When you read the title of this post, you probably recalled an incident where you were stuck on the side of a major highway as traffic buzzed by. Or maybe you remembered being stranded on the side of a deserted rural road. When your car has a flat tire, it doesn’t work properly. You can’t continue to drive it without risking greater (and more costly) damage. And it can leave you feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, or even helpless.
It’s a great metaphor for what happens when your life is out of balance. The pace of life is ever increasing and family, workplace, community, school, sport, and social activities are all competing for our attention. I call this the “life wheel.” If you are putting too much effort into one or two areas on this wheel at the expense of the others, it can cause your whole life to become unbalanced. The key is to invest the same amount of time and energy into each of the areas on the wheel.
Is your life wheel balanced or do you have a flat?
When I talk with private company owners and executives, I often hear that amidst the daily grind of managing a business, their greatest challenge is comprehending and balancing the elements of their life wheel:
Family: Do you provide high value to all of your family members?
Health: How much do you exercise and do you understand potential issues?
Mental: What development activities are you undertaking (continuing education, new skill sets, etc.)?
Philosophy: Do you have a set of core values driving your daily interactions?
Finance: Are you financially secure and do you have a personal plan?
Social: How much time do you have for relaxation and simply “letting go?”
We have created a Life Balance Diagnostic to help you evaluate how well you’re doing in each of the six areas outlined above, as then develop action plans to improve your score for each. Click here to access the diagnostic.
I have encountered a profound impact, both personally and professionally, by completing this diagnostic and committing myself to balancing my personal wheel. When associates ask how I describe myself, I proudly say that I am a father, husband, and business advisor to privately held companies. It is a far stretch from how I previously described myself.
Finding your work and life balance is important for both your own health and happiness, and the happiness of those you love. There’s no better time to evaluate your life wheel and fix any flat tires.
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