Balance Your Life?
Living a life in balance is one of the greatest challenges most people face. Finding a balance, however, is largely a myth. It is more finding a rhythm to life than finding perfect balance. Leadership demands that you find the time and resources to reenergize, rejuvenate and keep your wellbeing strong. The ability to think creativity, to be resilient in setbacks, to stay grounded, and to maintain a fresh perspective is absolutely critical.Getting balance is not possible, nor is it the most productive philosophy. It leads to burnout. Balancing work, life, and everything in between requires us to not give too much of ourselves to anything. By trying to keep everything on level ground, nothing will get your full attention. You’re just even.The middle is where mediocrity lives. It is a place where passion dies. There are moments when we need to step away from the middle in order to accomplish big goals. Things will naturally go out of balance when you pursue things that matter most in your life. Instead of trying to manage it all equally, we need to find what makes our work and personal lives the most effective.Rory Vaden share significant thoughts to those of us struggling with balance:
Balance should mean equal time spent on equal activities. Balance should mean appropriate time spent on critical priorities.
The biggest problem with the notion of balance is that it causes us to ask the wrong questions. Instead of asking, “Am I spending enough time on this activity? we should really be asking, “When is the best time to be focused on this activity?
While actual balance isn’t possible, the skill of counterbalancing is critical to a great life. It is working on both life and work effectively. Counter-balancing is handling life and work requirements so that nothing is ignored or left undone for too long, but making sure the things that matter most are given the majority of attention. Counterbalancing is the deliberate choice to focus on what needs most care at the moment. It is a myth that everything matters equally.When you decide to work on counterbalancing, there are some counterbalancing factors to keep in mind:
Work and life need to be counterbalanced independently.
Sometimes you will have to put small amounts of focus on secondary concerns so that they don’t completely get ignored and then get out of healthy boundaries, cause chaos, or die.
Counterbalancing requires keen awareness of what is needed most, but nothing should ever be sacrificed completely. Never sacrifice family for work.
The requirements of your work will occasionally require you to be at the extremes for longer periods. Your personal life will require you to be adept at moving back and forth to counterbalance.
The key is to not be casual, and to make deliberate determination about how long you need to be out of balance. Much like all of nature, life operates in seasons of intensity and decline, like planting, growing, and harvest. Timing is everything. There are times you can choose to be away from your work, and there are harvest times when you know you have to tend to business, or lose your investment.
Actually, I believe that rhythm is more attainable, wise, and sustainable than balance. When we pursue balance, we are pursuing a static, no-change state in an imbalanced world. That is going to fail. Actually, if you look at the Bible, arguably the best book on successful living, you will see life’s best people frequently leading lives of imbalance, yet achieving great things. Jesus, Moses, David, Paul, Peter—all were sold out to the vision, and they sacrificed everything. They weren’t balanced, but they lived in the rhythm of God.When you live your life in rhythm, there will be times when you have to give yourself to something over and above. Are you balanced when you’re starting a business, studying for the bar exam, or planting a church? Are you balanced when you are caring for a new baby or an elderly adult? Of course not! You are unbalanced with a purpose. You SHOULD be. Some things demand a high level of commitment for a season. Rhythm says that you don’t live there, but you do what you needto do for a time. You work hard, and then you rest. Don’t guilt yourself or let anyone else guilt you about “balance.”God gives us rhythms; rhythms that are part of how we’re made. Consider the world around you. All creation is in rhythm. Work and rest. In the Bible there were not just sabbath days where there was no work, there were sabbath years when there was no work. Sounds pretty awesome, right? Build rhythms of work and rest into your daily, weekly, monthly, and annual schedule, and then be able to really hit the vision hard when it is necessary.So forget balance. Get rhythm. Teach it to your family. It will make them healthier; more resilient. They will understand you better, and not resent your job when it has a season of great demand. They will understand that THEY have seasons of great demand as well, and you give to them in the same way.