Maintaining a static balance in life is impossible.  I think balance is only achieved by constantly adjusting and re-evaluating your activity cycle.  Let me share my week as an example.

This week, I’m…

  • planning and preparing for the Walking in Faith Conference,
  • laying the groundwork for a new initiative aimed at college students,
  • refining a program aimed at helping people discover their purpose,
  • designing the stage lights for an upcoming show of the dramatic ministry I volunteer with,
  • consulting with a non-profit as they increase their leadership team,
  • raising two wonderful girls,
  • connecting and supporting fellow John Maxwell Team members from across the country,
  • preparing many blog articles for release,
  • pushing ticket sales for the Walking in Faith Conference,
  • preparing a speech for Toastmasters,
  • facilitating three classes, and
  • coaching 5 people on Leadership.

My point:

There are days I’m so busy I don’t even know which end is forward.

That’s what led to the though behind this article.  I think the concept of “balance” is a myth.  The reason I say that is because most people I talk to cling to the idea that if you spread your energy and time around just right, then you can hold everything up at a happy equilibrium.  Everything will keep running and stay stable, and you’ll have just enough left over to maybe read a blog post or two.

I’ve never found that to be successful.  Highly successful people I’ve talked to don’t find that successful.  Instead, they approach balance through juggling and prioritizing their tasks.  One day, I put a lot of my time into preparing for an event.  The next, my energy might go to refining the purpose-finding program.  The day after, I might focus on carving out extra time for my dramatic ministry, etc.

Glass vs. Rubber Balls

I think the key to having a highly productive, effective, and fulfilling life is in this juggling routine.  The real trick is making sure to accurately assess which of the balls you’re juggling are rubber, and which are glass.  Rubber balls are the ones that are doing OK and, if you let them drop, will bounce and pop back into your hands.  Glass balls are…well…don’t let them crash.  Sometimes that means throwing a ball REALLY high in the air to give enough time to handle the other balls.  That also means giving that ball a lot more attention when it comes down.

The thing that complicates things greatly is: some rubber balls turn to glass over time, and glass balls that are handled well get rubberized.  That means constantly reassessing what is important in the moment.  I like to think I’ve gotten pretty good at that part, at least until my daughter reminds me we haven’t played yet today…

The impossible art of balance
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