It’s not just the harried executives who seem to be forever seeking work-life balance, but it’s the bane of stay at home moms and dads too. Though when a successful woman CEO was asked how she managed to balance her life between her family and work, she quipped there is no such thing as balance, and that might dishearten a few. Cause if it does not exist, why does it cause so much suffering? Why should we be wasting our time finding balance?
And one of the reason why we should look for the elusive balance, is because balance is not what it is made out to be. So let’s get clear on what balance is NOT…
1. Balance is not mathematically quantifiable nor is it something we can keep an account of. It definitely exists beyond the realm of time.
2. It’s much much more than finding and spending time with your family and doing the things that you love, along with taking care of your professional life.
3. And it’s certainly not the 50-50 divide as symbolized by the balancing scale. After all even mother nature never prescribed it that way. Earth is 70% water bodies, 30% land, our bodies are 70% water, 30% all else, etc.
On the other hand, what it certainly is…
1. Balance is a sense and feeling of harmony. People who are creatively engaged may not have time to do much else, but their work, yet they feel in harmony. Have you ever met a person who is doing fulfilling creative work on one hand and complaining about balance on the other?
2. Balance begins with the knowledge of what makes us “WHO” we are. The entire package – our values, our assumptions. Along with the wisdom around our needs, wants, tolerations that we have been coping up with.
3. Once we know our values, setting our life themes in motion around these values gets us to experience harmony a.k.a balance.
Instead of the balancing scale – think gyroscope.
Gyroscope (like a spinning top) topples over wherever you place it. But once you set the inner wheel into motion, around it’s axis a gyroscope not only defies gravity, it resists any external force to change its tilt, and amazingly stays “balanced”, even on a balancing rope.
So start with identifing your inner axis (values). Then place it on your personal altar. You will never look out for the work-life elusive balance anywhere else ever again.
Here’s a link to remind how a gyroscope works…
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and David Castillo Dominici