An excellent way to begin is by considering your level of happiness. Using a scale of 1 to 10 you can ask yourself, “How happy are you?” Once you have considered this answer, start segregating what makes you happy and determine where there are gaps in your everyday life that keeps you from experiencing ongoing happiness or even joy. Project in your head scenarios of “what if.” For green back up, what if I said “No” more often to requests that I do not want to do? A red backup may say, what if I scheduled time with each of my children individually as I want to spend time with them instead of working so many hours? A gray backup may say, what if I did not let a weekend go by without at least one hour with no noise, no people, and no interruptions?
By setting up more balance, everyone will win. Contrary to our rationalizations about the compulsions that perpetuate imbalance, getting one’s life in balance creates more wins for everyone. It is an excellent place to start.
Staying Balanced Steps
When considering what it means to be balanced, look at all aspects of living fully.
- career choices,
- family satisfaction,
- physical well-being,
- spiritual development,
- social and recreational outlets, and
- measurement of altruism.
Addressing balance is a personal journey. One size does not fit all. Each person will come up with his and her formula. For instance, some may find career fulfillment in research, accounting, engineering, or computer programming. These are a few examples of balanced matches for those who have a gray backup style. Some draw to social work, counseling, nursing, teaching, and customer contact positions due to their green backup style. Managers, business owners, law enforcement personnel, and military assignments are all examples of matches for those who have a red backup style. Sad is the day when a gray backup clergyperson receives a task to a congregation that values fellowship, social gatherings, and group work. Likewise, a green backup who draws the shipping job where there is no people contact. While the red reserve whose job is repetitive work with no need for new methods or leadership skills. These are all examples of career choices that stand a high chance of being out of balance with a payoff of unhappy people.
No area considered for the overall balance is isolated. Each has a direct and indirect relationship will all the others. Spiritual wellbeing interconnects with all the other regions as a guiding force and a dominant presence. Perhaps its most significant connection is with the area of altruism and philanthropy. How one’s fullness shares with the fellow human beings. How to express gratitude. How available one is for others.
Another example is how family happiness intertwines with career choices and satisfaction in a directly connected way. Those who value close family relationships and value satisfying, and successful careers have an incredible challenge of proactively setting up schedules, expectations, assignments, and objectives that lead to the desired family time; therefore, bringing balance for the long term. For example, a nurse who loves her job and wants to be available to her family works two twenty-four hour shifts during the week. This situation works for her and fulfills her career and family ideals.
Physical well-being impacts all other areas of life also. Optimal physical health enhances decision-making, overall life outlooks, and contributes energy to career, family, and social activities.
Managing one’s balance is the result of mapping out a personal hierarchy. What is your current relationship balance among career, family, physical well-being, spiritual development, social and recreational activities, and altruistic desires? Is it what you want and what needs to change? A strategy emerges, objectives surface, and a strategic plan of action make it all come to life. This blueprint maps the way, assesses progress, defines needed corrections, and pinpoints implementation processes.
For individuals who have achieved a degree of self-actualization and spend much of their time in the blue, balance is a central theme in their lives. Staying in balance might be another way of talking about being focused. Think of it like a tightrope walker. Balance on the center of the rope and concentrate forward will keep them from falling. The same is also true with competent employees, family members, friends, or spiritually-alive human beings who balance between too much and too little. They are focused in a self-assigned direction, practicing and being comfortable in being proactive, resilient when waylaid, responsive and professional with others, and authentically acquainted with their unique talents and gifts.