How Is Your Work/Life Balance?
I consider myself a reformed work-a-holic. I remember years ago realizing that too often I was going to work before Emmet & Gracie were awake and coming home about the time they went to bed. I thought to myself, "I'm blowing it". I was missing precious time with my babies that I could never get back. And I wasn't sure what to do about it.
To quote Brian Tracy, "Your most important aim in life is to be happy, to be calm, confident and relaxed and to feel in complete control of every aspect of your life. Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals and values are in alignment." Hmm...I wasn't even close.
The realization that I was out of balance started me on a journey to correct the situation. Getting my business in order was where I started, and as I wrote previously, hiring a business coach made a huge difference in my career...and ultimately in the more important part of my life. Brian Tracy continues, "There are two major areas of balance that you need to be concerned with on a daily basis. They are the physical and the emotional." Well for me I needed to be physically more at home and emotionally more present to what really mattered in my life...my family!
Brian Tracy's words continued to mentor me; "You need to adjust your behaviors in such a way that you enjoy high levels of physical health and energy most of the time. Even the richest person in the world is at a tremendous disadvantage if he loses his health. You need to guard your health like a sacred object. From the time you get up in the morning to the time you go to bed at night, you need to think about the things you can do to assure that you live a long, healthy life, free from the diseases and the debilitating illnesses that are causing our health-care outlays to be the highest in the world."
Okay, now I was getting the message. I was starting to figure this out a bit and I made a huge realization. What I realized was that if I scheduled my time to have a healthy balance in my life, well, that totally worked for me! It satisfied my need to be organized and top of things. It also gave me the need and drive to grow my team at work so I didn't feel like I needed to do everything. And it made being present with my family a scheduled part of my day that I was committed to and planned around.
But it went further. This wasn't just about doing things because I knew I should do them, it was equally about the right mental state to live my life with love and happiness at home and at work. As Brian Tracy says, "You always perform on the outside consistent with the mental picture that you have of yourself on the inside. If you see yourself as positive and happy and confident, competent and capable in your personal life and your work, you’ll behave like that on the outside, toward other people. You can always tell what your self-image is, in any area of your life, by examining how you feel when you’re with people. A person with a positive self-image is relaxed and confident with others."
So how did this all work out for me? Fantastic. I was more engaged in all areas of my life. At work I grew my staff in their roles and responsibilities. My stress was WAY down. At home I was present both mentally and physically much more. And I coached my Gracie's soccer teams for 8 straight years! I was team dad for Emmet's water polo teams and went to many of Gracie's dance recitals! I still worked a lot of hours as needed of course, but my priorities and the balance in my life were back in order.