Last week I had the privilege to speak at Elliott Masie's Learning 2014—an annual conference held in Orlando, Florida, which brings together more than 1,700 education and learning professionals from around the world to meet, share best practices, learn from one another, and be inspired by a variety of thought leaders.
During one of my breakout sessions, the question of "How?" entered the better balance discussion. With so many competing priorities in our busy world, how do we find better balance while juggling our relationships, work, and family?
We don't actually "find" anything; we return to a natural state that's already within us.
Think about young children. They are often happy without reason, generally accept anyone introduced to them, and most don't have issues like adults do… well, not yet. Their world of experience is small and they are easily in alignment with their natural internal happiness—something many of us "big kids" have easily forgotten—well, until we go on vacation, attend a really good concert, or experience a pocket of joy outside of our normal routine.
But, seriously, wouldn't it feel better to experience that "happy state" more often? I have good news for you. We can.
Remember: We are naturally born in a state of equilibrium, but as we age and become distracted by the fears of the world we begin to stray from our innate sense of well-being. With that in mind, we can return to better balance by removing the barriers and blockages within us, many of them created by our own thoughts and behaviors. We can start feeling the "happy state" without taking a cruise to Jamaica (although that does sound appealing during the Minnesota winter...)
In my writing and coaching I introduce a three-step process: 1) Awareness; 2) Alignment; and 3) Activation, to help jump-start the process of returning to better balance:
1) Awareness. Your powerful consciousness is absorbing and processing everything in your environment—sights, sounds, and smells—whether you realize it or not. In order to find better balance in your life, you must first become aware of the factors that influence your balance. Some themes include: Thoughts, Feelings, Intuition, Fear, Communication, Power, and Choice.
2) Alignment. Alignment happens both on the inside and outside of you. Internally, this means that you strive to be conscious of your thoughts, feelings, and intuition so that your behaviors reflect your true values. Externally, this means that over time, you bring your attitudes, actions, and words closer to your fundamental beliefs. Some themes include: Relationships, Truth, Intention, Purpose, Trust, Listening, and Appreciation.
3) Activation. Activation puts theory into practice and thoughts into motion. Without activation, good ideas are only ideas. Activation is the key to implementation and the third step to finding better balance. Some themes include: Focus, Softening Your Stance, Boundaries, Perspective, Living Your Passion, Gratitude, and Managing the Leader Within.
So the next time you'd like to conjure up the feelings of "vacation freedom", then I encourage you to start applying the steps to your life. You can even allow me to walk you through the steps, answer questions, and complete a few short exercises in my book, 21 Days, Steps & Keys... or any of the individual books.
I believe that through deliberate effort, you can begin to return to that natural sense of balance in your work, relationships, and life. It's your choice.
To Your Better Balance!
Michael Thomas Sunnarborg
Michael Thomas Sunnarborg is an educator, best-selling author, and certified life coach. His passion is to help people reclaim their power of choice and find better balance in their work, relationships, and life. You can follow Michael on Facebook and Twitter, or find out more at michaelsunnarborg.com