Once while having dinner with a few of my friends, one of the things that came up during dinner was what it means to live a balanced life. Everyone at the table are successful business owners, and together we grappled with answering the question, “Do we live a balanced life?”
In addition to running successful businesses, each person at the table is married and has kids. What does a balanced life look like for them?
To answer that question, we first have to answer what it means to live a balanced life.
Most people think of a balanced life as 20, 20, 20, 20, 20. For example, 20% of their time is put into family, 20% goes into faith, 20% is exercise, 20% is finance, 20% is. . .
But is that really a balanced life?
Is working from 9:00 – 5:00, dropping the kids off in the morning, watching T.V. at night for four hours, watching a movie on Saturday, going to church on Sunday, doing a BBQ on Sunday — is that’s what’s defined as a balanced life?
Is a kid who’s going to high school, a teenager playing sports, doing his homework, doing his classes, is he living a balanced life?
How about a mother raising three kids. Is she living a balanced life?
How about somebody who goes to school trying to get a four-year college degree, studying — are they living a balanced life?
How about an executive that’s trying to move up in the company. Is he living a balanced life? Is she living a balanced life?
How about somebody who is 65 years old, retired, golfing six days a week. Is that a balanced life?
How about somebody who says, “I want to give back to charity and I want to give 50 hours a week to my church.” Is that a balanced life?
What I’ve learned about living a balanced life is that some of the greatest, most exciting things that happen in our life typically are imbalanced. And almost all of us, in certain phases of our lives are living an unbalanced life. It’s not always balanced.
So I can’t tell you what’s better — to live a balanced life, or to live an imbalanced life. But what I can tell you is when we try to force balance — that’s when it throws everything off.