I'm going to ask you to #RETHINK how you view the idea of balance in this blog. So beware. Really, anytime I give you the chance to #RETHINK, it's just a different perspective to view life through... if you’re current one isn’t working or you just wanna sharpen the current lens you’re viewing life through.... here ya go:
Here’s the problem with “a balanced life”...
To be successful at anything, I don’t care what it is, you cannot have balance.
And in fact, balance will actually keep you from being GREAT at something. So by seeking balance, we are actually doing ourselves (and the people around us, a disservice). Go with me on this…
Training for a marathon or triathlon.... are the days and weeks and months of training leading up to the race balanced?! No freaking way. It can’t be. You’re running and training 3,4,7 hours a day!!! You’re focused on your food intake, you’re focused on your sleep cycles, you’re focused on your oxygen levels, stress levels, and you’re eating, sleeping, living this training regime. If you seek balance during this training time cuz “your friends tell you that you need it” or some woowoo blog said “balance is the key to happiness”, you won’t finish the race. WHY? Because you’ll be giving away your training hours to things that will not support you in crossing that finish line: ie another glass of wine, staying up late to chit chat, working long hours at the office, indulging in the news, etc.
Having a baby. That baby pops out and as much as we try to grab “balance” as a new mom (or dad), we won’t find it IF we want a healthy baby. Can you imagine this conversation… “Baby, I need 7-8 hours of sleep a night so if you can make that happen for me, that’d be great”... NOT. “Baby, I have a social life so I’ll be gone from 3-7 tonight. Take care of things. Bottles in the fridge.” NOT. Those first months and years are all hands on deck.
My point: BALANCE ISN’T.
It shouldn’t be your aim.
It shouldn’t be something you feel guilty about when you don’t achieve it.
It shouldn’t be your “north star”.
Because balance will NEVER give you what you think it will.
Typically we seek balance for 2 reasons:
1. To make other people happy. To not rock the boat.
2. Because those who have gone before us suggest it’s the key to “happiness” and we’ve bought into it.
At the end of the day, you will NOT make other people happy if you’re not happy. AND, happiness DOES NOT COME FROM BLANACE. So if you are seeking balance to be happy so you can then be better for those around you, you will only end up frustrated, resentful, and come up short.
Life is about seasons.
It’s about pushing the limits to find and bust through the impossible in any area of life until it becomes possible and like “your new norm”.
Life is about persistence and commitment which requires more focused time and attention.
It is about open and honest communication.
AND, when you are in alignment with the things that matter most to you, you graciously and purposefully invite the people around you who are impacted by your decisions in on your plans and goals and agendas so they can simply be apart of understanding where your time and efforts are going, why you’re putting your time there, the timeline around this sort of effort overload, and you can openly discuss how to keep on the same page and connected while you’re “diving deep”.
In this space, we begin to see that balance does exist but Balance DOES NOT COME FROM EXTERNAL PEOPLE OR THINGS. We do NOT require it from external objects, things or people.
Balance comes from within.
My infamous phrase: don’t expect from anyONE or anyTHING that which you can only give yourself.
Balance comes from WITHIN.
It’s on the inside of you.
When you are balanced within, you don’t need or seek or require or freak out when the external world doesn’t give it to you. You don’t need it from those sources. When we seek it from these sources, we become frantic and we fall prey to “failure mentality” because it doesn’t exist… You know the drill: “A “balanced” social life, and time with our loved ones, work life, zen time, financial advantage, etc”… THAT IS EXHAUSTING. I promise.
So give yourself a break.
I’m gonna let you off the hook.
Identify the season of life you’re in, right now. OR, want to be in right now.
Commit. Decide to be here. To do it. To lean in and become GREAT in that area.
Include those around you to understand what you’re after the cost, the benefit, and open a dialogue to ensure everyone is on the same page and understands the season at hand.