You know those artists who put into words, songs, or images what you have in your heart but can’t get out very elegantly? David Whyte did that for me in his book, The Three Marriages: Reimagining Work, Self and Relationship. This book has given me a new language for what I knew to be true but couldn’t articulate: the fact that we cannot (and should not) separate our work from our lives. According to Whyte, trying to simply “balance” work and life will leave you feeling exhausted and defeated; if we’re going to thrive, we have to integrate our three marriages: to work, to others, and to our selves.
Here’s one of my favorite quotes:
“Thinking of work, self and other as three marriages offers the possibility of living them out in a way in which they are not put into competition with one another, where each of the marriages can protect, embolden and enliven the others and help keep us mutually honest, relevant, authentic and alive.”
Whyte has gone on to develop “The Institute for Conversational Leadership,” which helps to implement his philosophy in corporate environments. If you are looking for a poetic, fresh way of looking at your work and its relationship to your life, I hope you’ll consider reading this book.