Professional Life vs. Personal Life. Should we separate them?

You might have heard from  great leaders and visionaries try to keep their personal life away from their professional life, and that is one great key to success. Like others I too thought that this is the right ingredient to be the best at both, and take on the world heads on. I always thought that I can separate both, and I am doing it very efficiently until recently when I could not concentrate on my professional life because of some personal problems. Now does that mean that I could not separate both? Or it just means that I got the meaning of the statement completely wrong.

“Separate your personal life and your professional life to be successful”

Now let us analyze the first half of the statement and see what this actually means – “Separate your personal life and your professional life to be successful”. Here the word separation means you have 2 lives – one is your work life, and the other one is your life after/before work – maybe family life, life with friends, social life, etc. Let us take a moment and think about this – living 2 lives – does this sound normal? I would say yes and no. Yes, because you need to keep any confidential information from your work outside the reach of people unrelated to it; No, because if you have problems in your personal life once you come back home from office, you can’t go back next morning to office completely refreshed – because you are a human being and your psychology will not enable you to function properly.  And that is normal.

Now let us come to the second portion of the statement “Separate your personal life and your professional life to be successful”. The word ‘successful’ is a very subjective. What I mean to say is that being successful for me can mean something entirely different from what you take success to be. I would love to be professionally successful and can spend 80 hours a week working, while you may like to work only for 40 hours a week and spend your weekends with your friends. Thus being successful depends on the person. What I ask myself whenever I want to know if I am being successful, is that can I enjoy my work success when I go back home? Simple. Crisp. I would like to smile and talk about my achievements to the people surrounding me. And If I have a personal problem and I can’t share my achievements/happiness/sadness with someone I can’t be happy. And if I am not happy, how well did I separate my personal life with professional life?

According to me the bottom line is, we always comprehend the statement wrong. The statement doesn’t tell us to keep both lives different, it tells us to not mix some of the most integral parts of each of these two segments of our life together. It tells us to be more responsible towards both our professional and our personal endeavors. It teaches us that whatever might be the reason, we should try not to effect our life because of the any of the two segments.

So do not try to separate your life into two entities – as professional and personal, instead try to live your life to the fullest. Chalk out your professional and your personal goals on a piece of paper and be committed towards them. Try not to compromise with your goals, but definitely ask yourself if you could wait on one of your goals to support something else which is important. Wait listing your goals is fine, but not compromising with them. That’s how you will be happy professionally as well as personally, and you will be successful.

Let me know what you think.



Arnab Pandey

 Arnab Pandey is a  capital markets professional, an entrepreneur, a nationally awarded debater, an internationally acclaimed researcher, and a passionate blogger. He holds  an  MBA (Finance) degree from the Sykes College of Business at The University of Tampa, Florida. He procured his under-graduate (Bachelor of Technology) degree in the field of applied mechanics….. Read More

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