Living In Balance
In this episode of the Mind For Life Podcast, we address the topic of living in balance. It’s critical to learn how we can do a better job of living in balance, especially in this chaotic and hectic, high-speed world. Join us to discover some principles that can help you to bring the areas of your life into greater harmony.
This podcast is based on living in balance as one of the 52 essentials skills for success in business and life. If you would like to join us for this 52-week personal development journey, just follow the steps listed below. Additionally, a transcript of this podcast is available below or you can download it here:
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- Download the Essential Skills Personal Assessment and complete it. The assessment helps you to recognize your areas of strength and the areas for improvement. This provides a base from which you can move forward.
- Join the Mind For Life Essential Skills Facebook Group. As I’m sure you know, any resolution or personal growth plan works better when you are in it with other people. The Facebook group provides accountability, support, and encouragement to keep going. It also enables us to explore these skills together and creates a mastermind group that will benefit us all.
How To Live In Balance – Podcast Transcript
Hello again everybody. Welcome once again to the Mind for Life podcast where we help you to think, learn, and live a little bit better. My name is Jeff Bogaczyk. I will be your host for the next half hour or so where we address some of the topics that are important to you and your life.
I want to thank you so much for joining with us today. I’m glad that you’re here and we are in the middle I guess you could say maybe at the very beginning of a series on the 52 essential skills that you need for success in business and life. So I’ve been doing this podcast now for eight months and in that time I’ve had an opportunity to interview and talk to some incredibly successful people. I have spent much of my time over the past 10 to 15 years reading about leadership and reading the biographies of successful people and so what I’ve done is taken all of that information and looked at what are the essential skills that seemed to be common in all of these people in other words what are the things that they do well, and I’ve tried to take… there were probably about 150 different things that had to take those and kind of siphon them down if you will or distill them down into 52, just so that I could take a personal growth journey in 2018 and work on one of those skills each week. And so I’ve invited you along with us on that journey. It’s the essential skills course you can find out more about that at mindforlife.org
There’s a Facebook community where we share ideas and information. We have a podcast where we deal with one of those skills. Each week I write a post about it. And so we would love to have you join us on the journey. There is a 52 essential skills assessment you can download absolutely free on our Web site which will help you to kind of like look at yourself in each of these 52 areas and assess how well you do. What are the ones that you’re good at? What are the ones that you need work in so that you can improve over this next year of 2018.
So I hope you all are enjoying this and that it is a benefit to you. It’s been very beneficial to me and if nothing else I’m growing incredibly. By doing this research by writing by doing these podcasts and by looking at myself in each of these 52 areas.
Living in Balance
This week we’re talking about living in balance. How do we live a balanced life? And before we get into it let me mention our podcast sponsor the podcast sponsor is bluehost dot com bluehost is a web services provider. So they host your domain and Web site for as little as three dollars and 95 cents a month so if you are looking to get on the web maybe you want to start a podcast. Maybe like to host a Web site maybe you would be interested in blogging for 2018. Bluehost is a great source for you. Their products are great. They do a wonderful job. Technical support is great as well and so encourage you to take a look at that. You can get three dollars and 95 cents a month hosting by going to our Web site mine for life dot org and clicking on the banner there at the bottom of the page. So I would encourage you to do that that helps us out as well but they are a great product.
Also the show notes with links and everything can be found that’s for this program at mind for life. Dot org slash 0 4 8. And so we will have links to how to get involved in the central skills course there as well as some of the resources that I use for the program. I also encourage you a great resource page. So what I’m doing is all of the resources the academic studies the articles the podcasts the documentaries that have kind of served to function as some of the basis for each of these essential skills. I’m keeping a list of those on our resource page for you to look at and it goes. It will be for every week. So all of the resources the academic studies and everything that I did for self-confidence which is building self-confidence which was last week you can find there. There’s also a podcast on that and all of the ones that I have done for this week. Living in Balance can be found on that resource page and I’m trying to keep them organized and as I find more and more information I am going to consolidate all of that there and you just go to mind for life or click on the start here. Just hover over it. And a little resource tab will pop up underneath and you can click on that so that’s always available if you’re looking for more information on any one of these essential skills. Now let’s get to it.
