Recently, I’ve had a problem with my back. In an attempt to fix it, I visited a physical therapist for treatment, and to learn how to stretch and exercise so I will not have this problem in the future.
One of the exercises they recommended I do is designed to improve my sense of balance.
I did not understand. What does my sense of balance have to do with my back pain?
It seems that when we have a good sense of balance, all our core muscles work together. As we improve our balance, these same muscles are all strengthened in unison.
This training got me thinking about our sense of balance in our lives. Just what are we trying to balance and why it is important?
The balance we all search for is between our work and our non-work lives. But it is more complicated than that.
Our work lives are made up of the drive for success, money, ownership, power, personal fulfillment, and notoriety. When focusing on one single area of our work life, the other areas will suffer.
In business, we need each of these areas to have some level of success. Our sense of balance in business needs to focus on all the drives of our work life. When we reach that balance, our business will begin to reflect that same balance as we deal with clients, employees, consultants, and peers.
Our non-work lives also require a lot of balancing. Spouses, kids, houses, hobbies, and personal time all are demands that pull at us. And, they all deserve attention if we want to have a happy and successful non-work life.
The entrepreneur and small business owner have a slightly different set of priorities than the average person. We are gifted with a drive for making a dream succeed. We start with our priorities being tilted toward our business, and because of that, we spend an inordinate amount of time at our businesses, thinking about work, and planning for the future of our enterprises.
Entrepreneurs and small business owners need to consider this gift when focusing on their sense of balance.
Just as in the exercises that improve your body’s physical balance, each person needs to find their own practices that will result in a balance in both work and non-work lives. These practices might include specific work hours, date nights with your spouse, specific time with friends, no work on weekend rules, etc.
These practices become the core that keeps a person’s life in balance just as muscles keep the core of your body in balance.
And just like the exercises that strengthen the core muscles, these practices must be attended to strengthen a person’s balance in life.
My point is that everyone has a balance that is personal to them. No one can tell you what your perfect balance needs to be. For example, one employee may be able to work 41 hours each week while another works 55. Neither is right or wrong.
Additionally, your balance will change. Your business will mature, your company will experience economic pains, and your trust in your key employees develops. In your non-work life, your family expands, you become empty nesters or your spouse’s career changes. All of these changes require an adjustment to your sense of balance.
The key is finding practices in both your work and non-work life that achieve the desired level of health and happiness. This level should be then monitoring that as events occur in both your work and personal life.
As you are striving for a sense of balance, look for triggers that will tell you when you are tending to be further out of balance. Some suggest triggers are.
- Busyness – are you just busy and in a hurry all the time?
- Stress – is your emotional stress level higher than typical?
- Guilt – do you feel guilty about how you are spending your time?
- Financial – are you making unusual financial commitments that are not typical of your spending patterns?
- Escapism – have you adopted some escapism habits (e.g., gambling, spending, binge TV watching) that are unusual for you?
If you or any of your close friends see these triggers, your sense of balance is off and needs adjusting.
Your sense of balance needs to start with Jesus. Even if you are not a church going person, you need to realize that God is the only real constant in our world. His work is just as true today as it was 2,000 years ago. Ephesians 4:1 says.
. . . urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,
Your sense of balance is perfectly balanced when you are walking in the manner of your calling. You are in balance when you are doing precisely what God has called you to do. To know what God has called you to do, you need Jesus to be your core.
And just like your muscles, the stronger your relationship is with Jesus, the better sense of balance you will have.