I dove into breakfast the other day only to be surprised by the unpleasant feel of a fork with one prong that was bent and out of line with the other three. You might not think this would be a big deal but it definitely detracted from an otherwise great breakfast. With every bite, I was repeatedly reminded of the bent prong as it rubbed against my mouth. Many people I observe, and in the past even admired lead lives that are like a bent fork prong. They are known for their amazing leadership skills, entrepreneurial spirit, and overall business successes. But if you look a little closer, you realize something is out of balance.
I personally know people just like this. They seem to succeed at whatever business endeavor they put their minds to, but they cannot maintain relationship commitments, no matter how many times they try. Or they succeed in business to the detriment of their physical health, cutting corners on the basic building blocks of wellbeing such as sleep, exercise, and a proper diet. While I admire their business skill and entrepreneurial tenacity, I am now able to recognize that living a balanced life is a key facet of true business success.
Really Successful People
True business success must always allow for a constant rebalancing of work and the necessary elements of life such as relationships, health, and mental well-being. There is something about a good entrepreneur that overcomes anything that gets in their way. Unfortunately, this no-nonsense approach that brings great success in one area, can be the very thing that is detrimental to one’s overall life balance. Warren Buffett once said something to the effect that the difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say “no” to almost everything. In other words, they know how to focus on what really matters even though opportunities (and distractions) are constantly presenting themselves.
Living a Balanced Lifestyle
How do you know if you are striking the delicate balance between business success and the other key areas of your life?
First, you must allow a measure of self-awareness and introspection. You will never just fall into proper balance. It takes work.
Next, you need something to measure yourself against. This is where articulating core values is an absolute must. If you have not defined the person you aspire to be, you will never become that person.
Finally, a balanced lifestyle will only come through thoughtful pursuit. The next time you observe your work overtaking your life, remember the bent fork and take time for introspection, check your core values, and pursue a balanced lifestyle.
Here are links to related resources you might find useful. If you find your life is out of balance, take action today to change that about yourself. I heard it once said, the time is going to pass whether or not you act. Wouldn’t you rather spend that time becoming the person you aspire to be?