The Science of Work/Life Balance During COVID-19

Posted Sep 21, 2020

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Summary

Get expert advice for finding balance in all aspects of your life during the pandemic.


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Welcome. Welcome, everybody. I'm Wendy Wollner. I am thrilled to be here to talk with you about my entire life work. How's everybody feeling today? Send me off a chat. How are we doing? And no fine. I want some real energy on today's call. How are you feeling today? We have fantastical, I love it. Doing well. It's sunny. It is a beautiful fall day here in New York. So, we have some people that are saying, "A little overwhelmed. Awake. Awesome. A 108." Oh, my. Where is it a 108 degrees? Where is it a 108? I'd love to know where that is. Maybe... Oh. And yes. So as we're waiting for just a few more people to join, I certainly want to do a moment to talk about if you are affected by the wildfires or some of the horrific hurricanes and weather we've had, we are certainly thinking about you right now. And I know that many of you are. So, it is... We are all thinking about your safety, and certainly everything that you've been through.

So, let me go ahead and introduce myself, and thank you for participating. And you can only see your comments because we really do keep this very confidential. You're just sending it to me. And I'm glad you're here today. And I'm really going to invite you to treat yourself to some self-development time. And I promise to get you out on time, maybe a little bit early with some homework. This is a class that is trademarked. I actually wrote this class. This is my life work. I have a graduate degree from University of Pennsylvania in work life balance. That doesn't sound as unusual today. I'm so lucky to be invited to these parties. But 30 years ago, when I wanted to talk about work life balance, it was pretty unusual. We weren't really talking about it.

I think I'd like to start with a story. How many of you are up and ready for a story this afternoon or this morning? Who's ready for story time? Say me. There we go. The reason I got so interested in this topic was I was a graduate student working, like many people, working full-time, going to school full-time, balancing many things. And there are moments and times that I remember perfectly of working in play relations at the time, today it's called human resources. I got a call at 6:00 a.m. in the morning. And I can remember that moment like it was yesterday. Just want to send the number off. It was my mother saying, "You need to come home." My grandmother... I lived in a fairly traditional kind of European family, if you will, where my grandparents were a block away. And many of you have that kind of situation as well. And my grandmother had fallen down a flight of stairs. She, unfortunately, had a very tiny stroke. It would've been nothing, but she was standing on stairs.

I went into my boss, and I told him that I needed some time off. That I would be going home. And he replied with, "That's fine, but you won't have a job. Suck it up and go to work." You go to work when you're at work. And you go home when you're at home. Anyone else from that generation, or heard that, or lived that, or believed that? That it's work work, home home. Anyone else ever had that kind of conversation in their life? Some people are saying, "Yep." And so, that started me thinking about how am I going to be able to do that. And so, I want to take us on a journey today. Fast-forward a number of years later, I marry. I have three young children. And like many other people in the world, I get divorced. And now I'm a single mom with three children. And I started really thinking again about how was I going to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish.

And so today, I want to start by asking you philosophically, forget the pandemic for a moment, forget financial uncertainly, and civil unrest. Forget what's going on in the world. Just today, at this second of this moment of this day, how many of you believe that you can have it all? How many believe that work life balance exists right now? How hard is my journey going to be today? Oh, we're about 50, 50 crowd right now. A lot of 50, 50s. There's some saying, "Yes for me, not for my significant other. Depends upon the job. It's more complicated. Discipline." Oh, we have a smart group. I love it.

My first place is to tell you that now it takes some work. It's my dining room table is your work, I totally get that. I have a three-legged dog right near here that sometimes barks during this. So, I understand all the different challenges. My children have grown. But, I want to start by inviting you for the next 50 minutes, allow me to convince you, allow yourselves and me, my job, to convince you that it does exist. As we talk about this, we're going to do this in a way that is scientifically proven. So, I spent the last three decades proving that there are many, many reasons why this is hard as many of you are pointing it out. And it does, at times, seem insurmountable and possibly even impossible. My job is something that is really to get us to admit, to get us to take the leap of faith in me as the teacher that we can absolutely have a better and a complete work life balance. Work life balance is a unicorn. It may exist, but I've never seen it.