Living in Balance what does it mean to live in balance? How do we live our lives in balance? When I was writing the article about this something popped into my mind about surfing. I’ve always been fascinated with surfing I’ve always loved watching surfers. Maybe there’s some adventurous spirit of having your long hair flowing in the breeze the salt the sand the sea the sun. This nostalgia maybe but additionally I’ve tried surfing and it’s not that easy. So I’ve tried it with a smaller board which did not really hold my weight when I was on there. You have to have motion when you’re surfing with a smaller board in order to propel you forward. You can’t just stand up on top of it. I’ve also tried it with a larger board and I’ve found it difficult to maintain balance it’s a challenge. Unless you practice unless you work at it unless you get better it’s a challenge to be balanced when you’re surfing on the wave. Why? Well you’re on this board. First of all it’s wobbling back and forth. Additionally underneath of you is this constantly moving ocean in so your body is having to respond to the board into the ocean underneath. You have to learn how to stand up. In a boogie boarding for me, no problem. Body surfing waves is no problem but when you get to the point we have to stand up on that board. And the moon and the ocean is moving underneath it presents a greater challenge. So it’s thinking about surfing as you know an introduction to the idea of balance.
But I was also amazed at some of the different opposite alternatives that come at the harmony with one another through surfing. So there’s this…. maybe my call them ends of the different extremes in surfing. You have the land and the sea that are these opposite terrains if you will but they wrestle back and forth with one another at the beach. And the waves crash upon the land and the land seems to hold back those waves and so there’s this back and forth act of balance in the waves in the land in the sea.
There is in surfing both being still and moving. So when you’re surfing you have to go out you’re sitting on the board or waiting for the right set you’re waiting for the right wave to come that you can take but there’s a lot of patience involved and then once the wave comes you have this flurry of activity of swimming of propelling yourself for so that you can get on the wave in order to be able to catch it and move forward.
So there’s this moving and there’s this waiting there’s a balance if you will in just being able to float right the board is this medium this this thing between you and the waves that helps to keep you afloat. It helps to hold you up while gravity is pulling you down and it seems like the tentacles of the waves are trying to pull you underneath down below the surface. The beach the water the power. Of those waves if you’ve ever been at a beach during a storm this is just this incredible just the power of those things crashing down upon the shore. Yet at the same time there’s this piece you know we’ll go to the beach and you just sit there and you experience the calm and the peacefulness and so there’s all of these things that are happening when we are in this activity of surfing and maybe it’s more than just surfing but being at in this context or in this environment.
And I thought that was a great entrance for living in balance. And I’ll explain why a little bit when we get to the end. Why do we need balance today? Well it’s important right, we live in a light speed world a technological culture. And as I said in the article this culture is determined to form us into its image. It is determined to force us to speed to force us to quantify things and to dispense with the mystery of the unknown. We get caught in this culture of chaos and it propels us forward and it drags us away and it forces us to accept its priorities and its values and to make those values and those priorities our own. If you work in the corporate worlds your institution your organization demands things from you. Demands more and more and more of your time and in demanding your time. We have a certain number of hours a day that we are able to invest in our life. Well when certain things are pulling for that time it has to be taken away from other things. And so when work calls and work demands certain things then other things must give way.
Our family our hobbies our passions our spiritual life our civic duty. And there is an article that I shared on the page about seven areas that we have in our life that we need to find ways to maintain balance. The first one is physical health. We when we’re younger we think we’re indestructible that will live forever right. We can eat whatever you are. We don’t have to exercise enough to do anything. And I would recommend some of the documentaries that I put up on the source page to understand what’s going on with our physical health. There’s one that I just recently watched called In Search of Balance what our food is doing to us what the culture is doing to us when it comes to our physical health. So that’s one area our family.
We have family members that are important and continuing and maintaining those relationships. If you have children if you have a spouse there’s a priority that should be there. We should be having a priority on these relationships. There’s our social life our friends our friendships. What we do on our own time there’s our finances how do we find ways to have enough to provide for what we need and certain quality of life that we want but at the same time don’t go overboard.
