“Work-life balance was a mistake from the start. Because we don't really want balance. We want satisfaction.” - Matthew Kelly, author
Balance is a sticky subject among many people. We have careers, partners, children, family commitments, charity work, classes, hobbies, worship time - plus, big desires to improve our health. How can one possibly balance so many things?
I’m going to let you in on a little secret here: You can’t.
Balance. Is It A Myth?
I just spent a week in paradise (Rarotonga) with friends for a wedding. It was SPECTACULAR!
Initially I thought "what a great chance to take my work overseas with me" to make use of the flexibility I've created. So I packed my laptop, and all my books, planning and worksheets and guess what happened?
I didn't turn my laptop on once, I didn't even bother getting internet, I had no phone, social media, emails... you get the drift. After the initial anxiety and feeling guilty for not showing up on Instagram or Facebook a few things happened;
Time expanded - I couldn't believe how many hours there were in a day!
I listened to my gut, ate when I was hungry and not when I thought I should.
I laughed a lot, hung out with friends and really embraced being flexible and not running on a schedule.
I woke and slept as I needed it, no alarms, no rush.
I'm a pretty routine person, I like to know (and control) when and how things happen, but when you holiday with a big group of friends and share a house with some of them for a week you have to learn to relax and embrace alllll the goodness. So here's a couple of my favourite things to note:
Don't worry about what to eat or being perfect in your eating habits, you'll have more fun if you go with your gut ;)
Read when you get the chance and if you feel like taking a nap, then DO IT!
Don't bother washing your hair, the beach will do it for you. (You can make an exception for a wedding)
You don't have to do all the things with all the people, it's your holiday too.....
So, if balance is a myth then what are we seeking......?
“Harmony” is an easier goal than balance.
Harmony means everything is co-existing in a spirit of cooperation. But whatever you want to call it - harmony, balance, or “fitting it all in” - there is a secret to doing more of what you want and less of what you don’t want.
Want to hear it?
I just need to warn you that although the equation sounds simple, it actually takes massive willpower to execute. It also requires that you get absolutely clear on what you want your life to look like, and what you do not want in your life.
Ready? Okay, here’s the secret:
First ask yourself what isn’t serving you.
What doesn’t need to be in your life?
What is dragging you down?
Keeping you awake at night?
Have you identified a few things? Now get rid of them. (Or fix them. Now.)
Next, ask yourself what you want in your life - or in this week or day? What do you want to accomplish? What do you want to do? Who do you want to be with? Focus your energy on these things. Anything that doesn’t fit into this larger scheme… let it go (or learn how to say “no”).
Ready to dive in and make a few changes? Give these tips a try and see how much more harmonious your life can be.