“When it comes to work and life, most of us know what it feels like to be out of balance. But do we know what it feels like to be in balance? It’s not a trick question — even if it seems so at first.” – Michael Hyatt
A few years ago I watched a documentary about slacklining that blew my mind. Then I had the oppourtunity to try it myself, and it was even harder than it looked! In order to stay on the line, I had to make constant adjustments, my legs wobbling and arms waving, straining and struggling to keep from falling. Even when I got the hang of it and could stay on the line a long time, there was never a moment where I wasn’t making little corrections to stay upright.
It didn’t feel like balance, but it was.
That’s how life is: Sometimes when we’re doing exactly what is required to keep our balance, we feel the most unbalanced.
That’s because we’ve believed the lie that “the balanced life” is fun, fast and easy, rather than difficult, necessary and rewarding. But don’t be discouraged. Here are three paradigm shifts from Michael Hyatt that we can all make that will help us to adjust our perspective around living a “balanced life”.
1. Balance is not the same as rest.
If we think that attaining balance means finally getting a much-needed break, then we’re missing something important. It’s not about rest, though it does include it. Balance is about distributing demands so we can stay on track. And sometimes that takes a lot of work. If that’s where you’re at right now, don’t be discouraged. It’s just part of the challenge.
2. Balance is dynamic.
“Life is like riding a bicycle,” Albert Einstein said. “In order to keep your balance, you must keep moving.” We’ve all experienced this. The slower you go, the more trouble it is to keep your bike up. Momentum helps us stay on course. It’s the same for all the corrections and adjustments we make along the way. Balance requires tweaking our schedule, task lists, and more. If you have it right one week, it still requires attention the next.
3. Balance is intentional.
Our bodies are programmed to stay upright, but it takes a bit more focus when it comes to the complex responsibilities and relationships that make up our lives. We have to make purposeful decisions and actions if we want balance. It’s not accidental. Those decisions and actions will look different for each of us, but they’re essential for all of us just the same.