August 25. “You can have total success when you balance your physical, mental, spiritual, as well as your personal, family and business life.” (Zig Ziglar)
Really? That’s all it takes? Just keep those 6 things all in balance? Sure. No problem. Who can’t do that? I mean, it’s only a matter of keeping EVERYTHING in my life in balance?
Back around the year 2000, I was asked to create a 1 hour class called “Time Management for Busy Teens.” The class was to be delivered at a convention of Catholic Youth in my city. Each class would have about 50 really busy teens who were looking to improve some life skills. My job was to pack as much learning as I could into 1 hour, while keeping it interesting and interactive. Talk about time management!
I ended up delivering that class about 15 or 20 times over the course of the next few years. Each time a packed room of high performing High School students would wait in anticipation to find out what secrets there were to time management. Truth be told, it’s a pretty dry subject, but we had fun and made the most of it.
One of the most important topics we covered was the idea of balance. Many of these students were involved in multiple extra curricular activities, had college level class loads and were expected to perform well enough to impress the University entrance committees. Some would tell me tales of having to be up and at an activity at 6:00am, and not finishing their homework until midnight. The stories were pretty hair raising.
I preached balance to them because I saw rooms full of stressed out kids who were taking next to no time for themselves. I told them that these should be some of the most enjoyable years of their lives, and if they wanted to be successful, they needed to learn how to keep things in balance and perspective. That lesson was lost on many of them in their competitive zeal to succeed. But for a few it hit home.
In the room would be chaperones from the various schools and Churches who would listen in and help control the crowd. More than a few came to me and told me that they wished I could talk to their own children who weren’t in the class. I gave them the handouts and encouraged them to have the discussion. Sadly there were a few who chastised me for discouraging the teens from doing everything they possibly could to get into the best schools.
As an IT professional who is also a father, husband and friend, I have to maintain balance in my life. Focus too much on work, and my home life will suffer. Focus too much on home, and my work goes down the tubes. Finding the right balance between the two is difficult, but necessary.
I had my tongue firmly in my cheek in the first paragraph above. I truly do agree with Ziglar’s quote. I believe that to be successful in anything, I must have my mind, body and soul (mental, physical and spiritual) in balance. And my personal and work life have to be in harmony as well. The trick is to get to and maintain that balance.
Today my reflection for the quote is on whether I am at the right balance point for all these things. Are there areas in my life where I am over-committing myself? Are there areas that are in neglect? This is a constant set of questions in my life, and not limited to just this quote. I know that to find success, I have to have it all in play, and have it all in balance.
Sounds easy, right?