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Keep Your Balance

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It doesn't take long for you to forget about what's important, or to even care about what's important in your life when you allow priorities outside of the basic well-being of your family to take control of your life.
For too long, my career was the centerpiece of my life.
This imbalance cost me in so many ways.
Strained relationships with my children, a growing detachment from my wife and non-existent friendships were the outcome of this imbalance.
My focus from the time I woke up until the time I went to bed was spent on work-related activities.
During the workweek I would get up at 4:30 a.
m.
and be in my office not later than 6:00 a.
m.
I would make it home around 5:00 p.
m.
and take only one hour for dinner and a quick check-in with my family then it was down to my home-office to call customers, do paperwork, etc.
I was completely unaware of what was happening around me.
What was going on around me was a family who needed their father, their husband, to do things around the house that needed attention.
I would walk by lamps with burned out lamp bulbs without even considering for a moment to put in a new bulb.
There are plenty of other examples when someone was asking for my attention and for my love and I said no.
When my youngest daughter Emily was about four-years-old, she would bring board games to me and ask to play.
I said no.
Watching a game on television was more important.
My oldest son Brandon asked often to go to ball games together and I never made the time to make this happen, Right now, I can't remember the event or activity that kept me from ball games with my son, but I can remember his disappointment.
That's a place I will never go back to again.
Realizing the need for a healthily balance is a thought, a goal, and even a purpose that is in front of me every single day now.
Learning to keep your balance must be learned Indeed, I have learned that a key contributor for both the mistakes, and the successes, in my life is whether or not my life is in balance.
I alone have to acknowledge this, to take personal responsibility for this and be the agent of change if and when imbalance occurs.
More specifically, if my values and if my properties are not in balance then poor decisions and mistakes are certain to follow.
Alternatively, times when I am centered, I do tend to make better decisions.
Do you remember when you learned how to ride a bicycle? It's a rite of passage to have the training wheels removed and to enter the grown-up world of the other seven and eight-year-olds.
The one skill that was repeated to you the most often during this life-changing lesson was certainly "to keep your balance.
" There is no other way to ride a bicycle.
Keeping your balance is not an innate or hereditary skill.
If it were, there would be no need for training wheels in the first place.
Once learned though, the speed, agility and confidence of the bike rider soars.
New doors and new opportunities become open and available.
With my children, once they mastered the skill of riding a bicycle, their lives changed and their worlds expanded.
No longer was their circle of friends and their world confined to just our cul-de-sac.
Riding a bicycle meant exploring the far reaches of our neighborhood.
New friends were made and new adventures waited at destinations such as the elementary school playground or the neighborhood convenience store.
These were once parts of the world that my children never visited on their own.
But now, by mastering the art of "keeping their balance" they did indeed cross the passage between a confined and predictable world to one that possessed new opportunities and challenges.
There are other obvious examples that illustrate the importance of "keeping your balance.
" Learning to walk, hitting a fastball or maintaining an accurate checkbook is just a few.
Each time balance is achieved; the person's life changes forever and more success is made.
For most of us, keeping our balance is needed on a daily basis.
By now, most of us know how to ride a bicycle and very few of us have the need to hit a fastball; but all of us need to have balance in order to deal with the ordinary, and sometimes extraordinary, life events that we all face.
Life can, and will, throw you off balance Think of the bumper sticker that proclaims Stuff Happens (a loose translation here, but you get the point).
The simplistic thought this statement conveys might be that no matter how hard we plan, prepare or train, life will be unpredictable.
With this reality in mind, it's important to accept this Stuff when it Happens and understand that sometimes there is nothing that we can do to prevent it.
Therefore, you shouldn't be too shocked or angry - just accepting.
Not accepting of the fact that you were thrown a curveball when you were expecting a fastball and just struck-out, but accepting of the fact that it did indeed happen.
What you do with the experience is up to you - no one else.
The point is this: We are all responsible for our own actions and how we react to others and to events.
Understanding this is crucial to staying on our bicycles for the entire journey.
Sure, there are bumps we must contend with.
Some bumps we can navigate around, while others just surprise us.
However, when we do loose our balance and are thrown from our bikes, it's up to each of us to decide what we should do next.
It would easy to avoid any more by not getting on the bicycle again.
No more pain, right? But how can we complete our journey and find the measure of success that each one of us is looking for? If you are one to brush the dirt off and climb back on your bike, it's also important to be aware of the fact that you can be thrown again.
Confidence should co-exist with awareness.
Confidence enables us to go forward, no matter the odds or potential obstacles.
Awareness provides a context of how we should go forward.
Properly executed, awareness can provide a better path to travel, and in return, completion of the journey.
So, how can we learn to keep our balance? What are the necessary skills or techniques to make this happen? Consider the following: First you must open your mind and heart to the reality that not everything in your life will always be stable or steady; and it never will, but it is up to you how you choose to experience and deal with these periods of balance and imbalance alike.
The best bet to experience more of a balanced life is to think about what you really want in your life.
Remember, don't worry about the how, detail-by-detail (the how will be revealed to you in due time), this is not your job right now.
Your job is to stay focused on what it would look like to have a better job, to improve a relationship, or to explore an interest (like traveling) or a hobby.
Staying more in-touch with the want than the how will provide you with a more positive state of mind, attitude and, indeed, a better sense of balance.
Each day you should focus for a few minutes on how it would feel to begin to achieve the things you desire for your life.
As you begin this process (the wanting and feeling) begin to look for a few quick-wins.
Meaning, in one day you may not get that promotion at work or book a trip on an Alaskan glacier cruise, but you may begin to take on a sense of empowerment and optimism when, as your attitude shifts from a defeated point of view to a positive point of view, those around you, including yourself, will begin to experience you in a different way.
At this point, some quick-wins might be improved communication with others, a greater sense of self-confidence, and a better focus on what's important to you! From here you must learn to take baby steps.
You know the expression "you can't eat an elephant in one bite" is a great lesson for this point in your life.
Just begin taking those first steps, and those first bites.
Soon you will gain more momentum and a clearer picture of the how, because you will become more centered, or balanced, with the wants in your life.
Key points to remember: 1.
Keeping your life in balance, or not in balance, is a key contributor for both the mistakes and successes in your life.
2.
Staying in balance keeps you open to experiencing a world full of possibilities for yourself.
3.
When you are knocked off balance, it's your own personal responsibility to get back on track; no one will do it for us, nor should they.
4.
Learning to keep your balance is a skill that is learned over time.
Stay focused more on the wants of you life than the hows and build from the quick wins you experience.
Source...
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