What Tiger Reminded Me About Work-Life Balance

Tiger Woods (photo by Keith Allison, WikiMedia Creative Commons License)

Tiger Woods (photo by Keith Allison, WikiMedia Creative Commons License)

For those of you who are new to Life Compass, I write on Spirituality, Faith and Ethics every Sunday.  Here’s why.

Tiger Woods has been in the news a lot lately.  Not because of his great golf game, but because of reports of multiple extramarital relationships.

Sadly, there’s nothing new about celebrities (or anyone for that matter) having affairs these days.  But what most people seem to find shocking about Tiger’s situation is that his public persona gave no indication of his private daliances. Clearly, who he was in public did not reflect what was going on in his private life.

When I hear stories like these about Tiger or others, I’m reminded that each and every human being in this world is susceptible to temptation and failure.  We can so easily deceive ourselves into thinking that we can be a different person in public than we are in private. Pretty soon, we not only deceive ourselves, but the ones most close to us too.

We think, “I’ll do it just this once.  It won’t hurt anything or anyone.”  And if we’ve gotten away with it (or so we think) we do it again.  And again.

A few months ago, in How Self-Deception Contributes to Work-Life Imbalance, I wrote that:

Self-deception is one of the greatest enemies we face when it comes to personal growth and work-life balance.  It is a self-betrayal against our moral compass, our innate sense of what we know is right and wrong.

And it rarely stays small.  Self-deception in one area of life almost inevitably lead to problems in other areas – especially our career, finances, and relationships.

Don’t think it could happen to you?  Neither did Tiger.  Don’t think it could cost you your family, your income, and more?  Neither did Tiger!

So how can we fight against self-deception and maintain healthy work-life balance in our lives?

I believe one of the best things we can do is commit ourselves to a life of integrity – to be the same in public that we are in private.  Here are some tips on how to do that:

  1. Identify and write down boundaries in each life area – limits beyond which we will not go.
  2. Commit to listen to your conscience.  If “something” tells you that you shouldn’t do what you are about to do, then don’t do it.  By the way, I’ve observed that if we get into the habit of ignoring the warnings that our conscience gives us regarding a particular matter, it will eventually stop warning us.  This is clearly a sign that we’ve gone too far.
  3. Establish a regular time and process of assessment or accountability.  You can do this by yourself, or with your spouse, close friend, or accountability partner.   The simplest questions to ask yourself, or to have others ask you, are:  “Am I deceiving myself  or others in any area of my life?  Is my public life the same as my private life?  In the last week (or month), have I lived my life the way I said I wanted to live?”

Does anyone else use a process like this?  Or do you have any other thoughts or suggestions?  If so, please share them!

Speak Your Mind