How do you measure what balance you have across work, life, health and wealth? When do you know whether you are or you aren’t in balance?
Are you living and working your life in balance?
Balance as in: To bring into or keep in equal or satisfying proportion or harmony. Of course it also relates to many different domains, like a “balance sheet” in accounting or “balance of trade” in macro economic terms or a “balance of power” in political terms, or perhaps the lack of balance in a state of inebriation etc. However, my purpose today is to look at balance in the sense of our “life’s work”. One has often heard the term “he or she is out of balance” or that a specific situation is “a balancing act”.
In my coaching work, I use a very focused pre-coaching questionnaire adapted to my clients specific objectives to help them reflect on a) where they have come from, b) where they think they are currently and c) where they would like to be etc. One of the questions relates to their “roles” like how much time they typically devote to each of being a:
- son / daughter
- husband / wife / partner
- manager / leader
- sportsperson etc.
I have them reflect on the proportion of their time they a) currently allocate across each, b) what ratio they would prefer to achieve and c) how they might bring that about.
It is essentially a question of balance and clients often comment how this exercise highlights for them what aspects of their relationships and lives they were neglecting at the expense of a few dominant ones – that they were in fact “out of balance”.
Of course there are times when we simply need to focus most of our resources skewed to one topic like preparing for an exam or when a project or deadline nears it’s “go live” phase etc. The key then is to recognize that , have those around you that will be affected by it understand its reality but then be sure that you return to or restore your balance again afterwards.
Can there be Happiness Without Balance?
Defining and achieving happiness is a huge topic on its own I don’t wish to embark on right now, but I would suggest that finding and maintaining a balance between all the elements of your life and work would surely be quite a contributor towards your happiness, wouldn’t it?
Wheel Of Life
If this is striking a chord with you, you may want to Google “Wheel of Life” where you will find a whole range of information on its origin, its interpretation, its applications etc that will certainly offer you something you will be able to relate to your interest or expectation, particularly if you want to keep them in balance.
The most common attributes it seeks to balance are: health, wealth, family/friends, playtime/hobbies/fun, relationships, career/job, personal space, contribution/spirituality.
In the context of balance you will find numerous tools that will help you depict your current “balance” so that you can set about addressing it. However, in the coaching conversation this often emerges without any need for any tools. In fact, in most cases when that occurs, the client will realize themselves how much they may be out of balance simply by responding to certain “coaching questions”.
Another aspect I have found to contribute strongly to your degree of balance is the extent to which you are living and working in alignment with your values. Our values are the “set of rules” by which we measure and judge everything that matters most to us and living and working out of line with them can be a major contributor to procrastination and even result in affecting our health and well-being.
So What Next?
So while we are still in the very beginning of the new year and probably still fine-tuning our planning, budgeting, goal setting etc, why not ask yourself a few questions about how well you are living and working “in balance”? Perhaps you have found a few triggers or perspectives from this website that enable you to restore some of that balance for your own benefit, as well as for those around you?
If in doing so you find that it is a larger and more important topic than you might have first thought, why not consider working through this together with a coach? I know that my clients are “so glad they did”.