Work Life Balance

Thanks for everyone’s discussion on my work and life balance. ILH asked:

Is it worth it if you are starting to neglect your personal heath and sacrifice your family life in order to have a full time job, maintain a couple of Weblog, and have a lots of social activities? Posted by: ILH on May 14, 2005 02:19 AM

Well. It is NOT worth to have a full time job to sacrifice my family life and health. In Stephen R. Covey’s First Things First put this sentence as the headline of the first chapter:“How many people on their deathbed wish they’d spendt more time at the office.”

I totally agree. What I am doing is really integrate my dream, my life and my job together. I have my commitment to every friend around me, my family, my company and my life. I believe I can balance for most time. This Beijing trip is an exception, that I believe what I sacrified well paid for what I got. Thanks for everyone’s care.

Share a picture of Jin Mao Tower in Pudong with everyone:


Photography by Jian Shuo Wang

14 thoughts on “Work Life Balance

  1. that is a tough question for almost anyone. Nobody is really qualified to point finger at another person’s life.

    so, we support you, Jianshuo,

  2. Everyone has his or her own life. Everyone’s life is different, as is everyone’s ability. Therefore, everyone has a different balance among the components of one’s life. Problem is how does one know what is his/her right balance and if he/she is achieving it. Some may have a good grasp of this balance while others may have a very poor grasp. In addition, the balance point shifts (changes) considerably with time, that is, with age. Such shifts may even be sharp and/or sudden changes. Others could tell you whether you are close to having the right balance (because occasionally things are seen more clearly from outside) but nobody should be able to dictate your life or your balance. They may try but you should not let them. (You should not let them except maybe for sake of true love.) This is mostly a self-discovery and self-destination issue. The main thing to remember is not to forget that you should always try to look for and maintain that balance.

    Not trying to be a philosopher, just being bigbro.

  3. bigbro,

    What you said is really true. People having struggled in discovering himself, in reaching their goals will be able to appreciate it deeply.

    Just share with people who are still fighting for their dreams:

    Tough time won’t last, tough people will.

  4. Well said Bigbro! The Key word is “Balance”.

    What would happened when this Balance gets disrupted?

    1, At least, one would not be able to maximize his/her full potential.

    2, The worst case scenario, one is no long productive.

    朱海军 is example of that case. (BTW, I have just learned this name from JS’s Chinese Blog, and he was a good friend of JS).

    According to Mr. JS Wang, Mr. 朱 could have achieved a super star status in today’s blog world if he is still around. He wrote tens and thousands word each day and were extremely articulating. For that, he was admired by many including Mr. Wang. But the simple fact is he can not realize his dreams to its fullest from there he is today, never the less appreciate it!

    Let’s assume that we can ask him a question why he didn’t take case himself? He probably had 150 reasons to say why he has to do what he did. And he would let no one to dictate his life. And it is matter of his person choice.

    Oh boy! What a tragic Choice!

    Therefore, I think, every now and then, it is OK to check that “Balance”, to make sure you are not deviate too much from that “Balance”, just like we see the doctor to have a annual physical check up. Smoking is not going to kill a person over night, but we all know what it can do to a person’s heath over the long term. Sleeping deprivation is similar to that.

    I wish all of you could live a long healthy, happy, and productive life. So we can take care of our commitments to all others better!

  5. Dear Wangjianshuo,

    I salute you for acquiring such a mature perspective at such a young age. Many people are in their 50’s before they realize how valuable family and their health are, and by then, it’s much more difficult to establish those relationships with their spouses and children.

    By the way, speaking of spouses and children– has China finally abandoned that dumb One Child Policy started in 1979? Sorry, I’m not trying to be culturally insensitive here, but I have to speak honestly here; I’m basically a Sinophile and want China (and Taiwan) to peacefully develop as mature, successful societies. The One Child Policy has to be one of the most foolish (and ineffective) policies ever dreamed up by a government, full of unintended consequences. So China’s cities now have rapidly aging populations for whom there are not enough young people to support? And, even worse– because of son preference on the farms, combined with the one child policy– there is now a 120:100 male:female excess at birth? 25 million young Chinese men without the possibility of finding a wife within China?? Ugh– I can’t even imagine what the bar scene in the cities must be like.

