I’ve heard people say, “Having too much of anything is not good for you.”
And then some people would say. “Not having enough is bad so you must have a little extra on the side.”
So which one is which? Here is the key.
You can have just about anything you want in life, but one of the most difficult things to achieve is balance.
I see this happening all the time. There are clients who tell me business is good, but they’re not taking care of their health. Or, another example–they’re making money, but their personal finances are a mess. Or, how about those people with a wonderful home and family, but no time to enjoy them?
In my leadership seminars I ask my audience for a show of hands as I ask them how many among them are stressed?
Practically 90% of all the hands go up all the time.
I suspect life has always been busy.
In 1840, the French writer, Alexis de Tocqueville, described Americans as having a “feverish ardor” for squeezing as much into life as they could. We’ve never had more invitations and options, and we hate saying no to any of them!
Tocqueville should not have limited his observation to only one nationality, the 24/7 – 365 life is upon everyone especially in this country.
I stayed in a very beautiful hotel in London and I was surprised to know that their fitness gym opens at 7AM and closes at 11PM. My immediate response was, “What good would that do?” And then I realized my life has been a chronic rush all day long.
As a result, many of us are chronically sleep deprived.
We eat on the run. We cannot slow down. Most people I know are over-weight and as far as their emotional and spiritual conditions are concerned, grossly under-nourished.
One of the keys to achieving anything in life is to define it and develop clear, specific plans to go after it. It’s no different for finding balance in your life. In other words, to create a short list and be committed to it. We need to do some critical self-evaluation as to the things that are going on in our life and here are a few suggestions.
The first thing you have to do is to make a list of the things you want to include in your ideal life. The list should not be too long. The list should make you answer the question: “What are the things I should do that would add value to what I want to achieve in life?” Let me give you some examples:
- Personal growth and development. (mental, emotional and spiritual)
- Family and personal relationships.
- Health and Fitness.
- Business and Career Development.
- Personal Finance and Investments.
- Increase sphere of influence and positively affect more lives.
- Leisure and adventure.
The second thing you need to do is to plan for these things. You have heard this age old conventional warning that those who fail to plan really plan to fail. Be serious. Each Sunday, I begin my week by taking an overall look at the week that is ahead of me. The plan should be realistic allowing the schedule to make time for each of the activities. When do I go to the gym? What books should I read? What activities this week are dedicated to the family? Are there key people I need to talk to this week? What about my investments or finances, is there anything I need to work on?
With these measures in place, we need to review and re-commit to these things everyday. Do not get caught up with the daily grind such that we let the urgent take over the important. Each morning, I look over my “to-do” list and make sure that I am committed to them.
I am pretty sure your list will be different but here is the core of the matter. Make sure that you are committed to activities that will add value to what you want to achieve in life. The rest are just distractions.
Every now and then the list may change but the principle remains the same.
Annie Dillard says: “How we live our days is how we live our lives.”
For after all, at the end of the day, our life is simply a summary of the choices we make from day to day.