Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Life on Balance, Part 1

Defining Work and Life Balance

Balance is often thought of as an even distribution of weight, as if on a seesaw. However, when speaking of work and life balance, we are speaking of multiple roles to be balanced. Balance, therefore, cannot be an even distribution of any two elements, leaving the other elements of life untouched. Balance becomes a more complicated act requiring steadiness and integration of roles and priorities.

When considering the multiple roles you juggle, ask:
“Am I happy?”
“Am I accomplishing what I should?”
“Do I feel pulled in too many directions?”
“Am I leaving a particular portion of my life neglected?”

If you can answer yes to the first two questions, you are probably balanced. More importantly, if you answered no to the last two questions, you are experiencing imbalance in your life.

The perfect balance should be a lack of competition among priorities. Consider all aspects of your life: career, personal development, family, finances, physical health, spiritual health, and community. Each person will have their own balance to achieve. Further, each day and each era of our lives will necessitate a reevaluation of balance. Some will thrive working 80 hours a week. Some will be fulfilled relishing a child’s every milestone. And you can do both over the course of a lifetime, but probably not at the same time.

Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.

~Thomas Merton quotes

Part 2: Hallmarks of a Balanced Life
Part 3: Achieving Work and Life Balance

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