1. a state of equilibrium or equipoise; equal distribution of weight, amount, etc.
7. the power or ability to decide an outcome by throwing one's strength, influence, support, or the like, to one side or the other.
First let me state, that this concept of "balance" sounds good but seems highly unrealistic in our industry where we are constantly being pulled with multiple demands. I do not know anyone in this field who has an equal amount of work / family and friends / play - recreation - sport / free time in their lives. Let alone enough sleep, or even rest time. Instead we have "work life integration" where we enjoy intersection points that bring our worlds together.
I definitely do not live with scales of balance, my world instead is a kaleidoscope, constantly shifting, full of colour, full of life and movement, always interesting. Always adapting to what is happening now. Like all of us, this can involve multiple ongoing programs/meetings/events, career and/or education, what is happening with our family or friends, and what is happening in the world around us. Most of us are extremely fortunate to have vast worlds open in front of us and finding balance as we scan the world for inspiration is nearly impossible.
Making balance tougher is that we have very little control over most of this - when we are excited about a challenging event, we take it on; when our loved ones need us, we respond; when opportunity opens a door, we go through. Nigel Marsh offers a great TEDx perspective on his perfect day and how we can achieve balance. This is a great video and I suggest squeezing in the ten minutes it takes to watch it! How we all strive for his perfect day, how we all should appreciate the perfect moments.
So what can we do?
- First, accept the guilt. It is part of the deal.
- Second, appreciate the moments.
- Most important, be present for whatever is happening at the moment.
If you have found ways to better achieve balance, I would love to hear your comments.