We live in a crazy world that presents us with all kinds of opportunities, tasks, celebrations, challenges, you name it. Sometimes the challenge is to figure out how to do it all. More and more these days, we seek out all kinds of technology to hopefully help us, and while technology seems to help us do more, in most ways it’s actually failed at truly freeing up our time and allowing us to do less.
Just Because You Can Do More…Should You?
At the end of each day we either pat ourselves on the back for having accomplished so much, for checking so many things off the list—or we’re beating ourselves up because we feel overwhelmed about what tomorrow already has in store for us.
Instead of looking forward to tomorrow, we’re already fretting about the next day’s tasks.
Whether we “crushed it” or feel like we fell short for the day, we almost always feel like we neglected the things that are most important to us. We desire to have more balance when it comes to our families, our health, or even rest.
This can be exhausting and sometimes we just want to get away. We want to be guarded from the chaos.
So There Are Books!
New books released every single day it seems on how to bring balance in to your life. You may end up reading some of them (in your ‘spare time’) and even try to apply some of the things you read about.
Only to find yourself very frustrated—frustrated because in spite of your efforts to bring balance into your life, it’s just not happening.
I have to ask…WHY?
Why do we fail so hard at having balance in our lives?
Because it can’t be done.
And if you’re striving for something that cannot be achieved, it stands to reason you will be frustrated, right?
Instead you have to…
Understand What You Can Control…
To be successful with achieving balance, the efforts you take today in order to experience balance tomorrow would assume that tomorrow everything will be the same as it is today.
That is not going to happen.
- Everything is changing, everything is moving…
- Your family is growing and changing regularly…
- Your work is changing, technology is moving things forward…
Bottom line, the way you do things today won’t necessarily be the same tomorrow. You’ll have to learn new things, methods, allocate time differently, spend time with different people, etc…
Instead of trying to have balance, what you need to learn to do is adjust and cope with the changes.
It can be frustrating when you want things to remain the same but they are not. You have to accept and embrace that things are going to change and to make the most of it.
Balance Isn’t Possible…
…but recognizing when something is getting away from the ideal is.
With Lifeonaire, I teach that your Vision helps you to have a clearer direction—it gives you a path to follow in life. Your written vision may map out a straight path, but there are usually curves, switchbacks and detours along the way as you journey down this path. Your vision helps you to realize when you are getting too far off the path. It serves as a guide to let you know that some adjustments need to be made.
So here is the trick: When you realize you’ve been neglecting your family because of work, obviously you need to devote more time to your family—you need to counterbalance. They need to feel valued (dare I say more valued than your work?) and the only way you’re going to do this is by giving them your time.
Where is that time going to come from? Well hobbies, work, sleep may all be effected so that you can give your family the time that they need. As you do this necessary thing in your life, now work may be neglected, friendships may suffer, and soon you will find that you need to now spend more time in other areas.
- A child with the flu may disrupt a few days of yours and take you out of balance.
- A great deal may disrupt your balanced life.
- Your child achieving great success and moving on to a championship round in a city a couple hours away, or your spouse being honored for their accomplishments can all disrupt the balance that you desire.
Good and bad things in our life can throw off our perfectly laid out plans. So we need to go with the flow.
Learn to Counterbalance—Embrace and Adjust
I’m not going to pretend to have all of the answers on how to achieve that, but first we must acknowledge that balance is a lie that only causes more frustration. No amount of planning or time blocking will work always. If we plan based off of the ideal in the moment, it can literally be disrupted within moments.
So, what I find helpful, and I honestly do not know how others do it, is to abide in Jesus.
I have to recognize that he is in control and that he does not give me anything that I can’t handle. If I spend time in my Bible every day, and if I pray and contemplate the day ahead of me, I’m able to get outside of myself and see things from a different perspective. I can see why experiences both good and bad are brought into my life.
Reading my Vision to make sure I’m on track and praying about how to keep things moving forward have been a tremendous blessing for me. I’ve focused on keeping things simple so making adjustments when need be is easier. I’ve experienced peace for doing so.
So what are you taking away from this? What do you need to do in order to bring more order to your life?
Thank you Steve!! You are right on the mark.
I am glad I slowed down long enough to open email and enjoy your wisdom.
Now the next step…..???
Take it one day at a time. Read your vision and put your time and effort toward what is before you in the moment. Be willing to sacrifice temporary pleasures to invest into something more important today. When you realize things are getting to far out in one area, adjust and invest into that area. Little by little, you will be making adjustments much more rapidly and able to bring things closer into balance.
Great post Steve – there’s no such thing as balance – rather the right approach is to focus on the speed at which you can RE-balance.
That is, life isn’t a see-saw that you stay perfectly in the middle of.
It’s a Bosu ball that you self-correct as quickly as possible when you start to tip too far in one direction.