Life is not black and white nor is it about having to be top dog or the underdog. It’s colourful and full of shades. There is a middle ground which we all must aim to live by, not extreme polarities. Only then, can everything you are and everything that surrounds you be appreciated and valued for what it truly represents.
Keeping this in mind, balancing who you are and what you want needs to come together at some point. This is especially true for Senior Executives and high-performers to acknowledge. The more successful you become, the greater the danger you fall into if “balance” isn’t a part of your personal equation. Let’s take a look at why:
1. One Track Thinking Cannot Lead to Exploration
When you live life thinking it’s all about work, achievement and success, you ignore different aspects of yourself that enrich who you are and what makes you whole and complete. You also do great injustice to what life has to offer. This could be areas such as exploring a talent or hobby which you haven’t taken time out for, heading a social club or committee where your voice could make a difference or developing a pet project that makes you smile and feel good. Limiting yourself only to work keeps you on a one-track path. And before you know it, that path leads you right up to old age. You miss out on so much more that you didn’t take the time to explore when you had the chance. Stay open, create the space and desire to build your curiosity and make it your best life, starting now.
2. You Are Complete, Not Parts of a Sum
You were born complete, with a mind, body and spirit. When you disconnect from this feeling and make your days, months and years revolve predominantly around work and success; you break yourself up into parts. You tend to only focus on work related things and ignore other areas of your Circle of Life such as creating heartfelt engagements and relationships, living with spirit and making a difference in unique ways using your humour or softer side, etc. You must work in tandem with each part of your Being throughout the day. Otherwise, it will show up in some way and the imbalance will begin to make you feel cranky, tired or burnt out.
3. Everything You Do, Effects the Other
When you only concentrate on work or career, you eventually become a workaholic. This will surely impact other areas of your life, including your health, energy, passion and zest for life. Even if you strive to be a good parent, citizen or athlete, you may not have the time or bandwidth to do justice to these areas which are equally, if not more, important to your overall life span. Simply by recognizing this need for balance and acknowledging it, you disempower your habitual pattern revolving solely around career at one go. Make time for every aspect of your life that you value by creating a strong commitment around it, just like any other goal you set for yourself at the office. And ensure you take action, monitor its progress and keep an ongoing check.
4. Balance Creates Life, Not Just a Living
You were not born to simply work, make money and pass on. Your life is meant to be so much more than that. Work is a compartment you have, just like health, family and leisure activity. So it’s important to ask yourself, how much is enough? And if you are already successful (in how you define it for yourself), make a conscious effort to realize that it’s time to begin living life as well. You only get one chance, make it count!
5. Looking Back or Ahead?
Once you have lived a full life and you look back, chances are you will not wish you had worked those extra nights at the office, skipped important dinner dates with loved ones or missed those special moments with your children because you were chasing success. You will most likely wish you had spent more time with the people you love and let them know that often, learned about other cultures and cuisine, picked up the guitar, touched lives and shared yourself more with others.
Starting today, you have a choice to make. Looking ahead, how do you want to introduce balance into your life and make it work for you? Will you be a slave to creating one-track success or will you be the Master of your Life and learn that success only matters when you succeed as a full individual and human being. So learn to compartmentalize, live harmoniously and celebrate each area of your life and being. There’s always a choice. Are you willing to grab it?
– Bina Jhaveri