Archive for August, 2011

Defining your life balance

August 30, 2011

Can you find your balance point?

Having just returned from a holiday I find myself thinking about life balance and how our definition of balance can change depending on our circumstances. For some people life balance simply means personal happiness, for others it will be linked to financial success. For many feeling happy and loved is enough. For most it’s a complex list of factors that shift with experiences and life stages.

Life balance can be expressed in many different ways:

– Work-Life balance

– Personal and emotional fulfilment

– Health and well-being

– Happiness and feeling good about life

– Successful with a certain feeling of achievement

– Contentment and inner peace

– Good relationships with family and friends

– Spiritual peace

How would you define your life balance; what factors are important to you? The dictionary defines balance as both sides being weighted equally, and balance is often discussed in the context of the interplay between a person’s work and home/leisure pursuits. It also applies to the balance between doing things you must do and thinks you like to do, things you do for others and for yourself, and physical and mental equilibrium.

People may feel satisfied with their career and financial status but very unhappy about being overweight, unfit and rarely home. Others may be happy about health and spiritual growth but unhappy about not having regular work or owning a house.

The lucky ones have all the positives and few of the negatives. Equally weighted financial success and health, time with the kids and personal growth. You can have balance too if you know what it is for you, work towards it, and make choices that move you towards your goals.

To start you must understand what you really want. Prepare separate lists of all things you have to do and the ones you want to do. Now prioritise them. Many people do all the ‘have tos’ first and leave no time for the ‘want tos’. Look at how you can mix them: time at work, driving the kids around, time with your partner, time to read and time to work on that project. A decent measure of all the things that are important to you; that’s balance.

Maintaining the mojo, baby!

August 24, 2011

Leaving the everyday behind ...

There’s a dark and frightening place that most self-help gurus won’t tell you about.

It usually creep ups when you’re busy being busy.

It is this: Have you lost your mojo?

It’s when you wake up one morning and realise you really want to do something different but don’t know what. And that your current work feels empty and meaningless. Afterall, you’re not getting any younger and is this all there is?

Sometimes it’s a side effect of success: you’ve strived for years to get to a certain position, you achieve it, and the euphoria wears off. Perhaps you just need a Xanax and a good lie down.

It may be a temporary plateau that needs to be crossed. It may be a signpost to look further and make changes. What was right yesterday may not be right tomorrow.

A good place to start is to examine your life as a whole. Perhaps you have put so much time and effort into work that you’ve let other things slide. It may be time to rekindle friendships, take up that dormant hobby or have a holiday with your family. It can be fun to ‘reboot’ your life!

We become complacent when things are going well. Take stock of your life and see what you’re thankful for: you enjoy your job and the people you work with; you’re paid well and have a certain level of freedom. You’re family life is good and everyone is healthy. There are lots of people that would love that level of ‘normality’.

Now look at what you still would like to achieve both professionally and personally. Set yourself new goals; goals that can benefit you, your family and your business. Be thankful for what you have and what you’ve achieved, then go and find out ‘what’s next’. A charity, hobby or helping others may provide the meaning you’re missing and will again provide relevance to your life. There can be great satisfaction in sharing and giving back.

Such activities aren’t a distraction from a productive life, they make a productive life! This is called work-life balance. So go and get your mojo back, baby. Oh yeah!

Making the break

August 12, 2011

Relax and enjoy life ...

Aloha from Waikiki beach Hawaii, a truly beautiful place. I’m sitting on the balcony of our hotel room overlooking the beach and feeling totally relaxed and realise this is the first time I’ve felt like this for a very long time.

The tropical paradise setting certainly helps and it’s a very different state to what I’m used to experiencing at home. Of course the week before we left was mayhem; far too many things to get done and can I really leave work in the hands of others for 2 weeks?

By the second day I was relaxed and feeling great, reconnecting with my wife and enjoying the many wonderful activities available. The things I was  concerned about last week have faded into insignificance, at least for the time being. Early morning surfs, relaxing on the beach, reading by the pool and enjoying leisurely meals all adding to the relaxed lifestyle. Quite a contrast to grabbing a sandwich between a seemingly never ending schedule of meetings.

And of course the business keeps running and people are doing what they need to and everything works just fine. For many years when I took a holiday I would constantly be on the phone and email believing this was necessary to keep things going. It’s not. I now leave my phone in the room and spend just a few minutes looking at email in the evening.

Already after 4 days I feel renewed and will return with a fresh attitude, a new perspective and lots of great ideas that come from clearing my mind of the day to day clutter. When was the last time you truly got away from your job or business? Are you willing to let those around you step up and show you what they’re made of? Think of the benefits to your health, life and motivation to allow some down time to recharge?

It’s difficult to make the break but worth it when you do. Last night was a wonderful dinner cruise; today we’re swimming with dolphins, tomorrow a trip to the north shore and a visit to Pearl Harbour. That, and a lot of white space, is all I have in the diary for the week. When will you allow it to be your turn?