Saturday, March 16, 2013

Temporary Pleasure or Lasting Satisfaction - Balance part 2

I recently read the book OFF BALANCE by Matthew Kelly (recommended by our mentors). It busted through the Work-Life Balance Myth that we have all been taught.  It resonated with me and made me realize that this myth is one of the things that holds a lot of us back and has been holding us back.

Mr. Kelly says "Every great civilization since the beginning of time has concerned itself with a single question: how is the best way to live? This is the primary question that the great philosophers of every age have grappled with.  It is the question every culture, country, generation, and individual consciously or unconsciously wrestles with.  It is also the question that the whole work-life balance conversation of the past twenty years has been centered upon.  But most important, it is a question you and I grapple with in a deeply personal way."

People struggle with keeping work and family in balance.  When we are working we feel guilty because we aren't spending time with family.  When we are spending time with family we feel guilty we aren't working.  We feel that our family is suffering if we aren't splitting our time between work and family evenly.

The question isn't "Am I spending enough time at home?", because honestly the AMOUNT of time spent at home isn't the question we should be asking ourselves.  This is not what brings us balance.  But before we get to that, lets talk about the ultimate question....

Do you know your life mission?  

 I suggest we think and ponder on this.  Read books that will inspire this line of thought.  The classics are a great start.  The books I mentioned in the previous post would be a great place to start.  Once we know our personal life mission, we need to figure out the family's mission.  These will often be very similiar in nature and one can help accomplish the other.

Once the Family has come together and defined the family's mission, a schedule should be put together based on that mission.

Steven Covey teaches that we should put the big rocks in first when scheduling.  This is very important.  Make a master list of all the families activities and scheduling wants.  Then rank them on importance in accordance to the family mission.  Put the top priorities in first.  This should be done every six months, because things will sneak into the schedule that shouldn't be there.  Oliver and Rachel DeMille teach this principle and call it the 6 month "NO".  This is when we clean up and purge the calendar.  We have done this recently and it was really, really hard for me.  I needed to simplify my life, but didn't want to let go of anything.  Now that I have, I feel peace and relief and my family has been so blessed.

When trying to balance work and family it is really important that we realize that spending large amounts of time at home is not = or even close to as important as spending planned out, scheduled, quality time.  This is the principle Jane taught me right before we started the pendulum swinging again.  We pulled out the calendar and scheduled special family time.  It has made a world of difference.  We spend a lot less time together, but we feel closer, because the time we spend together is QUALITY!!! We are also pursuing a goal and vision together as a family.

Another principle taught in OFF BALANCE (I recommend all read it!!) is to make sure that the activities we choose to do in our free time bring us LASTING SATISFACTION, not just temporary pleasure.  This is taught in great detail in the book and is something I am really working on.  I will ask myself often.  "Is this bringing me temporary pleasure or lasting satisfaction?"  It helps me make my time more QUALITY.


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