Wednesday, 11 March 2009
The Myth Of The Balanced Life... And How It Stops You From Achieving Your Goals
The Questions I've been receiving lately about how to achieve more of your goals even faster have been great!
So many excellent questions have been asked that I'm sure I'll be answering them for ages to come : )
Today's question is excellent...
"Dax, thanks so much for sharing your time and insights. My big question is how you create a sustainable life/routines/etc. where you're moving towards your goals without burning out. I've been following your program and "failing forward" but it happens in fits and starts."
I love this question!
I think it’s so important to understand how life ‘fits’ into our goals as most people give themselves a really hard time in this area.
I think it stems from the ‘work/life balance’ myth that says we’re supposed to strive for balance in all areas of our lives.
I couldn’t disagree more!
You see, when you try an balance work with home, income with outgoings, letting your hair down with following the big plans you’ve laid out for yourself, you are, in effect, pulling opposite ends of the same rope and, well, going nowhere.
Life, I believe, is not so much about balance. It’s about integration.
Just like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle must fit together in order to reveal the whole picture, so too do aspects of our own lives have to integrate and fit with the other pieces of our ‘life puzzle’.
The best way to do that, regardless of what you’ve been told, is not to seek balance but to allow different parts of who you are to have their ‘time in the sun’ so to speak.
I like to think of us as all being slightly schizophrenic. Weird, I know, but it serves to help me to understand this better.
Let me use myself a an example;
I’m a Dad.
I’m a son.
I’m a brother.
I’m a writer.
I’m an entrepreneur.
I’m a fitness coach.
I’m an inspirational speaker.
I’m a journalist.
I’m an athlete.
I’m an adventurer.
And I’m so much more besides!
(So are you!!)
Now, it’s pretty easy to see how each of my personalities has different needs. My needs as a father are different to my needs as a husband and different again to my needs as an entrepreneur. If I try to ‘balance’ these instead of integrate them I make zero improvement in any area as each one has a different set of needs.
The dad in me needs to be home to do more with my kids, the entrepreneur needs me to travel more, work longer hours, write, speak and more.
If I balance the 2, then my work doesn’t grow and my family quality improves only slightly (if at all).
However, if I follow the integration idea then I ‘allow’ myself the freedom to put my life out of balance for specific periods of time to achieve certain goals. For example, I work harder than normal and for longer hours than normal for 6 weeks whilst bringing a new project to life. The new project brings me greater income and that new income is spent on…
…my family, with whom I now take a month off to travel the world and see interesting things.
Can you see how the integration model allows for more results in your life?
Understanding that the imbalance is where the results come from is the key to success, I believe, and should not only actively pursue an imbalanced life, but go further and try to create the imbalances of our own choosing.
The beauty of this is that you never burn out. You have new targets and new inspirations and new goals to work on all the time and you’re using the imbalances in a positive, constructive and guilt-free way.
Everybody wins : )
Truth, joy and love
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Oh yes, I almost forgot... duh! : )
My 'mystery' MAGIC Hundred last weekend had me accomplishing another great goal.
Take a look!