    First of all, what Chinese official was stupid enough to not realize that this would be an unintended consequence of the policy? And second, now that it’s obvious to absolutely everybody that a major male:female imbalance has arisen as a result, why oh why has some smart Chinese official not wised up and said, “maybe the one child policy wasn’t such a good idea– let’s abandon it”? Do the officials have to be hit in the head with a frying pan to finally realize this? Why not just adopt a voluntary family planning system (like what’s used e.g. in Europe), expand educational opportunities, provide more job training and the like? People naturally tend to reduce family size then, without the drastic problems caused by a one-child policy like this.

    I have had some people (both Chinese and American) tell me that the One Child Policy isn’t really enforced, that more girls are born and raised than actually recorded, that all the census figures are undercounts, that many men are marrying Vietnamese women, and so on. But still– it should be blindingly obvious that the policy hasn’t worked, and that it’s wound up creating more problems than were there in the first place. Are the officials finally getting rid of this policy?

  6. wookie,

    I totally agree with your good wishes and ideas, but the real society in China is really really complicated, people have to live there for a long while to understand why the problems are there, and how hard it is to make even a tiny improvement in such a huge complex society.

  7. wookie,

    Twenty years when I was in China, I saw a farmer who has 10 kids, he was poor and wish some of the kids will support his livelihood by the time when they grow up, it was the common wish in the rural area, nevertheless, some of the kids never made it to maturity. This is a typical case of ignorance associated with illiteracy and enhanced poverty in the area.

    Birth rate in many western countries without birth control have been low, even lower than China, just look to Hong Kong now part of China, birth rate is so low and the acting chief executive had to encourage people to bear more kids.

    During the cold war era, the American were teasing Soviet people had to line up every day for their daily supply, but failed to see the queue in front of the cashiers at their own supermarkets.


  8. i just heard that ur personal wedblog is the biggest one in the contry,not bad,buddy,i like it,and i think it’s ganna help me 2 learn more spoken-english.

    actually i hate do that,i just have 2. :(

  9. “Birth rate in many western countries without birth control have been low, even lower than China, just look to Hong Kong now part of China, birth rate is so low and the acting chief executive had to encourage people to bear more kids.”

    You’re right about that, but there’s one major difference– Western countries like Italy and the USA (as well as Japan and Hong Kong) that have had rapidly falling birth rates and aging populations, they are *already rich* and so can sustain the problems that come with an aging population/gender imbalance. (This sort of thing also occurs in USA, with spread of ultrasound, many more boys being born.) But China, though it’s done an admirable job in developing quickly, is still third-world in much of the country.

    For a *developing* country a growing population is very important for economic growth, after which it can naturally stabilize and drop somewhat (as wealthier people don’t feel as desperate to have many children to support them). You have to pass that demographic transition first, and I feel that Chinese officials are shooting themselves in the foot with the One Child Policy– you have to get wealthy and then *gradually* reduce the birth rate and the population. If you reduce it extremely and artificially rapidly, the way China is doing, you wind up with cities full of millions and millions of old people without enough working, productive young people to support them.

    Speaking of the agine population issue, a couple words of advice from an American as China develops and becomes more democratic (an American who’s been dealing with my own country’s awful economic woes lately):

    Whatever you do, *do not* set up a Social Security pension system like what we in the United States and Europe have, where people automatically get a big pension at age 65 or so, paid out by the government. Once you create a pension like this, it is politically impossible to get rid of it, and you will bankrupt your country as we are doing in the USA. Instead of having a government pension, just encourage people to work and feel pride in their work as long as they are healthy, the way Japan does– people in Japan work into their 80’s, reducing their hours of course and taking more time off for travel and family affairs, and really love doing their jobs productively! That’s a sustainable way to deal with a population of many senior citizens. Also, encourage individuals to save money and invest in things like Individual Retirement Accounts and 401K’s, and also encourage family cohesion and financial support from children, nieces and nephews for senior citizens. (Some government support, of course, is fine for very poor senior citizens with medical problems– that sort of thing– just don’t make people dependent on the government for financial support! This has a corrosive effect!)

