Plato’s Allegory of the Cave and Debunking Work Life Balance over Whiskey
Host: Justin Bourn
Drink: Bowmore Single Malt Scotch Whiskey
Have you been staring at shadows on walls lately? Might be time to rethink what you THINK you know.
In this week's episode, we’re exploring Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. Later in the episode, we’re debunking work-life balance.
This round is on Justin Bourn with the support of Matt Hanham, Michael Duncan, and Conrad “Swaggy C” Francis. The Simple Minds Podcast unravels topics such as personal development, philosophy, life, and business - one drink at a time.
- Plato’s Allegory of the Cave [5:20]
- Work-life balance [41:00]
Getting “woke” in a cave [5:20]
We’re not born knowing everything. You grow from putting yourself on the path of discovery. There needs to be intention behind it.
Michael is up first with content this week and we’re exploring Plato’s “The Allegory of the Cave”.
For those unfamiliar with the theory see this VIDEO.
The Allegory of the Cave is a concept from Plato about human awareness, perception, and choice. Plato likens people untutored as prisoners shackled in a cave. The prisoners are unable to turn their heads and spend their life watching the shadows on the wall. Behind the prisoners is a burning fire with puppeteers casting shadows on the wall of the cave.
Life is bleak when you’re not able to break free from convention. You can only think and act the way that you’ve been taught. You’ll never understand your own potential if you don’t have the intention to find your own light.
To see the light you need to make big decisions in your life. You can’t stumble upon it. It’s a choice.
“It’s like trying to see the positive in every situation. It’s a choice. Once you’ve made the choice you don’t tend to want to go back” - Conrad [12:30]
Making the choice is the hardest part. The unknown is scary. Which is why the majority of people stay in their lane. There is comfort in sticking with what you know. It’s your reality.
The harsh truth is we’re all shackled in some way. Whether it’s in our personal life, work or relationships and so on. Our society is built to control what we think and what we do. It’s so easy to get caught up in the bullshit.
Except for Conrad of course. He’s above us all.
“Not when I sleep. I can transcend” - Conrad [26:20]
The moral of this story is how bleak an unexamined life can be. So make some choices.
Now, what’s the shadow on the wall about our next topic?
Work/Life balance is bullshit [41:00]
Achieving a work-life balance is what we’re told to strive for. But it’s a load of shit.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has increased the number of employees at Amazon from 30,000 to 300,000 people in just the last 5 years.
To put that into perspective for our Perth listeners, that’s ⅓ of the population in Perth.
Achieving these kinds of results in 5 years can’t happen without a disruption to the work-life balance model ingrained in the corporate world.
Conrad believes you can’t live without work and asks the group what they think about work-life balance.
Michael believes it’s a corporate social justice push and doesn’t believe in it. It’s a tool used in the corporate world to create the illusion of balance.
“I don’t believe in balance. I believe in flexibility” - Conrad [46:30]
Matt has his own staff and believes in providing flexibility rather than balance. He’s experimented with the 4 day work week to improve work ethic. It doesn’t work. When you give people more, they tend to take advantage.
There is this assumption that if you work 9-5 that you should be able to progress in your career. But there needs to be an investment. If you’re not working to add value, then you’re not proving your own value to the company to progress further.
It all comes down to mindset. You need to have the right attitude. If you’re energised at home it will energise you at work and vice versa. If you do what you love and you do it with intention then the work-life model is meaningless.
Here are 5 lies about work-life balance you should consider:
- Less hours you work the happier you’ll be
- Perfect 50/50 split is possible in life
- What works for me will also work for you
- The boss has it better than anybody else
- You’re the only one who feels unbalanced
Push harder to make your own decisions about work and life. Stop following the shadows on the wall and make your own damn choices.
Okay. That’s it.
Subscribe to the Simple Minds podcast to stop seeing shadows and break free from the shackles.
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Mentioned in This Episode