Most of this unhappiness, conflict and stress I see in the workplace and life these days comes down to an inability to establish healthy boundaries. By their very nature boundaries define us and indicate what are willing and not willing to tolerate. They are also a means to carve out what is important to us. Without boundaries you are simply making it up as you go along and dealing with life reactively without a compass.
There are way too many things competing for our time as adults. It’s easy to get lost in the fog of responsibility and fall behind. If we are honest with ourself, we end up using our time very inefficiently and often make it up as we go along. As a result, there is usually some level of imbalance in our life as we prioritize what is most pressing or convenient. The problem is that gaps unattended only grow with time and at some point the chasm becomes too difficult to navigate. The very thing we value most, our own independence and freedom, becomes victim to the personal stress created by not being disciplined about our decisions, time and activities. Paradoxically, we end up with the outcomes we most wanted to avoid.
Works is not an end in and of itself. If you truly are passionate about what you are doing, it is also not just a means to an end either. It is simply an important part of defining who and what you are as an individual at any given point and time.