Much has been written and discussed about how balance in life will help us be happier and healthier. It is easy to notice when one’s life is out of balance with feelings of distress, anxiety, and uneasiness. Being in total balance is a goal that may not ever be obtainable as life is always changing and full of surprises. Life seems to be a juggling act of its many different aspects.
In order to strive for the best balance possible, it is important to know what to balance. Life is full of contradictions and we are sometimes forced to manage situations that are not
comfortable for us.
Dr. Robert Quinn of University of Michigan Business School gives us a description of these contradictions with his Competing Values Model that he applies to business and leadership. He says that we must juggle certain opposite and conflicting aspects of life in order to be successful. If we apply his model to our everyday life, we can better understand what are the important areas we must concentrate on to create our balance.
Healthy Relationships: We all have a need and a desire for healthy and respectful relationships. Relationships are our connection to others and help to create feelings of belonging, camaraderie, and ultimately love. Giving of ourselves creates a goodwill that attracts others to us.
Meaningful Work: Work is an environment where we can use our given or learned talents in a way that creates value for services needed or wanted by others. If one is passionate about their work, it can become a part of one’s identity. The more value we can create, the more rewards we can earn.
Adequate Recreation: Recreation is a time to relax, recuperate, and enjoy ourselves. We can recharge our batteries and let go of our burdens. All work and no play can make us one dimensional. Recreation can broaden our interests and capabilities.
Self-Time: This is something that is much needed for a multitude of reasons. We all need time for introspection, reflection, and the space to create new perceptions of how we are living. This is also a time for exercise, reading, learning, and meditation. We need some time for working on our body, mind and spirit.
As we get out of balance in any of these areas of life, we will want to devote more time and energy to them in order to regain our balance. One thing to notice about these different aspects of life is that they are in opposition to each other. Work is the opposite of play and relationships are the opposite of self-time. We all might have an area of life that we are stronger in by our natures and our temperaments. The area that we will be weakest in might be the one that is opposing it.
Working towards balance will help us to not only to be more centered and grounded, but it will also help us to become more and better rounded. We can all use more of that.