So, I want to invite you to a topic called learned optimism. I'm going to send you off various books and homework. This is a full year business course. It is a one billion dollar industry today. I went to University of Pennsylvania. Martin Seligman, the man who wrote Learned Optimism, is from Penn. And we are the birth place of believe. Before we go forward, I need you for the noer, the no, the naysayers on the group, I want us to really think about what we want more from our life. We have such a great group here today, that it's really an exciting time to be able to teach this as a skill. And so, I'm inviting you to ask me, sorry, your hardest, hardest questions. Sorry about that. To start in this really interesting discussion.

So, we're going to learn our buckets, our Five Buckets Principles. That's what's trademarked. But, I'm also going to invite us to think about the way our brain processes work life balance. And so, one of the first things is has anyone on this call ever said things like, "Oh, I can't wait until Friday. I can't wait until I get married. Or I can't wait," in my case, "I get divorced. Can't wait until I have children. I can't wait until holiday. I can't wait until..." How many of us have ever said things like that? Everybody's saying, "Yes." But, some people said, "Not anymore." Okay. So, we have one. So far, one out of a few hundred that are saying, "Now more balanced after divorced." Interesting. Making changes.

So, we are trained as linear thinkers. We train our children very early on to say, "When this happens." When you're a big kid. When you're in 1st grade. When you get this. I can't wait. Not only do we wish our life away, which is absolutely true, what ends up happening is our work life balance gets out of whack. So you're going to be entering how do we change to live in the now. That's what we're here to talk about. We need to embrace that we're [sicklet 00:08:01]. So as you learn this, and you are welcome to ask me anything in this time together, I'm going to invite you to realize this is actually Wendy's to-do list.

This started with a one person struggle. Now we do this class thousands of times a year because it's not something that we do... Oh, we checked it off for an hour. I'm 30 years in this. I have been fortunate enough to actually even present this in Washington, and in China, in Thailand, in various places. I do know the theory and the science of work life balance. It doesn't mean that I find this easy. Or it doesn't mean that just because yesterday, I got it. Nailed it. Today is going to be totally different. So, you're entering the way... Mindfulness is a piece of it. It's only a piece of it.

What we need to understand is we need all Five Buckets every day. And all Five Buckets need to be worked on every single day. And we want to get to about 80 percent. We're never going to fill a bucket all the way because if we do, then what happens is it overflows and other buckets don't get filled. I'll also tell you that if you are a perfectionist, I want you to stop for a minute and realize that you are your own worst enemy. Why is perfectionism the opposite of work life balance? It's a very important point. Why is perfectionism one of our work enemies? What do you think? It'll never be perfect. You can't control everything. Waste of time. If you can get me to contribute to all Five Buckets every day, you're a genius. And I know that you're saying that... It's interesting that I love the challenge. I'm not a genius. I appreciate any...But I will say that I'm very inspired and inspiring about our quality of lives by living a Five Bucket life.

And another participate said, "They learned this when their husband passed away." And you're absolutely right about that. When we lose someone in death, or in divorce, or in anything else, we have perspective. And I love the idea that we can learn things before necessarily tragedies. You set yourself up to fail. If life were perfect, work is not. Yep. I love this. You can never be perfect. Compromise and perfectionism don't mix well.

So, we ware going to... I'm going to invite you to go through our buckets. I'd like you to think about the ones that you're really good at and the ones not so much. Obviously, they have all changed a little bit since the pandemic. But interesting enough, not as much as you might think. They are in the order of need. We are lonelier now than we've ever been, not just because of the pandemic. But, we were going in this direction until 2019 anyway. Social media and the Internet certainly drove away some of the connections. We're humans, so I want to be clear about something. Humans are mammals. We need... You might remember Carrie Fisher and her mother died a day apart. The Bushes died very close together. We call this Broken Heart Syndrome, Lonely Heart Syndrome. That's a medical disease. We need...

You can see me on the video? Everybody can see me on the video? Can you say... Say, "Yes. Me." It's not the best it could be. But what do you think? Does the video help like this much? Does it help a little bit? What do we think? It helps. We need to make sure that we're staying socialized. We need to make sure that we absolutely are connected. This is not the time to stop making friends. This is the time to put people in your life that are pushing you in the right direction. And I love when people say that they use video on everyone. I don't believe in Zoom fatigue that way. Zoom fatigue is much harder when we're not using videos. Now, during a pandemic, we definitely need to say, "Boy, I wish I was in the room with you. It would be so much fun if we were together." We're not. Let's do the most fun we can be there.

