Balance. According to the Merriam Webster balance is “the ability to move or to remain in a position without losing control or falling.”

Yet in our fast-paced 24 hour a day society we’ve turned balance into perfectly scheduling our time, into little compartments on a pie chart, called work, family, spirituality, health, personal development etc.

We’ve turned balance into something that is as hard to obtain as the hope diamond (unless you just won the powerball).

Balance has never been defined as perfection. What do you think someone looks like when they are “remaining in a position without losing control or falling” ?

Do they look like you? Always juggling, trying to do the best you can? My guess is yes because your life requires constant adjustments and flexibility – real balance is messy; it’s not perfection. Yet, after a 24 hour day when things don’t go as planned,  you’ve made 20-50 decisions and split your time up as best as you can – why do you feel like a failure at the end of the day?

Because you are striving for perfection and that is not obtainable. You are beating yourself up for something you know is not even possible in the first place!

So what is one to do? Since the expectation of perfection is so ingrained in the word balance my suggestion is to remove the word balance from your vocabulary.  I stopped using that word a few years ago. That simple act helped me change my mindset. I became more present being able to embrace each day because that is the point – living your life not wasting it trying to be perfect. Below are the two words I chose every day to re-frame my thinking and embracing the imperfections that WILL happen in a day:

  • Harmony: This is the decision to approach life as a great adventure not knowing what the day will bring but knowing that today will only happen once. This is looking at how your day unfolds and being flexible – not fighting but embracing the unknowns because you know they will happen. It’s accepting that the world is far from perfect as are the people in it and forgiving others and yourself quickly when things don’t go as planned.
  • Integration: You can compartmentalize your life so much that you forget who you are. Being one person at work, one at home, one with friends and one with family takes a lot of energy and is frankly a waste of time. You can apply your passions across the board in different areas of your life. This takes great intention especially if, like me, you have a lot of bad habits having working in a culture of constant productivity.

Will you you do today to re-frame your thinking and stop striving for perfect balance so you live the life you were born to live?

Copyright 2015, Mary R. Miller