It was late as we arrived home. I was exhausted from a twelve hour drive back from my parents’ house. The garage door got stuck, didn’t open, and I broke. I began beating on the door in every way possible. My mind was set on one thing and one thing only, I was going to prove to the door that I was smarter, stronger and more determined.
Between the punching, elbows, and kicking, a warning sound was signaling me from deep inside. I was doing something that I knew better than to do. Slowly, the realization of the fact that my wife and kids were all still sitting in the van watching me act like a raging animal, beating on an inanimate object and acting the part of the fool. This is the lesson of how to journey back from a break down.
Living Life with Balance
The challenge of understanding how to live your life in balance is a popular topic for those that have experienced any type of success. Many experts talk about how to spend time equally, or how to balance priorities or how to keep your life in line with your goals. All of this sounds like solid wisdom but often this wisdom doesn’t always come with practical application. The idea that you’ll be able to spend time equally on all fronts is physically impossible.
Every business has a busy quarter. The pressure and demands are intense and the stress seems to just pile on in endless truckloads. On top of that, add the multiple requests from family wanting more time and demanding well deserved attention. It was at this point I realized I needed to find out what real life balance looked like.
A balanced life is determined by a razor thin line. That razor thin line separates the path to success from the path to a nervous breakdown! How does this apply to living a life in balance? How do we keep our lives from breaking down both emotionally and physically?
Most of us look at keeping balance as two sides of a balance beam. On one side you have family and friends, while on the other side there’s business and networking. We get all the pieces arranged so that we can walk that beam, keeping everything perfectly balanced… But what happens when there is a disruption? When we encounter one of life’s storms? A sickness? A death? A business partner’s betrayal?
These are the impossible situations that will never allow you to keep your time and energy perfectly balanced. By attempting to keep them balanced, you sacrifice your own energy, eventually getting to empty, unable to serve or help any of those that surround you.
Instead of the balance beam illustration, think of keeping your life on a balanced scale. Think of those older scales, the ones that used a fulcrum to balance the weight of items on the scales.
On each of the sides of the fulcrum, there will be loads of responsibility. As we walk on our adventure, we balance the scales of life. We know the events and the demands of time for each. So we create balance and live in that balance.
“We think, mistakenly, that success is the result of the amount of time we put in at work, instead of the quality of time we put in.” – Arianna Huffington
Life changes! Our journey has a switchback or storm that interrupts our steady pace. We experience an incredible amount of success in business. All of these create the disruption of our patterns, and increase demands on our time and energy.
It is at this time that we look at our balanced life, and move the fulcrum to adjust for the heavier load and greater demand. By moving the fulcrum, it allows us to keep our life in balance, and not feel guilty that we’re dedicating more time and energy to where the demand is greatest during that season of life.
Are you paying attention to the signs in your own life? If you do, you will find that there are times when you’re just about ready to breakdown. For all the success you’ve had, you’re still miserable because you know that something is missing. You don’t have the strength to handle some of the minor challenges, and so you ignore them. Those minor challenges add up into major life changing challenges. Take the time to analyze what you spend your time on, not just within your business, but in your personal and family life.
Here is the lesson that I learned. Make sure that you are taking time to do the following activities:
1. Personal time
Each twenty-four hours has 1,440 minutes. Are you willing to spend .01% of that time on your personal life? Here is a plan for fifteen minutes you can take to help restore your energy.
- Five minutes reading something inspirational.
- Five minutes finding three things that you are grateful for.
- Five minutes reflecting on the previous day. The good, bad, and ugly along with the lessons you can learn from it.
Make sure you prioritize spending time with your family and putting it on your schedule. Go on a date with your wife or significant other. Spend time with your kids.
“The most important thing in the world is family and love.” – John Wooden
One of the most common points of frustration for every entrepreneur is the feeling that they are alone. One of my mentors encouraged me to look for tribes. What tribes am I developing to stay connected? The only way to break that lonely feeling is to purposely seek out those who are like minded and do this in two ways.
- Find a group of like-minded individuals. With social media and events, it is easier now than ever before to find and connect with these individuals.
- Look for a coach and mentor. While there is a difference in mentors and coaches, the point of this is to find someone that you respect, and allow them to speak into your life. If they are talented at coaching, they will be able to point out blind spots. Once you identify the blind spots, you now have the ability to adjust and correct.
Business will always be there for those that have this entrepreneurial spirit. There will always be more demands and time commitments. The principle of balance will give you the ability to walk the path of success, rather than the path to your nervous breakdown.