We're... How many minutes? We're 12 minutes into this class. I want to ask you a very tough question. I want you to be as honest as possible. How many of you have been multitasking in the 12 minutes we've been together so far? You will get a copy of the slides and the recording. About 50, 50. So, what? Am I boring? Is that why you're multitasking? Tell me why you're multitasking. Eating lunch. I'll let you do lunch. Kids. Online. Too much to do. I'm not here to pass judgment. But, what I will tell you is that I think all of us can acknowledge that we're multitasking more than we have to. We don't always have to. People messaging you. I totally get the idea that we feel that way. But, the person who shouted in that it's not really possible, they're 100 percent right. We've got to understand that our brain takes a huge toll.

So, the first bucket is family and friends. Now, it's talking about not jotting down things we're saying as often. That's a good thing to do. That's not multitasking, that's staying on this. It also means making change. A few months ago, I was video chatting with a girlfriend that I've been friends with for about 20 years. And at the end of the call, I felt very, very anxious, very anxious. And I started thinking about our friendship and the 20 years, and how anxious she would make me feel. And I realized that it was time for that friendship to end. It was the right thing to do. I took out a note card. I wrote a piece of paper. I sat down and crafted a message saying, "It's been 20 years. I've gotten so much out of our friendship. But, I do think it's time for us to part ways. We've grown apart." Do you think I felt guilty about that? No. Not at all. I feel awesome. I do not miss that relationship even a little. It was the right change to make.

And I do want to make great points, somebody just said, about work life balance. They feel that unless we multitask, we can't have work life balance. And I really disagree with you about that. We can do... If we start... When we start thinking in a cyclical way and we've got a foundation... People are saying they've unfriended people on Facebook. Oh, and there's a spelling mistake. Wow. I cannot fix it right now, but thank you so much. Create new traditions, not crate them. Thank you. I will fix that. That's a great point. And I will make sure we take care of that. Real friends would not have lifetime impact. The idea of this bucket is that there are people in your life that are making you better, and you're making them better. And that we're prioritizing that. I'm alone. I'm single now. It means I'm dating. I'm finding safe ways to date. If you are working in a relationship, you're prioritizing your marriage or your partnership. And people are saying, "I let go of friends who don't make me feel good. I feel bad for a moment, but I'm empathetic. It makes it hard to make the right choice."

There is nothing that I'm going to say on this call that's easy. There's nothing. Not one choice that I've made do I think it's easy. But, I do believe in the idea that we get our one life to live without the most amount of regrets. And I really do believe that our choices are much more powerful and much more plentiful than we ever thought up. Letting go of the Debbie Downers, letting go of the Negative Neds are part of this. Knowing if you're working home right now with your children, that you're going to put in the bucket more patience, more messiness, more fun. Stopping along the way and saying, "We're going to dance in the kitchen." More a matter about, yes, those children that may be really pushing your buttons at time to time. My kids are now grown. They're 28, 29, and 31. And I can tell you that I would trade places with all of you or any of you in a heartbeat. Because that moment of time that you're having right now is going to be gone.

And I like the idea... Someone's saying, wow, only their closest friends and family have their phone numbers. Others that I kept on Facebook can reach me there. They've set some boundaries. Teenagers may seem hard to please, but they're not as hard as they seem. It's more about the teenage façade. Knowing that this family and friend's bucket is a priority means that we don't just do it on the weekends. We don't just do it on the holidays. We're taking care of it every day. I started my business working from home with my children. And family dinner wasn't always possible. But, I could do family breakfast. And I could make fun family breakfast. And the kids would cook for fun family breakfast. Friends that you just let go were not your friends, they were just visitors by circumstances that you net in a time of your life. Love that.

Adding or subtracting people to your family, friends it's the first take away. For some, it's also prioritizing it. I call my mother about eight times a day. My mom is 84. My dad died. It's been a very hard time for her. And sometimes those phone calls are literally one minute. I love you, mom. You're the most important person. I love you. It's a connection. I know what it means to her, and I know what it means to me. I also know that I won't get to make that phone call one day. I can never call my dad again. So, I'm not waiting for tomorrow. I'm not waiting until I have time to have the long conversation. I'm doing it now. I call her every night to say good night. It's part of my ritual. It's part of my discipline. And people are saying that they agree. Great.

So, let's move on to our Work Bucket. Our Work Bucket has become more challenging, and we are working more hours. And for some of us, I want to start by telling you work life balance experts and work life balance, not just experts, but those like myself that believe so strongly in this accept reality. So, you don't hear us saying things like when this is over, when this ends, I'm going to do it then. They accept the reality of the way the pandemic is at this moment in time. They accept the reality that we have no idea how and when this is going to end, if it's going to end. We realize that the news changes pretty frequently.