And in one of the documentaries called the minimalists there is a story of a young man who was working his way up when he said he shares his own story. He said When I was in high school you know my parents had a difficult time and I just wanted to have money I wanted to be able to have enough money. And so he looked at what was the job that would give me the most money that he got involved in banking. Right. In venture capital I think it was he said and he began to work his way up went to college began to work his way up work his way up invested his time invested his time and he said I got to the point where my boss called me up into his office and said I’m promoting you to partner. And it’s interesting to hear him tell the story because he says at that point I realized if I accepted this position I’d never be able to walk away from the money and I would be enslaved to this job. And he says I didn’t know if that’s what I wanted to do. He worked his whole life pursuing this carrot if you will at the end of the stick only to find that when he got to the point where he was just about to grab it. It wasn’t what he was really interested in.
So there’s finances. How do we find balance? There’s our business or job or a vocation. How do we accomplish and do what we need to do to fulfill the tasks and to you’re talking about a vocation to do something that’s very meaningful youth very meaningful for you. Right when it comes to work and when it comes to contribute in making a difference in society again when you think about your job your vocation it’s important to ask yourself the question what am I doing here why am I doing this, is this something that’s important for me?
I remember a story of I think it was the CEO of Pepsi or Coke at the time and someone from a computer company came to them and was trying to recruit him onto the team. And he said hey you know and the guy was very happy you know selling sugary water. And in doing so the gentleman said well what do you want to do with your life? You want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life or do you want to change the world. And ultimately it was a question about what really am I doing. Why am I doing it? So you think about your business your vocation is it in balance when you think about what are you investing as far as it comes to your community your civic duty. That’s one of the things that we’ve let go.
There’s not a lot of civic activity activities and a lot of people get involved in local politics and I was reading a story about a local politician who is running for office and you know politicians today seem to just want to advance in advance and move themselves up the. If you want to call it civic ladder local official local congressmen local senator national congressmen National senator etc. etc. and this guy said Hey I just want to be a part of what’s going on in my community. I want to make my community better. So are we are we in there evolved in that at all. Do we do anything for our local communities?
Is that even a value and then the last one is the spiritual side of your life. We live in a world that dispenses with that. If you can’t observe it if you can’t see it can’t quantify it it doesn’t exist. It eliminates the mystery. It eliminates the spiritual the metaphysical if you will. So but there is that side and there is something to mystery. There’s something about having inner peace and what are you doing are you investing in that spiritual aspect of your being that mysterious aspect of your being that does center you if you will.
And so these are some of the things that you want to think about when it comes to living in balance. Our world is and probably has always been designed to kind of fracture our lives unless we take control unless we focus on finding ways to set the priorities. And there’s three things that I think we can do to be able to live in balance a little bit better. And the first one is this we need to know what’s really important. We need to know what’s really import what really matters in our lives because we have different alternatives. As I mentioned there’s seven different things up there that are pulling for our time and attention and balance.
There’s no balance without different sides, right, balance literally means finding equality between different alternatives. And so we have these different areas of our life that are demanding our time that are demanding our attention and balance means somehow finding a harmony someday somehow finding and developing an equilibrium finding a way to place our attention on the things that are really important. We all have the different aspects of our life. Sometimes our career demands more time from us. Well is that really what’s important. Should that take the priority over a family like that gentlemen I was talking about who got the partnership in the financial institution he said listen this was not really a priority this was not what I wanted to do. Yes it was going to provide financial stability and I was going to buy whatever I wanted but it wasn’t really what I wanted in life. And he was able to know what was important for him and to be able to then make decisions based on those priorities.
So what are the areas of your life and that’s different for everyone. It’s different for everyone. But what’s important for you? Is your family is it your social relationships your friendships your career. This is the spiritual aspect of your physical health your civic duty. Which one of those things is important? How do you rank those areas right now? And one of the things that I ask you to do in the article and I think it’s a great way to maybe get an idea is to take a realistic look at what’s the what’s the priority. What are you investing your time in and I’ll be honest with you we talk about oh well it’s not quantity of time it’s quality of time and there’s some research that disagrees with that philosophy. Quantity of time matters. How much time you spend matters we think we can work our work 20 hours a day or you know 16 hours a day and invest all of this time in our business and that oh if we just have one quality hour with our kids that that’s going to I’m really going to focus on quality. No it’s not that quantity matters the amount of time matters. So maybe take an assessment. Ask yourself the question where am I spending my time?
