Among the evergreen topics in our consulting work with companies is the issue of balance in the workplace. Pressure is huge on companies to be profitable, to innovate, to hire well and to build cultures that last. There has been a significant increase in demands on workers’ hours – and in many companies, the idea of dedication to your job has been taken to extremes as in considering that 9 pm is the right time to go home.
How do you feel about the “realities” of the workplace intersecting with the impact these kinds of imbalances have on individuals and families? How much of this imbalance can be avoided? How much of it is real?
Is there something basic that can be addressed that can help us manage our way out of this dilemma? Do you have an issue in your company with imbalance?
Balance can be disrupted easily by events outside our control – weather, traffic, illness, difficulties. What are the “rocks in the stream” on which you insist and depend on day-in and day-out?
For many people, meditation and exercise are “must-do’s” because the feelings of well being are significant enough to hold onto even if life’s events could make you believe you don’t have time. Another of the best “rocks in the stream” is a regular bedtime and sufficient healthy sleep.
Who do you know who leads a balanced life? What are their habits which support balance? How would you describe your life in terms of balance? What would most improve your balance?
Among the most famous works addressing imbalance is the 1982 movie, “Koyaanisqatsi,” which is a Hopi word meaning, “life of moral corruption and turmoil” or “life out of balance.”
The movie is famous for its fast-paced images, no dialogue or plot, amazing cinematography and music by composer, Philip Glass. The movie features disturbing, powerful images showing – among many others – environmental damage, the sprawl of “civilization” on the planet, military equipment, and freeway traffic in fast motion.
What do you think about the level of healthy balance in our culture? Are we headed in a positive, healthy direction as the human race? What does our culture teach us – or teach us to ignore – about balance?
Here is a link to the film. You can scan forward and allow it to quickly buffer so that you can get a sense of the film’s message and tone.
It’s been getting increasingly difficult to stay balanced due to technology; hasn’t it? Technology is supposed to serve us and increase our quality of life, but we’ve found ourselves working longer and harder just to keep up with its demands.
Maintaining a balanced life with technology is about maintaining healthy boundaries. A few ideas:
* Read and respond to email only at the beginning, middle and end of each day.
* Limit time on social networking sites to 15 – 30 minutes daily.
* For every hour on your computer, take at least 30 minutes off of it.
* Have at least one day a week where you unplug as much as possible – and maybe unplug completely – only engaging in telephonic contact.
* Limit television time and expand interpersonal contact with friends and family.
What are your best approaches for staying balanced in your relationship with technology? How much of an issue is technology in having a balanced life?
How are you at maintaining balance in your life? Everyone in our culture seems to be busier and more rushed than ever before, and balance is a much-needed issue for improvement for many people. In our practice, we ask our clients to focus weekly on balance of mind, body and spirit.
Greek Philosopher Euripedes said: “The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, to acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man.”
Generally, what seems to work well on a daily basis to balance the demands of our professional lives is time – however small – for: exercise, healthy eating, family and friends, romance, service and quiet reflection to connect to nature or spirit as you choose.
What changes can you make in your daily life to experience greater degrees of balance? What are your secrets to balance? How able are you to shift to being balanced when you realize that you need to do so?