted. However, when I chose to use my elastic mind, an alternative crossed my mind - what if I went to the course a half-hour late so that I could build in some much-needed downtime for myself. There ended up being less traffic than expected, so to my advantage, I wasn’t as late as expected. I listened to Michal Tsafir’s lecture for 4 hours, discussing familiar topics of interest. Her enthusiasm and passion rekindled my will to persevere.
Once I got home, I reflected on my challenging day. Here, I reiterated to one of my sons the value of turning lemons into pink lemonade - a lemonade that is that much sweeter and brighter because it accounts for the sour lemons one must sift through to cherish the sweet.
With that, I decided to put on something comfortable and went to the park with my kids. We played around together, and I even managed to sneak in some time on the phone with a friend. We then got some coffee, went to a doctor’s appointment, and picked up a small gift for my husband’s birthday along the way. All in all, it was a morning full of energy and enlightenment.
Growing up, I was always taught to be financially independent and self-sufficient. I first started working at the age of 5, selling figs from the tree in our garden. My father and I would pack them to be sold for 5NIS per bag (at the time, 1kg sold for only 5NIS...). If it were today, surely I would be rebranding it and selling it for triple the price :-) But back then, I was simply a young, aspiring entrepreneur and lacked the extent of marketing knowledge that I have today. Nevertheless, I was still considerably great at taking the initiative and getting things done.
My next job was as a birthday party planner. My friend Hadas and I organized events across our entire area for 25NIS, including the consultation, buying the supplies, planning the activities, and the actual execution (excluding our travel expenses...). Nonetheless, we felt great about our work, as though we were on cloud 9.
In 7th grade, I was ahead of my time. Alongside babysitting, I worked as a camp counselor for a kibbutz after I had convinced the Director that I was mature, responsible, and excellent at counseling.
I was a private tutor from middle school through high school, helping students with their reports and preparing for their final exams. I tutored various students up to 3 times a week, many of which ended up thriving and succeeding in their educational goals.
I always got an allowance and learned how to save from a young age. As an incentive to work, my parents would double my profits by matching every shekel I earned over the summer. This initiative was what motivated me to work hard and be independent. Additionally, it was how I eventually afforded to buy myself a 14” TV for my Bat Mitzvah, which included a DVD/VHS player. Later, at the age of 16, I managed to pay for half of the costs for my driving lessons, half of the cost for my Poland pilgrimage, then half of the costs to fix my teeth at 18. After the army, when I was a student and a waitress, I would count my earnings, shekel to shekel, which helped me afford to buy my first laptop in cash.
As humans, we develop aspirations to build a career and make a name for ourselves. Much of this need to grow, create, and achieve, is taught through our formal education and familial upbringing. However, everything in life comes with a price. So, how do we balance our personal needs, children, and our family with our internal drive to see abundant growth and professional success? How do we draw from our childhood experiences to shape ourselves as adults and our general perceptions of life?
I believe work-life balance and success are inherently connected. The lessons we learn as children on how to value and build success inevitably has a tremendous impact on how we eventually evolve as adults. As a child, the drive and aspiration to become a success one day is the same source of drive that pushes us to become financially independent as adults.
I believe this nurtured drive shapes our work ethic, whether as an employee or as an aspiring entrepreneur building a company or business. Based on my personal experiences and hearing those shared by others, I’ve grown to appreciate the core values seen across both the entrepreneurial spirit and fiscal responsibility. Our life mission is to continually adapt to learning how to create, prioritize, and achieve the balance that best suits our individual needs. Balance tends to change and be circumstantial but can ultimately come from within ourselves when we learn to accept that it is on us to continually reassess ourselves to meet our goals.
So now, take a few moments to reflect on a time in your life, likely during your more formative years, which you believe has shaped who you are today. Ask yourself, how does the old you from that meaningful moment present itself in your life today? Now ponder to yourself, what would the future you advise to your current self?
The answers are all within you, so look inward to uncover and reflect on what your balance looks like at this moment, right here, right now.