But, they also live in the world of what I've done well. I have a DIG file, a darn I'm good file. What does it mean? It means if I went got up this morning, and thought about my day yesterday and 10 things went well and the 11th did not. What did I go to bed thinking about? The ones that went well, or the ones that didn't? Whose fault is that? Here's the tough love. The one that didn't. I don't do that anymore. I've made mistakes. We just made a mistake on the spelling mistake. The old Wendy would've been like, "I don't understand. We had this spelling mistake. I've gone over this a thousand times." Now the new Wendy say, "You know what? It's okay." I focus on what I did well. I'm focusing on what I'm trying to do and what I'm accomplishing. I [inaudible 00:20:33] prohibitive conscious, I always focus on the one that didn't go well.

Let me teach a little bit about the way our brain rewires. It takes one nanosecond to rewire our brain. One nanosecond to be able to say, "Yesterday, I thought about negative things. Today I'm going to focus on what I'm doing." Get up in the morning, get dressed for work. If you're working from home, which many and most of us are, get up, walk out the door. I don't care where you go. Go on your little commute. Come back in. I don't even care if it's raining. Get up and get dressed. One of the best books I loved was written by a Navy SEAL called Make My Bed. Anybody seen the Ted Talk? I keep a feel good file at work. I put thank you cards and birthday cards. I love it. It's based upon the... Ah, people are saying they love that book. I love that book, yes. So get dressed, focus on what you're doing well in your life. And especially in your work. Be creative about your work day, but most importantly, make sure you take a break.

Sorry about that. So, first bucket is friends and family. The second bucket is bringing gratitude into your work. And again, we're getting in every bucket. But, it's hard to take a break. There's nothing easy that I'm going to tell you in any bucket. There's nothing easy about this class. It's discipline. The book title is Get Dressed. I thought... I'll have to look that up. Now, I just want to make sure I'm getting the right book title because I thought it was called Make My Bed. But, sometimes they change. And I will find that out. Now, I am multitasking, and you guys can all see me do that. No, it's called Make Your Bed. It's called Make Your Bed by Admiral McRaven. It's a great book and a great present. Yeah.

Third bucket is fascinating. And we've done a lot of research on the third bucket. And it's based upon a book by Viktor Frankl. That's what started this conversation. And it's Viktor Frankl wrote a book called Man's Search for Meaning. And people are saying they love it. It's a great book to re-read during the pandemic. It proved that those that gave aways their bread during the concentration camps were more likely to survive than those who didn't. And the books are GIFed in the chat features because I change them up all the time.

It means for me a very personal story. I'm going to tell you about my father for a minute. My father taught me this bucket, and it's changed my life. My father's funeral... He was 81 when he died. And the funeral director, very lovely man, said, "Don't be upset if a lot of people don't come. It's an older person." And he set expectations, and we understand that. The morning of the funeral, I got there and there were really hundreds of people there. It was really overwhelming. I'm going to introduce you very quickly to three. The first one was his bank manager. Of course, I didn't know the bank manager. She was crying, and she talked about my dad. And she said how much she loved my dad. Sorry. She told me that my dad had gotten her daughter a job. And I'm thinking, "Who are you?" The second was a dry cleaner. I liked this person because I got a free year of dry cleaning. She talked about how special my father was.

The third was his car dealer. My father loved cars. He had a custom made car at the end of his life that had disco lighting on the inside, and it had a glove box you could heat up a hot chocolate or cool a beer. He was a football fan. And the car dealer asked me about the car. And I was crying. And he said, "I'm buying the car from you. Your father was the most loyal customer. I loved your father." Now look, the point of the story is not how awesome my father was, although he was. I went to bed at night and I understand this bucket. The point of the matter was I don't know any of these people in my community. I'm busy. Pandemic or not, I'm busy. I'm a single mom, three children, working all the time, and it's way too hard. Who uses a bank teller? We do Venmo. Who knows their community people? Well, people who live work life balance, they do. So for me, I'm not great at waiting in line. I'm impatient. But now, I embrace lines during the pandemic. I stand six feet. I socially distance. And I talk to the people in front of me. And I've met new friends.

