The idea of a balanced life is controversial, to say the least. Unobtainable, expected, causes guilt, burnout, it's ridiculous to even to try.
I say forget about what you've been told, what you've read and generally how you have ever thought about it.
Why, because every person/generation has a different view of it based on what was going on, who influenced their lives and circumstance.
It was Tim Elmore who first brought to light the generational differences to me in a way that made sense. He explained: (can also be found in his Generation iY book)
Each generation thinks and feels differently, based on their experiences, which include being raised by the generation before them.
Taking a balanced life as an example for Generation X (1965-1982)
Previous generations believed you "should be grateful you have a job" or "You owe me" where Gen X is more about "Relating to me."
Or how about schedules? They were once seen as "Mellow" or "Frantic" leaving Gen X feeling "Aimless."
No Wonder why many Gen X parents are confused about a balanced life. Their grandparents and parents generations could not be more different. We learn by example, whether it is good or bad. (Admittedly, I am a Gen X and being a coach I always find it fascinating how those who influence us at a young age still do as adults.)
In addition to our past, we are raising the generations of Y & Z. Who are experiencing a completely different life due to computers, terrorism and the need for FULL schedules - Which parents need to learn how to navigate in order to teach balance in life
So you see why I say throw out everything you've ever thought.
To Find Balance in your life, you need to do a few things:
1. Ask yourself questions, looking within for answers instead of getting outside advise
- What does it feel like to have a life out of balance?
- How do I find Balance without guilt?
- Where am I living the by the status quo?
- If you could make up rules to live by what would they be?
2. Test out a Wheel of Life (Here is the one I use)
3. Instead of striving for 50/50 how else could you look at things? The old quality vs quantity. You are charting new territories, and when that happens, ANY extreme is sure to through you off. Recently, I was reading The ONE Thing by Gary Keller, and while it was a book about productivity, I was pleasantly surprised it was also written to help bring balance to your life.
In it he wrote about the ebb and flow of a balanced life, never letting one area become extreme, the life where extremes take hold, and then there is the counterbalanced life. Where we work smart and even intense at times while finding ways to keep our personal lives more in line with us.
In this time of family growth, technological growth and personal growth there is no one way to find balance, it changes with the seasons, months and even weeks.
Perhaps just making it top of mind will bring you comfort to create a life you are happy with. Sometimes one area will need more attention than another but as long as you stay centered on what your overall goal is you will make/find time to not feel out of wack.
Your life and schedule
should not be compared to or dictated by
your grandparents, parents, neighbor or child.
After having a discussion about this with a friend recently she came back and said just making a mental shift helped her whole outlook on the idea of family vs. work.
While there are a bunch of resources in this article know somethings, run deep. If you find it's hard to make the necessary changes, please reach out for a Free Mini Session - Together we will create a spark of inspiration.
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