No Such Thing as a Balanced Life

If you are a coach, a business person, a busy person, an overwhelmed person, you are probably seeking what the ’experts’ call – balance.

While this sounds great, it is an unrealistic term that sets you up for failure.

I know I will probably get a lot of heat from people out there (and especially coaches) because I should know better as I’m a coach, but I am tired of hearing the word ’balance’. Frankly, we use it too much and it only makes us feel worse about ourselves and our lives.

Using the word ‘balance’ is like using the word ‘perfect.’ There is no point because these words are not realistic; life is precarious, unpredictable, joyful, sorrowful, a mystery – in short, nothing is static or balanced.

Here are the fallacies with using the word, balance:

1. What does balance mean to you? Here’s where the first problem starts. Everyone’s idea of balance is different, therefore a guru telling you what looks ’normal’ in your life, really has no idea. They may work 60 hours per week and feel healthy, happy and secure. You may work 40 and think you are working too much because you have another job and six children.

2. Nothing in life is static. It’s impossible to have a total balance in your life. Just when your finances are improving, your relationship with your significant other may be going through a challenge. You may have one area of your life shine, and another area needs work. As a coach, I work on all areas to improve them and while most areas may be great, life happens.

You may have everything appearing to be in balance and then you get laid off at work. Your finances, career and relationships may be great and then your father passes away. There is no permanent state of balance – life is constantly growing and changing. In fact, the universe is still continuing to expand and change.

Life is like that: unpredictable, uncontrollable and all you can do is control your beliefs and actions.

3. Being caught up in the word ’balance’ can make you feel depressed, frustrated and downright miserable. As I mentioned earlier, there will always be one area of your life that’s weaker than the rest – if only for a short time. This word should only be used to mention credits and debits, scales, what’s left of something or a weighing device.

4. Use a different word for your life. Instead of balance, focus on a word that describes how you are constantly changing and growing to create the life and world you desire.

5. Be more accepting of life: We spend a lot of time fighting and complaining about our situation in life. In Buddhism, the teachings talk about accepting and making peace with your life, no matter how good or bad – there are great lessons learned from struggle. This isn’t easy, however a softer heart and lack of cynicism will make your life more enjoyable and you will have a chance to positively affect the lives of those around you.

6. It’s about prioritizing. Forget balance, life is a smorgasbord of choices. It is about what you decide to believe in, who you hang out with, what you do for work, how you spend your time. If you are not sure what your priorities are, simply open your calendar and study the time and activities that fill your book. Is your time spent shopping, being with family, working, playing, creating, loving and making a difference?

As a last note, skip the word balance and go for passion!