And that's what this bucket means. This bucket means that you, you, one little person along the way is making a difference in this world. You're going to vote in this election. I'm not being political, but you're going to vote. You are going to care about whatever issues you want to care about. You're going to speak about them in your way that's appropriate, that's diplomatic, that's caring, and that's empathetic. You're going to give, and care, and matter. And you're going to prioritize that the same, the same as you would your family, and friends, and work. This bucket gets equal billing. Comments or questions?

Lines add a new facet to your life. That's good. I never thought I would say it. Service to others means peace. Shopping right now... Look, if you have a choice between going to a very, very big chain that's probably going to survive the pandemic and the little pizzeria next door that probably isn't, it's going to mean you're going to make that choice carefully. And you're going to feel good about it. I went in to dinner... I take this bucket very seriously. It's something I've really changed my life. And I went into a small restaurant the other day. And the owner was standing there. He's been working seven days a week, 14 hour days. And I just said, "I just want to thank you. I just want to really thank you for staying in business because I'm sure it's really hard."

People are taking about extroverts and introverts. I want to talk a little bit about that. I'm an extrovert. I think you can tell that. My older son, my 31 year old is a surgeon is a very extreme introvert. And we've been talking a lot about the fact that it's different work life balance for introverts and extroverts. But one of the ways we can help introverts and extroverts understand is I need to slow it down to think before I speak. Extroverts don't really do that. Introverts just need to take their time. And then they'll get to the place they need to get. So the real difference between us is not the work life balance, it's just necessarily the way we get there. And people are saying that they also lost their father, and they learned a lot.

Volunteer feels more like work right now. Draining. I would probably ask you then to switch your volunteering. I had to find many different things before I found the one that didn't drain me, but excited me. And so, I don't think we should be judgmental on this bucket. I think we should be open opportunities. There are many ways to give back. It can be like my father on a one to one, or it can be in a United Way, or many big global organizations. And for those who have recently lost a loved one, my heart goes to you. And it's a challenging time. There's a great book called I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye. It sits on my nightstand, and I highly recommend. And pet therapy is awesome as well.

Let's go on to the next bucket. And people are saying they volunteer a lot. Some of them can also be simply, not simply, but making brownies or making carrot cake for your local healthcare workers. Money, we've done a very good job about moving this bucket. So, I could spend a lot of time on financial wellness. But, just know that those who have a savings are always going to have a better balance. Because look, money does solve certain problems. We know you need enough money to have a home and food on your table. Everything else is considered to be gravy. So, meat versus gravy is how I brought up my children. It's the most important bullet on this. Meat versus gravy means I know what I need. My heart, my lungs, my kidneys will shut down.

So cable TV, is that a meat or a gravy? What do you guys think? Meat or a gravy? It's a gravy. If you are out of credit card debit and you have a great FICOs score, and you've done a really good job, go ahead and have cable TV. But, knowing the difference between meat versus gravy is really helpful. Getting your FICOs score up over 700, or 750, or 780, or 790, is a goal. And I love the idea that people are saying they cut cable. They knew that they didn't need certain things. And then people are also talking about the challenges about overworking right now, or working from home. Asking yourself if you're overspending or over shopping to compensate for some of that is very important.

Money does not make us happy. Those who won the million dollars... It is wants verus needs. I like meat. But, I like the idea of really being tough on this though. Yep. Home prices are very expensive in California. They are, too, here in New York. And that might mean that you're going... Living in California means other things are going to sacrifice. Underspending to help my kids, which is also very stressful.

I have a one second story on this slide. My younger son wanted basketball shoes, very expensive basketball shoes. I think he was about 12. And I took him to a place in New York City called Rutgers Park, which a lot of very famous basketball players started. And they play sometimes barefoot. And they play in 999, no name school. The Rutger, yeah. And my son just could not believe that you could be a great basketball player with very poor sneakers. But actually, the sneakers doesn't make the basketball player. So, I love the idea of really looking at what money should mean for us, and not what it does mean for us necessarily.

Pay cut and paying off debt, never thought that would happen. It's something to feel positive about in the midst of the chaos. I love the idea of having financial goals. I love the idea that we are looking towards financial independence. And I also love the idea that we are increasing our financial literacy. That we understand the stock market and investing. Paying off a credit card during COVID. Shout out to that person. Awesome.

