O P I N I O N
Work-life balance 3.0
Mr. Miyagi was right: Balance is key. So, make sure both sides of your work-life scale are balanced.
I recently began watching a Netflix show called Cobra Kai , which is a sequel to The Karate Kid series from the 1980s. For those Karate Kid fans out there, you’ll definitely get a “kick” out of Cobra Kai . In case you don’t remember the original movie, Daniel LaRusso was a huge underdog but defeated Johnny Lawrence in a modern-day David versus Goliath battle at a karate tournament. Cobra Kai picks up the storyline 30 years later and portrays the lives of Daniel LaRusso and his arch nemesis Johnny Lawrence.
Henry Liang, P.E.
Daniel is now a successful businessman, is married to a beautiful wife, has two kids, and is loving life. Johnny can’t keep a steady job, is divorced, abandoned his son, and is struggling to make a living. In one of the Cobra Kai episodes, Daniel LaRusso is teaching his daughter a life-lesson and he quotes one of Mr. Miyagi’s sayings from the original movie. Mr. Miyagi said, “Better learn balance. Balance is key. Balance good, karate good. Everything good. Balance bad, better pack up, go home. Understand?” Mr. Miyagi’s quote about balance has resonated with me beyond just a funny flashback down memory lane. When I started my career in consulting engineering in the early 2000s, one of my mentors taught me that to succeed in our profession we need to work hard, win work, and then work hard. As a highly motivated assistant engineer right out of college with a ton of
energy, I took his advice literally by working tirelessly. My brain translated this advice to mean be the first one in the office, work through lunch, stay the latest, and work weekends so I could get as many tasks done as possible for as many people as possible. Did I worry about burning out? Not at all! I thought working hard was the only way to succeed in my career. Some of you may be thinking, what’s wrong with good, honest, hard work? The truth is … nothing at all. In fact, this attitude of succeeding by outworking everyone else is a mindset more people should be adopting. However, as my career progressed, I soon realized that what I defined as success as a consulting engineer did not fulfill my life at all. I found myself reflecting and asking myself questions like: “Why did I
See HENRY LIANG, page 4
THE ZWEIG LETTER APRIL 4, 2022, ISSUE 1435
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