Keep a daily log. Where am I spent? Where are the hours of my day going? That’s one way to determine what’s important. Where are the hours of your day going? But you can even rank those areas one through seven or eight or if you have other areas that are a part of your life that they’re not listed there rank them on where you actually what your life looks like now and then put a an ideal what should it look like. In other words what should be first second third or might you maybe want to block them out as primary. These three are primary these three are secondary. How do you block that out?
And if the actual does not meet the ideal that means you’re out of balance for yourself. In other words if your actual life right now the way those things are prioritized does not match up with what you think it should idealistically you’re out of balance. And it’s time to take some steps. To change that. So know what’s important. Sit down write it down. What are the important areas of your life. What do you want to do?
There was a book called Halftime and I’ll put the link on the Web site by the general was talking about what happens when he gets to the midway point of his life. And he said basically something to the fact that up until that point you’re kind of determining you’re doing things to find out what you want to do. For the second half you get to this half time in any football game. You know they do all these plays and they do all of these things and they get to the halftime in the halftime what do they do they go back in the locker room they sit down you go OK what do we do. How do we do it? What do we need to do what do we want to do in order to be victorious. The same premise of the book. You get to a half time point in your life where you say OK what have I done now? What do I want to do going forward? How do I want to spend the rest of my days? And I’m here to say this. You don’t have to wait till you’re 40 or 50 quote unquote half way to begin to make that assessment.
You can do that right now no matter what age you are. You say what have I been doing and what I want to do for the rest of my days and there’s a difference in our culture. Millennials are growing up and they’re saying am I going to give my life to the corporate bureaucracy. I’m not going to give my life the hours of my days to the corporate culture. They’re talking about entrepreneurship and saying I want to do what I want to do and these are the things that I want to accomplish. And they’re doing a wide range of things. And so maybe it’s a good half time moment for you to sit down and assess and say what am I doing and what do I want to do.
Now it’s important to understand the moment and what I mean by that, we have to recognize reality. OK. There’s an ideal that we want to have. But the reality of our lives is much like the ocean waves come and waves go at certain times the waves are a little bit more fierce at other times they’re a little bit more calm and peaceful and it’s the same way with our lives at certain times certain things crop up certain things demand more of our attention and we have to recognize those moments and yes of course give that attention when it’s needed at certain times. Our family needs more attention and needs more investment at certain times. Our job has more demands and we have to turn our attention over there at certain times. We get in physical difficulties physical health props up right.
There’s that song by Tim McGraw. You know the talks about he was going through life and the doctor called the man and said You’ve got Leno whatever this certain amount of time to live and all of a sudden his priorities change you know what am I going to do now. So those things happen in life. If you listen to one of the podcasts that I talked with the peace of mind coach you know he dove into the water and broke his neck. All of a sudden his priorities changed everything changed in a second in an instant. Those things happen in life and when those things happen we have to be able to give the attention where it’s needed. We have to understand the moment we have to kind of like OK turn our thoughts and rearrange priorities for a period of time but we can’t lose sight of the bigger picture.
In other words yes there’s moments when things must change. There’s moments when our job demands more when your job demands more. Yes you’d have to give more time but you can’t lose sight of the other priorities and just automatically switch everything over. Now everything changes to the job. You have to recognize the forest for the trees.
I was listening to a gentleman give a talk in that talk he shared the story of a gentleman who was working his entire life for retirement. I believe this was actually in the minimalize documentary he was talking about his dad. One of the guys is talking about his dad said that I’m working my whole life for retirement and I’m working my whole life for retirement and the day before he retired he died. The day before he died and the guy in the documentary said I’m not going to do that. I’m going to live my life now. You never know when that day will come.
And so don’t lose sight of the bigger picture. Yes. Understand the moment. Yes at times certain things need more of your time and attention at certain times. Your priorities must change and must adjust but you need to bring those back in alignment with your ideal. Don’t lose sight of the forest for the trees understand the moment then the third thing I think that’s important is this and this is the hardest one you can know what’s important.
