I would venture to say in the last five years I’ve read over 100 books, blogs and quotes about work/life balance. Each one of them reflected on finding the perfect balance of work and life. This balance would be achieved by allocating time between family, work, hobbies, your faith and exercise. Those finding balance are quick to tell everyone they encounter about their “perfect” life and what you can learn from it.
Here’s the problem with this scenario. The word “perfect” is different for everyone and I SUCK at balance.
I stopped lying to myself about it because I don’t even like balance and my personality isn’t setup for it. The second I realized this, I immediately felt better about the balance I did have in my life. I found myself wanting a balance I would probably never achieve, and even if I did achieve it, it wouldn’t make me happy. Anytime I find myself “wanting”, it’s time to press pause.
Pause for happiness. That’s what true balance is about in my life. If you want to relentlessly pursue balance in your life, do it because it makes you happy. Do it because it makes you a better person to be around. Not because a blog said it’s the only way to salvation.
Honestly, I like my work. My perfect balance is being 100% involved in the work I’m doing and the people I’m accomplishing with. It means sometimes not being able to shut off my mind and to look at challenges from unique angles at weird times. This makes me happy. I love a new challenge and being able to make a positive impact. I love letting creative solutions flow and working to make a difference. I also love spending precious time with family and friends.
That said, I’m trying to make progress. I’m working on getting more involved spiritually, volunteering and I work to make time for my wife and growing family by getting away where it’s just the two of us (soon to be three of us). I know when the next Keeney does come into the world, this will likely change and I’m ready for what the next version of balance looks like.
ACTION ITEM: Balance isn’t a final destination. Balance is an evolving thing requiring effort and determination. All I’m asking you to do is understand what balance looks like for you, not what someone else has decided their “perfect” balance looks like. If someone doesn’t like your version of balance, it’s their opinion.