Great Relationship Advice: How to Balance Your Hear at Work with Your Heart at Home

Remember the Tom Cruise movie "Jerry Maguire?"

From my seat in the theater, this movie had a much more valuable message than it's catch phrase "show me the money."

Tom Cruise plays the title character Jerry Maguire, a fast moving sports agent who lives for the big score and makes big money. After an attack of conscious, he is let go by his firm. Cuba Gooding, Jr. plays his one remaining client, football player Rod Tillman, a player with talent and an attitude that gets in the way.

Jerry Maguire has his heart in his career and leaves very little of himself for his relationships. As is true of many men, it's said in the movie that "he is great at friendship, lousy at intimacy."

Rod Tillman is a talented athlete who loves and has a great family, who while talented, just doesn't have his heart in his career.

Without giving too much away, by the end of the movie, each of these men had found a way to put their heart into both family and career.

Unfortunately, our lives are not exactly like the movies. In the movies, each person has a script and as many takes as they need to get it right. Most of what we do is live.

Having said that, let's look at some ways to successfully put our hearts into both work and family.

Putting your heart in work

In her book "Care Packages for the Workplace: Dozens of Little Things You Can Do to Regenerate Spirit at Work" Barbara Glanz uses the acronym of CARE to offer us several suggestions on how to put our heart into our work. We'll look at each of these letters and suggestions for using them.

C - Creative Communication

We live in an information society. This means that on a daily basis at the office, we are bombarded with communication, some important, some meaningless. In order for what we communicate to stand out from all the rest, it has to be unique in some way. Consider what you can do to liven up and personalize communication in your office.

A - Atmosphere

How many of you believe that work ought to be fun? So does Joel Goodman, Director of the HUMOR Project, who says, "It is important that we take our jobs seriously....... and it is also important that we take ourselves lightly."

R - Reason for Being

All of us need to feel like we are a part of something important and special. Glanz recommends creating a "personal mission statement" for your life and work. This is not to be confused with a corporate mission statement about a company. It's a statement of how you see your life and work.

E- Enthusiasm

For the lucky among us, it's easy to be enthusiastic about our jobs. For those that have a more difficult time, Glanz says "the challenge is to find your own passion - what small thing about your job can you love?" And then build from there.

Putting your heart in home

As you arrive home after another long day at the office, does it ever occur to you that you are about to begin what is really your most important job? Being a part of your family. Most women tend to instinctively know this while most men need strong reminders. (I believe it's a genetic defect).

In discussing the balance between work and family, I wrote about work first, not because it's most important, but because I wanted to save the best for last. I know too many people who have sacrificed their families on the alter of success, only to wind up professionally successful and personally lonely. From what I've seen, it's not a very attractive way to live.

Consider a few questions with me

- What would happen in our families if we applied the same CARE acronym at home? - What would it be like to find creative and fun ways to communicate with those with whom we live?

- What would it be like for the teenager who has been giving you trouble to find a note from you under the pillow that simply says, "I love you and I'm glad you're here?"

- What would it be like to come home to an atmosphere where you could be yourself, feel loved, and grow into your full potential?

- What if your reason for being, that which your life was organized around was your relationships? How would life be different?

- What would happen in our families if we brought as much enthusiasm home with us as we had at the football game? Could home become an exciting place to be?

I realize that I've asked more questions than I have answered at this point. It's just that I believe we need to begin asking ourselves these questions in order to achieve a balance between work and family.

In our increasingly complex society, a major source of stress is the delicate balance between family and career. Beginning to ask these questions can steer us towards solutions we can take home.

Visit SecretsofGreatRelationships.com for tips and tools for creating and growing a great relationship. You can also subscribe to our f*r*e*e 10 day e-program on how to enrich your relationship today, from relationship coach and expert Jeff Herring.

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