The last bucket we have done well in, up until COVID. I don't like the joke of the pandemic 15. Wow, people are paying off their house this month. Shout out for that. Being at a good weight, really truly knowing how much you weigh, knowing what you eat, knowing that you should be exercising during a pandemic, an hour a day. I love two apps for this. MyFitnessPal, I think is a great app. And I love Strava. I'm taking a little break from running now. I have a little issue. But, I'm going to get back to running. I think Strava is an awesome app. I love Calm and Headspace. And Happify. These are all apps that I'm sending off. Strava is an exercise app. Giving you different ideas.

Somebody said, "I was able to leave $100 per month and never paid my apartment, education, health expenses. When I was able to leave on 100... Oh, able to live on $100." Dealing with today's realities of finances is very important. And if I got that question wrong, let me know. Lost 15 pounds, I love it, during COVID. I find myself staying up late. On the Soviet Union. Yeah. Okay. Got it. Elsewhere. Certainly our financial situations, the global conversation does make a big different. A weight loss journey. I do like LoseIt! That's another great app as well. Absolutely. Yeah. Any other apps you have.

So remember for this last bucket, it's not the pandemic that causes the problem. It's not my ex-husband that causes the problem. It's not work that causes the problem. It's not my children. It's the way that I respond to it. It's always on me. It's always on my response. Can't seem to find your way back to this bucket. I can give you some hints if you want to. If you would like to hear some hints. The first thing is you get on the scale tomorrow morning. The second thing is you write down every single thing you eat, every morsel. Everything you eat. And the third thing is you do one hour of exercise a day. And we call it the Click Factor. Sorry about spelling that wrong.

So, I don't think it's good to put things off until tomorrow. Start today. The only reason I didn't have you get on the scale today... But, you're right. You're right about that. Is that I don't want anyone to get too deterred by a weight that might be a little bit off. How do you gain weight if you're a stress non-eater? It's an interesting point. And you're right, so thank you for asking that. It's always by focusing on healthy fats. We can gain weight by using MyFitnessPal just the way we can lose weight. It's truly about really being mindful about what you're eating. And mindfulness certainly comes in. Got my exercise. Keeping on gym clothes to keep me mindful. I'm a big believer in if you're not getting dressed in work clothes, I wear at least jeans every day. And I make sure all my jeans still fit every day. Home Chef, convenient for healthy meals. And if that's in your price range, go for it. [inaudible 00:35:59] the spouse is recovering from surgery. They fit, but they're tight. Okay. We're all here about goal setting.

So, now that we've covered the five buckets, we've done... Just to show you what my to-do looks like. Every morning, I get up and I fill in. Check my credit card balance, pay my bills, call my mother, get a proposal out for work, whatever the volunteer bucket. Right now, I've been working with some health care workers. And of course, the last bucket is make sure I go for a run. Every day, that's the way my Five Buckets look.

Let me stop. I know some questions... Oh, somebody's saying that when they lived overseas, they didn't have the same issue as when they moved here. America is famous for that. When I worked in China, that was one of the biggest things they said was that prior to some of the American foods coming in, they didn't have the same issues with weight. Of course, that's the book French Women Don't Get Fat. I don't know how many of you have read that, but it's a good book to revisit on that. Questions, comments. Before we get into how to fill in the bucket, any comments or questions about the Five Buckets? And if I missed one, I do apologize. It's a very large audience. So, I'm doing the very best I can to keep up with absolutely every question. Is there anything on the Five Buckets that you would like to revisit before we talk about some of the ingredients that go through every bucket? Did I miss anything?

Twice as impossible to avoid, even not to decide by definition is a decision, which is a very good point. You are going to make a decision at the end of this class whether you just wanted to listen for an hour, or whether you wanted to change your life. It does all start with you. I don't know how this comes out in how you'll process what I'm about to say. I'm pretty selfish. I've been pretty selfish since my kids were 6, 7, and 9. I really believe that for me to be the very best mom, or the very best CEO, or the very best fill-in-the-blank, I got to be happy. And that starts with me. I get excited about what I've yet to do. And I'm really committed to the idea that now more than ever, we need to get excited right now during this pandemic about what we can do. There's no motivation that isn't selfish by nature. Interesting.

How do you know when a bucket is overflowing? That's a great question. You will know if a bucket is overflowing because one of the other buckets will be suffering. So, I have 30 years in this field. I've done a tremendous work life balance coaching. Now, I can tell you about Sam A or Sam B that has told me that they are waiting until their financial bucket is filled, and then they're going to start dating to have children, and have children. And what ends up happening, they wake up and they're 55 years old. And they're financial bucket is overflowing, but they haven't met anyone. And it's been a challenge to have children.

