Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Life Balance is Tricky: and I'm not talking about your career.

I have this theory, well I'm sure it's not original--in fact I know it's not. My theory is "whatever you devote the most time/attention is where you'll find success."

Think about everything you want to accomplish in life: career, family, finances, talents, hobbies, etc. You probably want to be pretty good at all of those things, maybe even great. But the problem is that you can't. You can only be good at what you focus on. So if you really want to be a great (fill in the blank) you'll focus on that. Meanwhile, thanks to a little thing called equilibrium, something else will have to suffer.

So if you're really focused right now on the economy and your finances one of two things could happen. You might keep hold of your money and weather this fiasco just fine. Or you might drive yourself and everyone around you crazy.

As I was blog scanning this morning I ran across Seth Grodin's post which basically puts my theory in a nice 16-box grid. I never visualized my theory before, but this is a good way to look at it.

So now when you look at all those other people that are so successful at (fill in the blank) try to remember this: something else that you can't see is getting a smaller share of the grid. That's okay too.

The grid can drive you crazy, like me. I sometimes time myself incessantly trying to balance out the grid. (Okay if I knit for 20 minutes, then play with my daughter for 20, and clean the house for 20, work for 1 hour, and on, and on, and on...) But that rarely works. Instead accept the fact that sometimes certain portions of your life get more and others less. Maybe last week it was your finances, then let this fun get a little more of you this week. Keeping the grid in mind will help you realize that all resources are limited.

Oh, and back to the time/attention theory. The way to find the balance is to understand that the thing you want to be good at must change. Keeping your focus fluid allows you to change as often as needed to remain sane. Because in the end it's not who's on top that wins.

No comments:

Post a Comment