Please Join Us!
When: Friday, March 15 @ 1 p.m. EDT (5 p.m. GMT, 11:30 p.m. IST)
Topic: What Does Balance Mean to You?
“What I do today is important, because I will never have today again.”
About This Week’s Chat
One of the highlights of my school year was the annual spring fete. It was always a day of eating too many pancakes and hot dogs, and spending our pocket money on things my mother would dismiss as “all that rubbish!”
School fetes weren’t only about buying things that we loved, but that our parents didn’t understand! There were many other attractions, too, such as treasure hunts or walking through a “haunted house.”
One of the activities I could never resist was balancing on a stationary bicycle. It was a normal bicycle, but without a chain to link the pedals to the wheels. The trick was to get on the bike with your feet on the pedals, and then keep the bike and yourself upright without your feet touching the ground.
It sounds easy, but the moment you get on that bike, you quickly realize that it’s no mean feat! There was always a very attractive prize for whoever could keep their balance and remain on the bicycle for two minutes.
If no one could stay on for two minutes, the prize would go to the person who could stay on the longest. Sadly, I never won a prize because I never managed to balance the bike for more than four seconds!
Later, I learned that to balance the bike you had to find your center of gravity and then use your abdominal muscles to stabilize your body.
If you managed to align the bike’s wheels, keep your body still, focus, and make minor weight adjustments to either side when necessary, you could keep the bike up. It was hard work and took a lot of concentration.
Balance Brings Harmony
In life, it requires vision and focus to keep your personal life and career in balance. You have to know what you want to attain in both areas, and then set goals that align with your vision.
At times, your “weight” might temporarily shift to one area or the other because of a life event or a situation at work. And although you make adjustments to accommodate it, it can’t remain unbalanced indefinitely. If it does, either your health, your relationships, or your work (or all three!) will suffer.
The Beauty of Balance
I often talk about the beauty of balance. It’s a lesson that nature teaches us over and over: if an ecosystem isn’t balanced, it’s not sustainable.
There are many other examples of the importance of balance.
If you speak too much and listen too little, your relationships will suffer. A person who eats too much and exercises too little will experience health issues. Bosses who criticize too much and praise too little break down employees’ self-esteem and self-confidence.
Even your car needs to have its wheels balanced, or you’ll have an uncomfortable and possibly dangerous ride.
What Does Balance Mean to You?
Our topic for this week’s #MTtalk Twitter chat is “What Does Balance Mean to You?”
In our Twitter poll, we asked which area of your life you’re most likely to neglect when you feel stressed and overwhelmed. A whopping 55 percent of participants voted for “self-care,” while only seven percent chose “routine tasks at work.”
We’d love you to join our chat on Friday, and the following questions may spark some thoughts in preparation for it:
• How do you know when your life is out of balance? What are the signs?
• How does a lack of balance affect your work?
• When do you feel balanced?
• What strategies do you use to balance life and work?
• If you look at your career goals, are your expectations about a balanced life realistic?
• How would you approach the conversation with your boss about the need for better balance?
To help you prepare for the chat, we’ve compiled a list of resources for you to browse. (Some resources below may only be available in full to members of the Mind Tools Club.)
How to Join Our #MTtalk
Follow us on Twitter to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the action this Friday! We’ll be tweeting out 10 questions during our hour-long chat. To participate in the chat, type #MTtalk in the Twitter search function. Then, click on “All Tweets” and you’ll be able to follow the live chat feed. You can join the chat by using the hashtag #MTtalk in your responses.