“The good life” requires some semblance of balance between work, play, service, family, friends, hobbies, health, travel, personal development, and eating at In-N-Out. We all know this.
However, it’s not always easy to
1 – Understand our own priorities
2 – Spend our time and efforts according to those priorities.
Fortunately, my good friends, I have it all figured out*. And so, without further ado, I give you . . . [drum roll crescendo and gong sound] . . .
Bart’s One True Principle to Finding Balance and Living “The Good Life”
Balance is long-term. It is achievable and reasonable on a long-term basis, not on a day-to-day basis. There’s just no way for me to spend enough time every single day doing all of the different things I want to do. Instead, I recognize that some days are 15-hour homework days, and some weeks are 70-hour work weeks (I really have worked 70-hour weeks before, and it wasn’t all that bad. I knew it wouldn’t become the norm, and it allowed me to achieve some short-term goals at work). Other days are hang-out-with-friends days, and other weeks are visit-family-in-Utah-or-Las-Vegas weeks.
If I don’t get out to exercise every single day, it’s not a big deal. I know I’m committed to exercising over the long-term, and even if I miss a month or two here and there, I know I’ll have a chance to lace up those running shoes again. And if I’m truly unable to exercise for more than a few months due to time constraints (not just a lack of self discipline), at that point I would re-evaluate how I’m spending my time and try to re-balance everything according to my priorities.
For me, it’s that simple; Balance is long-term.
Then again, “long-term” can mean any number of different lengths of time depending on your perspective. Some people may not be interested in a job that, every year, requires about six weeks of really long work hours (i.e. auditing). Even one 70-hour week may burn them out. But for me, those six weeks are offset by the increased amount of vacation time offered by accounting firms. With five weeks of vacation, my wife and I will be able to not only visit family, but also to get out and see the world, as we love to do! And from what I’ve been told, it’s not all that hard to get to know your wife and kids again after the so-called “busy season” is over. They’re only six weeks older!
What about you? Have you figured out how to achieve a balance that works for you?
* “all figured out,” as used here, refers primarily to the fact that I know I need an In-N-Out burger at least once very six months. You no doubt agree that assuming any more of an all-encompassing understanding of life balance is ridiculous. No?