How do you not feel guilty about what you don't do. You know what's interesting about that is I don't focus on what I'm not doing. I don't even know what I'm not doing. But I do know is what I want to get done. My chair just went down. I'm really always learning on that optimistic point. If I were really personally right now, I know I'm not getting to every one of your questions. There are several 100s of people. And I would say... Would I love to? Yes. Am I doing my very best to answer 200 of 300 questions, yes. That's what I'm going to focus on. That mantra is what I focus on in my life.

How can you change your present to include more information on the spiritual world? I absolutely can. And I can go back for a minute. I appreciate that comment. It's a very real comment. Not always come up. But, let me go back right here for a moment. Right here, the American Medical Association showed... We could add a line here. And you should add a line if it works for you. And that's called faith. But, the thing about faith is it has to be real. There are many people in this world that have such genuine faith. I worked at Fordham University, a Jesuit school, one of my very favorite jobs. And it taught me genuine authentic faith. I can tell you story after story about the president that I worked for there. So, faith goes on this community and giving back. Spirituality goes on this community and giving back. But it is not for everybody. And this bucket is very individual. So, it's a brilliant question. I want to make sure that I address it because you're absolutely right. And if that works for you, you are making the world better through your spirituality, through your faith, then that's where it belongs.

Wow. Spirituality has to do with health. Spirituality... That's a great quote by the way. Spirituality can drive our immune system and make it stronger. All of the buckets, remember, they're not one alone. They all go to others. Being a spiritual person makes me healthier, that's exactly what work life balance is about. Doing something for bucket A, bucket B makes you. Let me tell you. I joined a running club. And I meet the coolest woman whose now one of my best friends. Which bucket do I put that in? It's in everything. That's exactly how that works.

How do you overcome inertia? You become inertia with getting Wendy in your world. And there's no easy way to say this. I want you to go home today, get off the call two minutes early, I'm going to do my best to get you out, and I want you to write your eulogy. I want you to write what you want said about yourself when you're dead. I do mine at the beginning of every month, not joking about that. But the thing is, I'm not dead yet. I get to kick myself in the butt. I get the tough love that I get one chance at this world. I get one chance at this speech. I get one chance. I get to reevaluate my choices today. I get to say, "Yes." And I get to say, "No."

I am a huge Adam Grant fan. Now, I do want to tell you if you listen to podcasts, he does use in a few of them a few words that would not be considered desirable, especially for children. So, I want to do a shout out and be careful about that. His podcast on overcoming burnout is brilliant. I also love Brene Brown's podcast. These are ways that help me overcome my inertia. And the last thing about overcoming my inertia is I tell everybody what I'm going to do. I want everybody to hold me accountable. I want everybody to say, "Hey Wendy, I heard you were going to learn this. Hey Wendy, I heard you were going to do that." Because that's good guilt, that's functional guilt, that's guilt that moves us in the right way. These are great questions by the way. Awesome audience.

I do love that a four year old lost 400 times a day. I take my work super seriously, but I'm hoping we had a little fun here. I'm hoping that you can think about some stories that you've had fun in your life, and that you can make more fun. I know that... How many of you remember the movie, Patch Adams? Anybody remember the movie Patch Adams? You got to rewatch Patch Adams. Yeah. Anybody remember the movie Inside Out? Robbin Williams. He was brilliant. Absolutely. And anybody remember the movie Finding Nemo? In the line... In Finding Nemo, is a line that changed my life. The father cannot find Nemo. And he's freaking out. And he says to the ditzy Dory, "I promised Nemo nothing would happen to him." And the ditzy Dory says, "But if nothing ever happens to him, nothing will ever happen to him." What does it mean? If nothing ever happens to me, nothing will ever happen to me. What does it mean?

Does that not ring out so true to you right now in the middle of a pandemic. Does it not motivate you to take some more chances? Not to be unsafe. Not to do... Of course, wear your face covering, six feet distance, but there are so many things that we can do. I tried trail running with a group, a meet up group, a socially distance meet up group. I've never done trail running. I'm 58 years old. I was the worst. I had probably one of the most fun I've ever had. But, it was motivated by this idea of how am I going to pursue my happiness?

I love quotes in movies that can really move us along. So Zig Zigler... Many of us use Zig Zigler as an example. My dog in the background there. It says, "I believe that being successful means having a balance of success stories across many areas of your life. You cannot truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles." This quote is about a 100 years old. It goes back to the time that reminds us that we've known for a very long time that we need to look at all aspects of our life in order to define success.

