In an earlier post I talked about how balance is not the same as resting. Balance is more than the over simplistic “work-life” balance. We are not coins with only two sides.
In this post I’m going to discuss another idea that Michael Hyatt notes in his piece, that balance is dynamic.
Balance is dynamic
For a moment let’s imagine that in general we can be in one of two states. We can either be static or dynamic. I won’t spend time reviewing what it means to be static, think stuck, rigid, unchanging. Life does not offer us an opportunity to be static. Nature/reality is not static.
Don’t believe me? Look outside, are the leaves on the trees still? Is the weather the same as it was this morning? The world is in CONSTANT motion around us. Even the air around us while we sit in a room is constantly moving:
In life we need to be prepared to be dynamic (ready for change, changing. Ready to adapt, adapting). Thus, the way we discuss balance here at Pursuing Balance is that balance is, in fact, dynamic.
As I’ve noted before — when we stand on one foot — we’re not standing still. We are ceaselessly making micro adjustments throughout our body to maintain a balanced position. If you’ve ever tried yoga — even in simple poses like a warrior you’ll find that your body is subtly moving to maintain the pose. From 50 meters away we may look static, perfectly balanced. But the reality is that we are not still. Not even for a second.
In part one we talked about the many areas of our life we want to allocate our limited time and energy to. This process of allocation is balance. It’s the dynamic shifting of that allocation from one area to the next, from one priority to another, that is Pursuing Balance.
What has happened to so many of us — is that we think we’ve achieved a state of balance. Or that we’re only a small tweak away (if I just get my diet in order, if i just get the next raise, one the holidays are over) from living a balanced life. The reality, if we look closely, is that we’ve simply allocated our time to a few, limited, areas and set life on cruise control.
That is a life out of balance.
If we map out a week’s worth of our time, noting how it is being allocated. We might see that we are not in balance at all. There will be areas that are important to us, to our well-being, that are under represented. There will be areas of our life that are quite unimportant that are over represented. Watch the below, the final minutes of the Jocko Podcast, where Jocko reminds us that it is our responsibility, our obligation, to lead our life.
Let’s begin looking at our life and finding time for the important things. This doesn’t simply mean spending less time at work! (the cure that will supposedly lead to achieving work life balance) Work could be one of the areas where we need to allocate a bit more energy. (Have you been coasting?)
Actively and dynamically lead your life. Don’t accept the default allocation of time. Make those micro adjustments to bring things closer to how we really want them. And understand, expect, that what we prioritize may (WILL) change on a monthly or even daily basis. Balance means being dynamic, responsive to life as it unfolds.
It’s not a passive state that we just wind up in. A default allocation of time should scare us. Work towards that active, dynamic state.
This leads me directly to the third aspect of balance.
Balance is intentional.
More to come.