We all face decisions that involve doing things that affect
competing priorities. We all have three different lives or
worlds that compete for our attention, energy and activity.
These are our personal lives, our work related lives and our
family lives. Our personal lives consist of our health, our
inner private likes and dislikes, our inner beliefs, and our
spiritual feelings. Our work related lives consist of what we
do to earn an income to provide resources to live and
prosper. Our family lives consist of our relatives and friends
and our relationships with each person.
As you can imagine, each of these worlds will attract our
interests and can create various demands on our time,
resources, and energy. When these worlds create demands
that compete with the other, such that we must choose one
world at the expense of the other, on a continuous basis, we
get out of balance.
How do you know when you have achieved life balance?
People achieve balance in their lives when they are able to
consciously and subconsciously align their thoughts and
activities with whom they are and what they want to do,
without conflict or guilt. People who are in balance,
experience "being in the zone" of life. Life is good!
What are the steps to attaining life balance?
Discover who you really are.
You will want to first discover who you really are, what you
stand for, and what your beliefs and values are. There are
two levels to research. The easiest and most accessible is
your conscious or rational self, where you logically dissect
then evaluate things. But the real you is where your true
inner values, beliefs and spirituality are within your
subconscious or intuition level. People can learn to
rationalize almost anything, but they cannot hide or escape
from their inner core values. Conflicts and personal stress
occur when the rational self accepts and conducts actions
that are contrary to the inner values that have been
suppressed. Take the time and energy to discover your
inner values and beliefs and allow your intuition to take
center stage in your thoughts and action processes. When
you follow your instincts in an environment that embraces
you, you enter the "zone."
Discover what you really want to do.
We have all been told from childbirth what to do and what
not to do. We follow many rules because it is best for living
harmoniously with others and ourselves. But, along the way
we are also told by parents, teachers, advisors, and bosses
what we "should" and "should not" do to suit THEIR
personal agendas and perspectives. These are the
"shoulds" that we carry with us and try to follow with very
confusing and mixed results.
Most people have inner passions that really excite and
motivate them. These passions develop early in life and
change with time. Yet, you suppress them. These passions
are almost always good in nature and very positive. The
executive may have a passion to create a rose garden. The
housewife may have a passion to play the drums. But they
don't, because they do not recognize and accept their inner
passions and if they did, their conscious mind would
rationalize that they "shouldn't" after responding to all of the
previously implanted "shoulds" by others. Yet, both the
executive and the housewife feel something is missing and
can't put a finger on it.
Everybody also has desires that are extremely important.
These desires begin with the basics of life like staying
healthy, being secure, attaining food and shelter, being
socially accepted, and having a loving support group. These
basic desires are rather easy to determine. Once you
recognize that they exist you will see that they are almost
required for a normal existence. Once these desires are
accomplished, you will develop other desires, like living in a
warm climate, working outdoors, raising a happy and
healthy family, and being acknowledged as special. These
are more personal in nature and are also less obvious. This
is where the "shoulds" begin to enter the picture and you
find yourself following the desires you allow others to
impose on you. For example, you might go to law school to
become a lawyer because your parents strongly felt you
"should" become a lawyer. Or you might become a full time
mom and raise a family early on in life because that is what
everyone did where you grew up.
Recognize and manage your conflicts.
Life is a bowl of conflicts and stress occurs when
competing forces interfere with your ability to decide what to
do. Additional stress occurs when you feel bad about doing
some things, because you feel you "should" be doing
something else. So you end up not enjoying or even fully
completing what you decide to do because you continue to
think you "should" be doing something else.
The executive will certainly have conflicts between leading
her company and creating the rose garden. The housewife
will experience numerous conflicts between being a mother,
a wife and an individual person when she thinks about
learning to play the drums and even more when she thinks
about playing the drums with a band.
Once you are able to be honest with yourself and discover
what your true passions and desires are, you will be in the
position to determine what priorities you place on each. It
will be much easier and clearer to evaluate and establish
these priorities, since you will now know what the choices
are and more importantly you will be the only person
involved in making the decision. You will be free from having
to consider the conflicting forces of the "shoulds" which are
based upon what others want you to do. This will be a great
relief, because you will not have to live through the agendas
or desires of others, which can be a very tricky thing, even if
you tried. Now it is only you deciding, and the choices
become much easier.
The executive can decide that continuing in her position is a
high priority, but that carving out four hours a week to work
on the rose garden will provide her the relaxation and
personal enjoyment she wants and needs to function better
as an executive. She will be motivated to focus more on her
executive duties as she is doing them, knowing that doing
so will lead her to being able to exercise her passion of
raising her own roses. Now she will enjoy doing both and
will be better at participating in both functions with very little,
if any, conflict.
Eliminate guilt imposed upon you by others.
People allow guilt to enter their world when they dwell on the
fact that they are at fault or to blame for things they did or did
not do. People take on the burden of being wrong and
responsible for not meeting the expectations of others. Even
some religions appear to impose guilt because followers
are not perfect. Yet, the fact is no one is perfect. When you
set expectations or allow others to impose expectations that
you must be perfect and you inevitability fail to meet the
pureness of perfection, you feel guilty. Then you try harder to
be perfect and feel even guiltier because you don't reach
perfection again. The cycle continues.
Most people have an innate philosophy of life or spirituality
that they need and want to follow. The key is to discover your
spirituality and follow it. When you follow your own
spirituality, you greatly reduce or eliminate the artificial guilt
you feel by letting others impose their philosophy on you.
Eliminate guilt you impose upon yourself.
Another key to removing guilt is to recognize that you cannot
always make the best decisions all of the time. One great
philosopher, Claude Lunsford, said that you want to make
decisions based upon your true inner beliefs, purposes and
the information you gather at the time. You evaluate the
options available and make the best decision, based upon
the truth. Then you want to accept the decision as being the
best you could have made at the time.
You do not want to impose guilt upon yourself for a less
than perfect outcome. You might not have been able to know
about other factors that would have affected your decision,
or things might have changed that you could not have
foreseen that changed the results of your decision. You do
not want to look back and second-guess yourself. Instead,
you want to accept your past decisions and learn from the
new knowledge you gained to adjust your decision making
process for the most important issue at hand, which is to
make better decisions in the future.
Follow the path YOU choose to achieve your future goals.
Develop life goals for yourself and start the process to
achieve them. Now that you know all about yourself, and
how to make decisions without guilt, you are poised to use
this information to visualize your desirable life and develop a
number of life goals that will take you to where you want to
go. People reach life balance when they know where they
want to go, set the goals to get there, and initiate the
necessary steps to achieve their goals.
Life is a journey and you now have everything you need to
create the most desirable, most enjoyable and most
fulfilling journey for yourself. Once you set your goals, you
want take steps each day to reach your life goals and you
will not only be amazed at how well you will achieve them,
but at how enjoyable and stress free the journey will be.
Your desires, priorities, passions, and even sometimes
your beliefs will change. That is very normal. Once you
discover what your new ones are you will want to create new
goals accordingly, using the same process, and continue
your life journey in the new directions that you choose for
Enjoy the trip!
Provided as an educational service by Bill Dueease of The
Coach Connection, where "connecting great people with
great coaches" is their goal. You may receive a free copy of
the article "The Ten Paths to Human Improvement" by
contacting The Coach Connection at 800-887-7214 or
239-415-1777 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or