So, I always stop about 10 minutes of for questions and comments. And for those of you who need 10 minutes. We know that the way you make this change, starting this moment of this second of this day is to commit to one, two, or three things that you're willing to do. Take the time to print out a slide, or take piece of paper, take a pad, doesn't matter, and write them down. Harvard has proven that you'll be 80 percent more likely to achieve a goal if you write it down. The most important work you and I will ever do will be within the walls of your own homes, Harold B. Lee. Thank you. You are helping me through my homework.

What questions or comments... Sorry. Resources. I am going to give you one other book, some other books because people are asking. Option B by Sheryl Sandberg. I wasn't a big lean in fan, just full disclosure. Just wasn't my very favorite, but I absolutely loved Option B. If you remember, Sheryl Sandberg had the horrible thing. She went to Mexico with her husband, of course the CEO of Survey Monkey, and he had a pulmonary embolism. And her life changed on a dime. And Option B is written by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant. It's an amazing book, especially during this time. Highly recommend it. And the next one is the Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. You all know Shonda Rhimes, of course. Grey's Anatomy and all the great TV shows. She gets challenged to say yes for a year. It is a phenomenal read, a phenomenal. A little bit edgier book that many people have liked, including myself, is I Love Capitalism. I spelled Capitalism wrong. Sorry about that. You might recognize the name, Langone. Mr. Langone. He started Home Depot.

So, let me stop. Questions, comments, resources? How else can we continue this discussion? I just do want to show you that I count every minute of the day as work life balance. That's why you can see I started right on time, but I always end a little bit early in case you have another meeting back to back, we want to give you time to breathe, take a break, go and have some tea. Guilt is to what our spirit what pain is to our body, a warning, a danger, and a protection from additional damage. How to end my work day when I still have so much to do? Oh, I have a great quote for you. There's an excellent stress management expert called Loretta LaRoche. I may be spelling her last name. And it says, "Did everything die anyway?" So, I'm never done with work. I don't wait until it's done.

How do you get over death or divorce? You don't. You learn to live with it. I'm a totally different person. I had a very different second divorce. I loved my husband immensely. And he passed away right after we got divorced. And I can tell you that I live with it every day. And it comes in waves. And I learned to let it teach me, and make me stronger, and kinder, and more compassionate. But, I never get over it. Yes. People are saying there's The Simple Art of Not Giving a... And I won't say the word. That is a great, great, edgy book. Absolutely did love it. I think you know probably why. When I start living my capitalism rules, I love my family and friends. I need to make appointments to see them. Again, I'm not exactly sure... If the person could help me with that. The idea about the Home Depot book, which I love, was his commitment to the medical community. And maybe just to recap, Ken Langone is one of the people that made NYU medical school free. And he talks about his commitment to making sure that we have a better medical school population to pick from, medical school is very, very, very...

My ex-husband did not die of suicide. You're absolute perfectly acceptable. I certainly have done a lot of work with suicide. He actually passed away of a massive heart attack. I have lost... My son recently lost his very closest friend to suicide, so it's not something that I'm not familiar with. We certainly teach suicide awareness. And it's something that makes me very passionate. When I talk about work life balance, I don't think we can prevent suicide. But I certainly do believe that when our lives are more balanced and when we're feeling like I had a bad day at work, but I have all these other buckets, I'm feeling like, okay, one bucket was out of whack today, but four like pretty good. I'm good. Girl Wash Your Face. Loved it. Absolutely. Just let me see if I lost...

You're going to end your work day. I want to go back to that with a discipline. I will say if we have a part two, it would be about discipline, about motivation. Yeah. About tenacity. Ah, last book. Grit by Angela Duckworth. There's actually even a Grit test you can take. And people are expressing empathy to me, so thank you. You don't get over things, but you do move on. And, excellent, the National Suicide Prevention hotline for anyone that would like and need it. And I think we can all benefit from it. I'm going to go ahead and put that in the chat feature as well, so thank you so much for sharing that. This too shall pass. That's a great line to say. For the good things that'll pass, and for the bad things that'll pass. Because that's the reality. Absolutely. I'm going to give you back seven minutes of your day, everybody. You were an awesome audience. So much fun to talk to. Thank you so much for participating. And have an awesome rest of the day.

 

 

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