Can Life Really Be Balanced?Kathleen Byars | February 10, 2017
Earlier this week I had an interesting conversation with a baby-mama friend of mine. She just had her third daughter six months ago.
And she is a successful, online entrepreneur.
We began talking about balance. Particularly the tug and pull that parents have between career and family.
I felt that pull loudly when I was a single mother raising my daughter. I often had to leave my daughter to the care of nannies while I traveled abroad. That’s a long way to travel away from a child. I felt tremendous guilt, but I pushed it aside for a variety of reasons that I didn’t understand then and know all-too-well now.
As my girlfriend and I spoke on the phone, she needed to nurse her child. “Go for it!” I cried. (I’m the last person to be affronted when a mother needs to feed her baby). She tended to her little one and we continued talking.
We chatted about my experience raising my daughter and her experience raising her oldest daughter (who is now twelve) and the regrets we both have. We talked about careers and childcare, the long hours away from our littles, and the quiet guilt we both carried during our younger mothering days.
We spoke with honesty about the lessons we’ve learned and how different our choices are now.
At one point in the conversation my girlfriend said, “Kate, I don’t know if you ever really find balance. I’ve been up all night with the baby and I’m certainly not going to get a full night’s sleep anytime soon.”
I totally got her point!
Yet, as she said those words it brought to mind for me another thought:
Life isn’t about finding the perfect balance. A life of well-being, contentment, and joy is about living congruently with your core values. It’s when we trade our higher values to meet a lower-value that we feel off balance, anxious, and unsettled.
For a long time, I didn’t do that. I lived according to the values our culture defined for me. I defined success – and my self-esteem – according to what I did, instead of who I was.
And I traded many beautiful memories with my oldest daughter to chase my own desire to be a VIP.
t we feel off balance, anxious, and unsettled.
Dr. Stephen Covey states in his book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People that the real problem that get’s in the way of living a highly effective life is the way we see the problem.
I didn’t understand what that meant when I first began my quest to find the good life.
Now I do.
The problem isn’t how to find a flexible job, a four hour work week, or make enough money to retire. The problem is that we are living in contradiction to our priorities and values. And we’re scared #$@&-less to change … even though our current way of living isn’t working.
Do you ever find that to be true?
Living a good life isn’t about arriving at a place of plenty where we have enough freedom, enough money, and enough time to do as we please. No one has that…I don’t care who they are.
Living a good life is living a life of well-being, designed around YOUR life values and priorities. And as long as you are living congruently with what you believe, then you are thriving and experiencing the good life.
What do you think? Leave a comment below and let me know.
I believe we all have a bit of trailblazer inside us, don’t you? It’s my passion to help others create change. I believe that we are capable of far more than we allow ourselves to imagine and when we dare to live by our own rules we find a life of true joy, success, and balance.
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