Ralph Tresvant On Work-Life Balance

An extremely useful lesson on work-life balance can be found by watching old videos on YouTube.

Specifically, New Edition’s ‘Count Me Out.’

This music video from 1985 has default lead singer Ralph Tresvant planning a night out with his girlfriend. The rest of the group pre-Bell Biv DeVoe (Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, and Ronnie DeVoe. Bobby Brown had left to go solo by this time) are complaining about this date ruining their plans of hanging out (going to the movies, then to the park to play a little ball ‘til it gets dark).

Tresvant tells his boys that ‘you’ll have to count me out,’ since he wants to spend time with his girlfriend.

Tresvant has two competing priorities in this scenario: his usual routine of hanging out with the fellas and the special occasion of hanging out with his girl.

How does this represent work-life balance? Let’s start with a statement that we should all get behind: it is all life, and there is no actual balance.

You are a being with infinite possibilities of outcomes and finite amounts of time, energy, and resources to work with. Some are more fortunate than others to have ‘work’ be fulfilling and lucrative. Some are more fortunate to have life being fulfilling and pleasurable. I would bet that the bulk of us are stressed by both the work aspects and the life aspects, but without enough worth, you can’t live very much life.

If rolling the dice on a date which could lead to more, and at least mean a change in pace to playing ball with his boys, is worth it, it is worth not playing ball with the boys for at least one night even if the boys can’t find alternative activities for themselves to stay occupied.

If something is important enough to you, you will make time for it. If you have to work to pay bills, you will find time for it. If you have relationships that need to grow, you will find time for them. If you have a hobby or side hustle that you want to expand on, you will have to find time for them.

You will have to count yourself out of a few things to gain traction in a few other things. The balance will never be attained, but balancing all those aspects are crucial.

Agree? Disagree? Don’t get the connection? Talk to me at jclevelandpayne@gmail.com.

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