Hardly a day goes by when we don’t hear about life balance or work-life balance. Balance is a myth and I used to buy into it as well. Work-life balance is an idyllic realism and ends up creating feelings of inadequacies when we can’t make it become factual in our own lives.
Balance infers equal weight is given to all areas of our life – equal in amount, significance, and value. Here’s the problem with that – not all things are equal and not all things are of equal importance.
And certainly not all things are equal in passion. Yes, passion.
The pursuit of life balance can be stressful. It’s an exasperating juggle of your career, your personal life, and what others expect of you. And if you do manage to get balanced, your satisfaction with that is generally only temporary. If you look at satisfaction as a fulfillment of a current desire, then you begin to understand its temporary nature.
Let’s say you’re having a fantastic dinner. Perhaps you are enjoying a juicy filet mignon accompanied by a glass of the finest cabernet. At that instant you feel full and satisfied. But the need that has been filled is only temporary. When tomorrow comes, the hunger surfaces once again.
But that’s not really so bad.
You see, the same holds true with the fulfillment of goals. Goals are met and needs are satisfied — at that moment. Think about life’s journey, whether personal or professional, as a series of desires that are transformed into goals. Each goal acts as a single step in that journey. Every step walked inches us a bit closer to our desired result. When you meet one goal, it may not be the end destination. That’s why you still keep peering down the path to see what lies ahead.
So when you realize success, it throws all things out of whack. “What’s next?”, you ask. Just when you get it balanced, circumstances arise or other ideas pop into your head and it feels lopsided again. You never seem to be able to strike the right balance. It feels like a losing battle but rarely is life tied up in a perfect little bow.
Being Out of Balance Can Help You Reach Goals
Striving for balance will derail your plans for greatness. I can’t ever imagine Sir Richard Branson saying he was striving to live a balanced life. Although I don’t know him personally so that’s a huge assumption on my part but I just don’t see it. This is the man who said, “Dream big by setting yourself seemingly impossible challenges. You then have to catch up with them.” His aim seems to be on living a life of passion and breaking all barriers and stretching any boundary that restricts him. Doesn’t sound like balance to me.
It’s not the imbalances of life that hold you back —it’s doing pointless things that aren’t adding meaning to your life. The more you pursue what you love, the more harmony you’ll create and that is “balance” to many.
When you do what you love, your energy is magnified. And when your energy is intensified, you’ll feel less out of sorts and you’ll stop worrying about being balanced.
Balance is the furthest thing from my mind these days. It shifted about ten years ago. I was on a quest for something that I was never going to reach. And then I realized, I don’t want to be balanced. I’m most energized when I throw myself into my passion. I feel alive when I’m doing something totally out of my comfort zone and expanding my horizons with new experiences.
Stop worrying about perfecting a balanced life or a perfected life. Maybe one day your career takes precedence and maybe the other day, it’s something else. You should feel free to define how to combine the percentage of effort that goes into your work and life.
Don’t let your quest for balance derail your plans for greatness. Do what you love and do what is meaningful.
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