Life BalanceAug 10, 2023
We have dreams and new habits we yearn to adopt because there is a way we see ourselves in our dream form, in how we make decisions, who’s in our lives, and how we live. Even if we don’t have a clear vision of what that looks like, we have inklings of some of it, and we know one thing for sure: that we want peace. I want peace. I hear that often.
For some, that one desire seems to have replaced BHAGs - big hairy audacious goals - because this sounds exhausting, and you're not sure that it’s worth the work... because you're not sure that it's the right BHAG.
But here’s a BHAG that is worth everything, and it has to do with what people really mean when they say I want peace…
I want peace to be me.
What does this have to do with life balance?
Everything. Because no matter how much you work on the 6 to 12 areas of life the experts say to balance, if you’re not being authentically you, you’re not feeling at peace, which means you’re feeling out of balance.
The focus is less about finding balance and more about narrowing the gap between being who you know you are and the version of yourself that you play out day to day.
We all do it. We toggle back and forth between what gives us peace and what meets approval: the least confrontational decision that’s palatable to us that will require the least amount of defending. Our hunger to matter puts us in line, and then of course, toeing this line is what makes mattering more elusive.
Our desire to be of service: the good and the ugly.
We were meant to serve each other. It’s inherent in our sense of purpose.
The way we mostly serve, however, is tainted by our desire to meet approval. We end up serving to matter in the eyes of others as well as to feed the labels that represent our values: to be a good person, do the right thing, be valuable, productive, on the right side of things, compassionate, successful, logical, a good listener, a free thinker…
We mix up those labels for authenticity when we don’t check in with ourselves to understand what it means to be a good listener or be compassionate, for instance. Instead of taking our internal cues, we take cues from others. We don’t practice good listening or compassion on ourselves, which makes it more difficult to match our actions with our personal dreams. We feel out of balance.
It’s not the busyness that makes life feel out of balance. It’s that you aren’t putting enough time towards what matters to you. And by that I don’t mean your family, home, and responsibilities - those matter a lot. I mean the part of you that had other dreams besides that.
The incredible part of your intrinsic desire to serve is that when you listen in and serve your deepest soul desires - the stuff that ultimately puts you at peace - your sheer existence serves the world around you and beyond. You're less concerned about exhaustion and life balance. The most valuable BHAG you have is to listen in and follow the information you receive.
Don’t forget yourself. And btw, delay is forgetting.
When you think of the people that have made a difference in your life, the ones that stand out are not the ones that tell you what you want to hear, put you back into your comfort zone (sometimes confused for peace), and say all the feel-good clichés. The ones that make a difference are the ones that stop your thoughts, make you question a little deeper, and inspire you to look at something differently. Even the ones that you at first have an allergic reaction to. They have this impact because they speak their truth unafraid that you’ll reject them. Maybe they’re a little afraid, but they move forward anyway, with more care than you think.
This is where you start. Speak who you are. Not only will those you're speaking to hear those words, so will your body and soul. Delay is like pressing the snooze button on your alarm clock. It doesn’t typically make it easier to wake up; in fact it makes it harder, morale a bit lower, and the day a little bit draggier. Speak who you are.
Life balance will happen.