A Test of your Work-Life Balance

It’s a well-known phenomenon that “objects in the rear-view mirror appear smaller than they are”. If you’re ever in doubt about a work-life decision, I recommend that you apply the rear-view mirror test!

Work and life in the rear-view mirror

In our first two articles, we explored good driving as a valuable model to help you establish good work-life balance, and debunked the antagonism of work and life in favor of an integrated “work-life happiness” mindset.

Let’s return to the car again—behind the wheel in the driver’s seat. It’s time to take a quick glance behind us, in the rear-view mirror.

Imagine you’re at the end of your journey, or, at least, well into your life’s journey. You glance in the rear-view mirror to see the history of your life receding behind you.

I know too many people who have looked back, only to be shocked how tiny the images of their children and loved ones appear. Instead, they see a giant commitment to work obscuring their view. I know very few people who have complained about the opposite.

So, I’m not telling you where to put your current focus.

I’m simply reminding you that there will come a time when you can’t go back. The decisions you make today profoundly affect what you’ll see in your own rear-view mirror many years from now. And the images will become smaller and smaller as time passes.

Next time you’re contemplating a decision that affects your work-life balance, take a quick look in the mirror. That should help you to get it right.

Have fun, and happy driving!


Dr. Roddy Carter, MD, has over 30 years of experience working across a range of medical disciplines and corporate settings. 

At the height of his successful career, Roddy experienced a personal health and happiness awakening. During this profoundly transformative time, he began applying his deep knowledge of performance neuroscience to his everyday life. He discovered that, in moments of stress, the brain develops intricate psycho-protective adaptations to ensure our short-term survival; however, these adaptations often impose substantial residual limitations, create profound (and often hidden) distress, and prevent us from reaching our innate potential.

Today, Roddy is an executive coach and author dedicated to helping others unlock their full potential throughout their lives by applying compassionate neuroscience and sharing his unique approach to Personal Mastery™.

To learn more about Roddy and his coaching services, and to follow his blog, visit www.roddycarter.com. You can find his books, BodyWHealth and Sunset Lessons, on Amazon.