Balance Work Life and Home Life
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Finding your own definition of balance, a way of setting up your day in a way that works for you is an ongoing challenge, but a worthy one if you want to be able to say that this statement is true for you, ""I have a rewarding life beyond my work or profession." (This is one of the items in the Wake Up Eager Re-Calibrate Mind, Body and Spirit Daily Quiz.)
Shirley's Definition of Balance is NOT What I Expected.
It was 2001. I was overwhelmed at work and at home. Too much to do and not enough time. I found myself looking for answers. I wanted a solid definition of balance so I could figure out how to get it for myself.
That's why I signed up to attend a price-y woman's luncheon in a swanky restaurant in downtown Atlanta. On the day of the luncheon event the place was packed. Attendees wore their brightest smiles and poshest "I'm-an-executive-having-lunch-at-a-fancy-place" attire.
Salads were delivered during mind-numbing and tedious comments from various Officers of this fine Association.
Finally we were able to offer enthusiastic applause and a standing ovation celebrating the speaker we all came to hear: Shirley Franklin, the first newly elected African American female Mayor of Atlanta. (The year was 2001.)
I was eager to hear what she had to share. I wanted to know how she was doing it all: mother, politician, business woman, style-maker, wife. Perhaps she'd share a formula for her own definition of balance that would help me.
She shared, I'm paraphrasing here, "Many of you ask me about how I manage work life and home life balance. Well, I have to tell you, I don't. I've chosen this role and this work because there are things I want to accomplish. For now, I'm here to tell you, my life is not balanced."
Wow. I was pleased with her authentic answer. But, at the same time, I was bummed out. She was not telling me that I could have it all.
I've learned that you can't have
everything and do everything at the same time."
There's No 'Balance' Nirvana.
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That was many years ago. I'll never forget her comments.
She was telling us that there's NOT a balance nirvana 'out there'. We just have to make our own choices. That's what determines how much or how little work life balance we have.
I left that lunch meeting inspired by Shirley's bright future. But really no clearer about my questions around my own definition of balance in my life.
DID NOT WANT: I didn't want to not work. I love to create, grow and learn. I love to make money and meet new people, and I love being a professional 'on the go'. I didn't want to not take care of my family and home. I love creating a warm and happy home life. I love my family.
DID WANT: But I did want to feel better about how I spent my days. I wanted more energy, more joy, more days that felt meaningful. I wanted to be doing the things that caused me to wake up eager more often.
Shirley Franklin's comments helped me realize that I needed to find my own definition of balance answers by better understanding what success looked like for me. I could not apply another person's formula to my life.
I realized that I had my own formula for success, and if I paid attention I could call it out, follow it, find it, and feel it. I could create my own home and work life balance formula. And you can too.
The Definition of Balance:
- a state of equilibrium; be in equilibrium;
- equality of distribution;
- A stable mental or psychological state; emotional stability;
- symmetry: (mathematics) an attribute of a shape or relation; exact reflection of form on opposite sides of a dividing line or plane;
- poise: hold or carry in equilibrium.
"In all perfectly beautiful objects there is found the opposition
of one part to another and a reciprocal balance."
How I Found My Own
Definition of Balance and Success -
Five Mindset Shifts & Actions:
These are the top five mindset shifts and actions that have led to a life that is now more balanced. It's a process <(ie: always changing and never-standing-still), but today more often than not I'm waking up eager. I've found the right balance for me. Apply and use the tips that feel right to you, and leave the rest:
- I started paying closer attention to what I wanted, and less attention to what other people wanted from me and for me. Writing in my journal every day has helped me understand, know and reveal my own success formula and definition of balance.
- As a consultant I've had the opportunity to take, use and teach online assessments. The assessment that helped me really understand and allow for myself the actions, things, people and work that energize me and help me feel like I am more focused and living on purpose every day, is the Workplace Motivators Assessment. I wish everyone could benefit from this tool as much as I have.
- This was a big one for me: I decided that feeling happy and joy-filled was more important to me than trying to impress or please others with my accomplishments. I completely stopped doing things that looked good and sounded good, but felt bad to me.
When I stopped trying to explain what I was doing and why I was doing it to others, this became easier. And, interestingly enough, I soon realized that while people will always share their opinion, they really aren't paying all that much attention to what I'm doing and why I'm doing it. Really, most people are "just not that into me/you/others. " They're focused on their own life, as they should be.Making decisions about my life based on what 'they' might think, was and is a total waste of time, energy and my life.
Because feeling happy and joy-filled is my dominant intention, I try to find ways to make the best of things I don't love. I've organized bill paying so that it's easier and less frustrating.I make a list of positive aspects about any ornery people in my life. I refrain from complaining to others about them as best I can.I do all that I can to make the best of it. Funny thing when I focus on making the best of things, things change. Like - that ornery person is now a little easier with me or he just isn't around much any more, when I'm around. Changing my focus, changes the dynamics. See this free relationship quiz and 3 Truths about Friendship and Drainers.
If I want to read a pointless mystery, I read it. If I want to be crazy about a show other people think is silly (I love and I'm crazy about American Idol) I enjoy it to the fullest. No apologies any more for doing what pleases me most. I'm happier. (See this Follow Your Preferences article.)
Also, I now know that when I follow my gut/Guidance, when I do what brings me joy in the moment, I'm more inspired and have more to give to others and to my career.
Re-Cap: Five Mindset Shifts/Actions
Those five mindset shifts/actions have helped me, over time, find my own definition of balance for work and home:
- Using the results from my Workplace Motivators assessment
- Deciding that living a happy, joy-filled life was my #1 priority.
- Choosing to make the best of things I "have" to do, instead of bitching and moaning about them.
- I trust and allow what pleases me, with no apologies.
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of Definition of Balance
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"Life is like riding a bicycle.