Tag Archives: work-life balance

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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balance

In Search of Work-Life Balance – Week 23

I was recommended a TED talk recently on work-life balance. You can see it [] if you like.

I liked Ms. Slaughter’s conclusion that caregiving and breadwinning are both valuable, even equally valuable, but I confess to have balked at her recommendations for forced, governmentally imposed structure to “change” society. You will have noted in my last post, perhaps, my belief that intelligence, if honored, must be invited to change rather than being forced to change. I suppose I have more faith in humanity than does Ms. Slaughter. I also believe markets inspire and encourage change, all on their own. Either way, a market or a government in many respects is an amalgam of its members or participants. As we change, our institutions change.

This week’s Masterkey System lesson, number 23, also invites change. In it, Haanel invites us to consider how our thoughts either attract or repel abundance, and, with it, prosperity. Haanel correctly asserts that wealth follows service. The more people we serve, the more wealth follows, in proportion to the value of our service.

The basic proposition of give more, get more appears to ignore motive, at least on the surface. I took counsel, however, from Haanel’s guidance in paragraph 23-4 to examine my motives. He said, “… our problem is to keep an open mind, … to be interested in the race rather than the goal, for the pleasure is in the pursuit rather than the possession.”

I took this to mean that if I focus too much on the object of my effort (my own goal), I risk substituting attachment for intention. I read Deepak Chopra in Seven Spiritual Laws of Success to recommend intention and to avoid attachment. Having unintentionally not heeded that advice at first, I have lots of experience with the consequences of attachment. I don’t recommend that path.

Recently, I’ve been able to change. I can now better dial my attachment (or expectation for action by another) to zero, while keeping my intention (or enthusiasm) high. The results are as you might predict. Positive response is up; rejection is down.

Masterkey System paragraph 23-5 says, “You can make a money magnet of yourself, but to do so you must first consider how you can make money for other people.” As an American, I’m culturally and socially predisposed to believe more is more.
I’ve learned, perhaps paradoxically, that less is often more, and sometimes less is substantially more.

An illustration may help. In a prospecting conversation, you might think that more description about product, plan or company would encourage quicker and deeper investigation. Au contraire! That, I can tell you from sad experience, works very poorly.

What does work is for me to create interest with simple statements. When the other person expresses interest, it is almost always best for me to ask questions and listen with the intent to invite the other person to share deeply held fear, hope, pain and/or desire. In that way, I allow him or her to connect those feelings with the opportunity or solution in which he or she expressed interest. Go90Grow students will recognize this pattern, of course.

The same goes for marketing. I may have a product or opportunity that verifiably serves a non-segmented market, but it doesn’t pay me to advertise that idea. You, my reader, will likely not be shocked to hear I tried. And failed, ignominiously.

Again, less is more. I serve better when I narrow my focus. A recent coaching experience highlights the wisdom of this idea. I mostly interact with current or former professionals, self-employed and business owners. After 4 years of this, my language patterns serve that market very well. Last night, however, I counseled with a new business associate, age 19.

As I began to talk with him about my marketing process, it quickly became apparent that I knew little or nothing of his world or the world of his likely business prospects. After an hour or so, I began to get a sense of what they were going to want and need, but it took some focus and concentration to put myself in that world. Having done so, I’m looking forward to helping my new associate get his business off to a flying start.

This brings me back to work-life balance.

It turns out one of the primary benefits of the opportunity I promote is to dramatically broaden choices for work-life balance. I might not have seen this before, but I do now.
And, by helping my business associates voluntarily segment their markets, they get better results, with less effort.
Thus, the value of my service increases, my attachment stays dialed down to zero, my intention stays dialed high, and I enjoy the journey more. Natural consequences? You already know.

Thank you, as always, for joining me on this journey.

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