You cannot understand the moment you can understand when things need to change. The hardest one is this making the sacrifice when you want to live in balance you need to give some things up. You know this culture sells us an ideal that you can have at all. You look at the quote unquote influencers or celebrities that they hold up there that seem to have it all. They have everything together and were made to think that their lives are perfect that nothing’s wrong that they’d listen. If you watch any of the documentaries on TV about celebrity disasters and scandals and everything like this they are reflections of lives that are out of balance.
I don’t think you can have it all. You can have what you want. You can have what you want. But I don’t think you can necessarily have it all to have what you want. However means giving some things up. If you want a lot of money you can work 20 hours a day and you can get it but at 20 hours a day other things are going to suffer if your family is important to you and you’re going to invest time in your family your social relationships are going to suffer to a certain extent. Your job may suffer to the point that you may not get the promotions that other people who are more invested in the organization will get if your passions are important.
If your hobbies are important. If you’re going to invest time in those things then other things will have to suffer. And the point is there’s no balance without sacrifice. You can’t put all the weight on both sides of the scale.
We think about balance in your life. Think about like a seven-sided scale. If you can’t even imagine that right a scale that’s sitting on one point with seven platforms and each one of those represents the different aspects of your life. Now you know how difficult it is to get two sides in balance right it’s not that difficult it’s sacrificing some weight on one side or putting some weight on the other side to kind of bring it into equilibrium. But when you have a finite amount of weight and you have seven different sides to this scale one shift in one from one to another change is the entirety of the whole structure right. It’s more complex and making a sacrifice means at some point you’re going to either have to put more weight on one part and when you put more weight on one part that means giving more to something. But when you give more to something you’re taking something away from something else you have to make the sacrifice you have to make the hard choices.
Think of that gentleman I talked about that was off of the partnership. It’s a dream job anyone would say wow man I wish I could have that I wish I could do that. You’re stupid for turning it away but he knew what was important. For him he made a difficult sacrifice. Now a lot of people wouldn’t do the same thing. A lot of people wouldn’t make the same choice but he did. He did. He knew what he wanted well and that that goes to the point. How do you know? Which sacrifice to make. It goes back to number one. What’s really important. What are you aiming for? What do you really want in life?
You know it’s a difficult thing to live a balanced life. I think it’s possible but it’s not possible without making some sacrifice. It’s not possible to live a healthy life without giving something up in some areas. It doesn’t mean give up your career please that doesn’t mean give up your family or give up your passions or give up the spiritual aspect of your life or any of that. It just means finding a way to sacrifice some in some areas so that all things can come into balance. It’s a hard thing. It’s something I think that we’re all struggling to do.
And let me just say that this brings us back to the idea of surfing. Is the way that I think of balance: Balance is simply effectively riding the waves of your life.
A surfer doesn’t always get it right. Sometimes get thrown off balance sometimes they fall off right a wave comes and that wave doesn’t do what they expected to do right. Something happens there are all of these complexities that things pop up in our life and sometimes you see surfers that are riding these waves and they are right on the edge of falling off. I mean it’s like the balance is just they’re just about to teeter off and they kind of bring it back into control and sometimes that’s the way life is. We have these waves and we have these different things vying for our attention and pulling for our time and we’re surfing this thing through right we’re just kind of finding that line down the tube or down the wave if you will so that we can just kind of get it right.
And sometimes we get off a little bit and when we start to get off a little bit we have to compensate we have to balance it in a different direction and surfers do that so masterfully. And I think if we can think of life that way. Riding a wave effectively riding the waves of our life again surfer rides and balance the maneuver they’re born in perfect harmony with the waves with the ocean. All of the power and the chaos of that that roiling and tumultuous ocean underneath of them and a skillful individual on top gently guiding that board in perfect balance.
It doesn’t come easy takes a lot of practice. The same thing with balance in our lives. It doesn’t come easy. It takes a lot of practice a lot of assessment a lot of realigning of our priorities. It takes sacrifice but when it’s done right it’s a beautiful thing and it’s a healthy life.
Well I hope you’ve enjoyed this podcast again the show notes are a mind for life. Dot org slash 0 4 8. You can visit that website for all of the links and everything to this show. I want to encourage you if you’re interested in joining us on the 52 Essential Skills course through 2018 you can find more information about that and mine for life. Dot org slash 048. And again all the resources for these programs are available to you free of charge. Thank you so much for listening and will talk to you next time.