Balance Scales

Work Life Balance – Week 27

Work Life Balance is a popular topic these days as baby boomers age and echo boomers reach mid-career. Balance is an interesting word.

Physically, a balance (think “Scales of Justice,” interestingly misnamed) is a device of comparison. To use a balance, one compares a known weight with the unknown weight of another object. If the two objects weigh the same, they are said to be “in balance.” A simple laboratory scale is a form of balance with variable weights. Other scales do not “balance” at all. They measure weight by comparing compression and/or expansion of a spring or other such object.

Athletically, balance is demonstrated when one is able to navigate a narrow object, as with a balance beam, a women’s gymnastics apparatus. Another familiar example is a successful tightrope walker.

A less prosaic example of balance is in a field sobriety test where a law enforcement officer may test the balance of a driver suspected of driving under the influence of an intoxicant.

Many people want “more” work life balance. In fact, literally examined, everyone has a balance between work and “life.” One may not like the nature of that balance, but there’s still an existing balance. The question becomes how to change that balance.

Each of us has two contrasting voices inside, one saying “go,” while the other says, “stop.” Whether or not there is an objective God or an objective Devil, there are still within each of us the contrasting voices. A comic may illustrate this with an angel on one shoulder and a demon on the other, but the truth remains. No wonder the “new thought” writers like Charles Haanel opined that God and the Devil are subjective rather than objective.

What came to me recently was to compare the two voices to the two trays of a balance. This comparison allowed me to see, as in real life, how little pressure it takes to change the balance. I can put my “thumb” on the scale and change the balance any time I like.

Thus, if my life seems overbalanced towards work, I can put my thumb on the leisure tray and change the balance with very little effort. Even a thought may be sufficient.

For more deeply ingrained and intractable situations, I may need to alter the predominant thought giving rise to the situation. When the thought is changed, the situation naturally changes, seemingly of its own accord.

How about you? Do you like your life’s current balance? Try putting your “thumb” on the “scale” and see what happens.

Thank you, as always, for joining me on the journey of a transforming life.

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