    Also– just loosen up on the One Child Policy. I know that China has special issues and an unusually large population, but my experience working in this field has shown me that people naturally reduce their family size as they become wealthier and more secure. You can’t rush this process, other than to do as much as possible to encourage individual wealth and savings. (Admittedly, I’ve had some friends tell me that the One Child Policy gets too much press, that it’s actually flexible, hasn’t reduced population much, that all reduction in Chinese fertility since the 1960s has come about with voluntary measures before the Policy and not after it– so I’ll put in that caveat.) Don’t worry, I’m not an anti-abortion zealot, but I also like for abortion to be as minimal as possible, and I wish that in China (in relation to e.g. the results of ultrasound machines) there were more of a taboo and social criticism against abortion. There are reasons for it to stay legal, but I just wish it weren’t so easily accepted in society.

    Also, please, for your sake and the sake of the world, invest in the development of renewable energy sources to replace coal and oil as much as possible! We’re having this problem in the USA, and we are rapidly on the decline as a great nation and will soon be on the brink of economic collapse because we’ve failed to do this. We’ve utterly failed to diversify our energy supply and we still depend on coal and oil, which is why our environment continues to decline (causing massive increases in health problems here, with all the dirty air and water), and we also wind up forced into wars for oil (like Iraq) which are bankrupting us even faster! Don’t make the same mistakes we have. Invest in solar, wind, tidal, fusion and other energy sources, hybrid cars and the like, put your best scientists and engineers on the project, make them cost-effective.

    As you gradually encourage the rise of a republic and democracy in China, please set up the rules of the system that you encourage consensus and set up a smart system of checks and balances, and encourage intelligent people to vote and make decisions. (Obviously, the system can be set up to absolutely prohibit proposals for secession in e.g. Tibet and Xinjiang– we in the US have our own border conflicts and problems in Southwestern states, which were annexed from Mexico in a nasty US-Mexican War in the 1840’s that the people there still haven’t forgiven us for. Just make sure that economic development spreads to those regions.) We in the USA have shot ourselves in the foot here– politics is so cutthroat that the best people don’t want to go into it, and we’re so bitterly divided against each other that we can’t agree on anything, and wind up with a Presidency and an administration full of ideologues and wingnuts.

    You in China have a massive advantage over us in the USA and Europe– you get to study and observe us, and to see where our systems have worked, and alternately where they’ve failed. We have major problems with our systems in the USA that I don’t know if we’ll be able to solve, especially with regard to our government pensions systems and the environment. You are on the brink of democratization and development, so don’t make the same mistakes we have. Again, mainly, whatever you do, don’t set up a government pension system the way we have– one that can bankrupt you– and invest in renewable energy and forest protection and tree-planting schemes. Try to view your natural environment as an economic asset, and you’ll avoid the blunders we’ve made in the USA.

  10. Wookie,

    China emerged herself from the ash thirty years ago without the burden of obligation or moral standard to her people nor to the world. She has re-written the rules which best suited for China and received rapid success in her developments. Yes, you can call it the dictatorial ruling, but it has changed the life style of billion. China has increasing in line with democratization and human right since she has joined the world club such as WTO, GATT and has abided by the ruling both ecominic and political.

    Birth control is designed to cap the growth of popluation and today the growth is still positive, so imbalance of gender or old age problem are not as severe as you predicted.

    I am told the second child is allowed provided the couple have the economic support but the benefits to the child shall be eliminated.

    Should China established relation with Vatican in the future, then ‘one child policy’ may be in jeopardy.


  11. I have no idea how someone started one-child-policy topic here. Simple rule here is: don’t sidetrack thread.

  12. I have no idea how someone started one-child-policy topic here. Simple rule here is: don’t sidetrack the thread.

  13. DallasCowboy

    Please forgive me if I offended you, kindly explain to us what is the perimeter of the subjects we can discuss on this blog, as you can see plainly I did not started the topic, just try to elaborate it.


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