Is Balance Even Possible?

There is an awful lot of talk about work-life balance these days. Everybody is trying to attain balance. And mostly, everybody is failing making themselves wrong for that.

But what is balance really? And how do we get there?

I read an interesting message today from Bob Proctor:

It’s possible to focus so much on one thing that your life becomes imbalanced.

How can you avoid this? Through an attainable goal … which occurs when you pay attention to all areas of life and neglect none.

To create … a fulfilling life with riches in every category – let’s think of life in 5 key areas:

  1. financial;
  2. relational;
  3. mental (including intellect and emotions);
  4. physical; and
  5. spiritual

Visualize these as pillars. If you weaken any of them, you start falling apart, either all at once or by bits and pieces. And you can’t strengthen the structure by reinforcing the strong pillars; instead, you must attend to the weak ones – areas of neglect.

Your pillars will never be equally strong all of the time. This is what some people call “balance,” but it’s misleading. You can’t establish absolute strength for all five areas and then keep your life in that pose for an easy and unchanging live. (Thank God!) Life would be uneventful – and incredibly boring.

Think about this: In perfect balance, nothing happens – nothing!

Creating [balance] starts with realizing that all areas must have some attention all the time – not that all areas demand all your attention all the time.

The key is to plan for finite periods of focus and defocus – but never total neglect.

Finite periods of focus and defocus – in other words, things will go out of balance from time to time. It is a dance of correct and adjust, correct and adjust, correct and adjust.

 

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2 Responses to Is Balance Even Possible?

  1. ciscoetl says:

    I just blogged on a study done by the Chartered Management Institute that has a different perspective. Instead of work/life balance, they propose we begin thinking about it as work/life integration.

    http://ciscoetl.wordpress.com/2008/05/05/the-changing-world-of-work/

    Roger

  2. ofyl says:

    Roger,

    Great find, thanks. Yes, I think work/life integration is more accurate.

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