For as many as have had ‘deep’ conversations with me lately, I’m pretty sure the word ‘balance’ has come up a couple of times. It might seem really spiritual and deep too and like a mean feat I’ve achieved when I say I’m learning balance but really what is balance?
Balance is the state in which different things occur in equal or proper amounts or have equal or proper importance. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).
I remember back in Secondary School (High School) when my French teachers would say every rule has an exception. I used to joke and say the statement itself had an exception but I digress. Now balance is supposed to be a state in which different things occur in equal or proper amounts or have an equal or proper amount of importance. We focus too much on ‘equal’ sometimes that we forget the word ‘proper’.
Who determines what proper time is? YOU!
If you’re reading the 7 Habits (which I hope you’ve gotten around to reading – I promise it’s worth it!), you’ll realise that being proactive involves changing the narrative. You control your time and you control the outcomes of your actions or inactions. Your job is to schedule activities in order of priority and this priority is determined by your value system.
So I ask again, who determines what proper importance is? You! And not based on feelings but based on your value system. This is where discipline comes in. If we ALWAYS make decisions based on how we feel at that moment, then we’d almost never get anything done really.
Just imagine this – I have a tonne of bricks on one side of a weighing balance and a tonne of feathers on the other side. The scale is balanced right? In this balance you’ll see that I have so many more feathers (in number) than bricks. I had to put more feathers unto the scale to truly achieve balance – I would have been deceiving myself if I decided that the weight of 10 bricks was equal to that of 10 feathers even if they had the same dimensions. In the same vein, apportioning the same number of hours to two different activities does not automatically mean balance.
The message is simple: Finding balance does not mean apportioning equal time or equal importance to different aspects of our lives but rationing the time available in such a way that we reflect our principles by giving priority to certain activities not neglecting others. It is also important to note that REST is important. You might be effective at allocating your time so you can complete various tasks but remember to allow time for rest as well. Its either you give rest a little time now so your body can be refreshed a little or you’re forced to give rest a lot of time later when your body decided to break down on you.
I’m learning to embrace scheduling. I’m learning to apply priorities. I’m learning to reflect my core values as an extension of myself. Simply, I’m learning balance.