Do You Have What it Takes to Achieve Balance? Take This Short Quiz and Find Out!
I was scrolling around Facebook recently, when a live video caught my eye. It was co-hosted by two multi-millionaires in the field of network marketing. A couple of minutes into the video they started talking about balance. As a coach, mompreneur, and someone who has experienced burnout, work/life balance is a topic I’m very passionate about.
What I heard next sparked an interesting inner dialogue. One of the co-hosts had left her career as a lawyer to pursue her now very successful network marketing business. She explained that in her view balance does not exist; that it is a myth and, while we can do things to find balance, these are merely fleeting moments amidst the chaos. I resisted the urge to enter an online comment exclaiming, “not true!”
Yes, I’m an optimist and I do believe we can find balance if it’s something we actively work on. Many of us believe there is a better way to live, and that’s why so many people are looking for more flexible work options. The co-host went on to explain how she doesn’t spend much time with family, but rather works from her phone while watching a show with her daughter. Another way she creates moments of balance is by going for a massage when she is feeling overwhelmed. I thought to myself, “these are only band-aid solutions. This shouldn’t be what we strive for. There must be an underlying issue that needs to be addressed!”
As I re-directed my focus to write about this topic, I paused and asked myself, “Who am I to judge, especially since I have been guilty of taking the same approach at times?” So instead, I gently checked my bias on the topic and moved toward curiosity.
Is Balance Attainable in the Reality of the Reality of Today’s World?
I then began discussing this debate with friends and family, and polled my network on social media. I learned some interesting things. First, people have different opinions on whether or not balance exists. 58% of the people I polled believe it’s attainable, 21% say it’s impossible, and the remaining 21% were undecided or were somewhere in between.
I also learned that everyone has a different definition of what balance is. Some described it through metaphor: a pendulum swinging from life to work priorities was one example. Another described it as a seesaw: sometimes we go up and down quickly, while other times we find balance and try to hang on as we hold our breath. Some respondents described balance in tangible terms like organizing priorities or managing personal expectations. Some people were even more specific about what to weigh on the scales to begin with: accomplishment vs. engagement, doing vs. being, and the most popular, work vs. life. Personally, I feel creating a mental model of our balance as a dichotomy can set us up for failure. When we view balance as a win-lose relationship it creates a scarcity mindset that limits the solutions we can create.
As illustrated in the responses, the way we define balance speaks volumes to the mental models we have created about the world. So, does balance exist? To paraphrase the late Henry Ford, whether you think you can achieve balance, or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.
What does your own mental model say about whether or not you can achieve balance? I’ve created the following quiz so you can find out.
Do You Have What it Takes to Achieve Balance? *
For each numbered set of statements below, choose one response (either a or b) that is most true for you.
1) a) I believe we are generally in control of our balance.
b) We cannot influence the majority of our environment, so we are never fully able to control our balance.
2) a) Balance is primarily dependent upon factors within myself (ex. emotional resiliency, living aligned to my values, resourcefulness, self-love and acceptance).
b) Balance is dependant mainly on the resources that are given to me (time, money, etc.).
3) a) Balance is a skill I can learn.
b) Balance is something I either have or I don’t.
4) a) I actively work toward achieving balance.
b) I focus more on getting the tasks that drain my energy out of the way.
5) a) I define balance based on my own values and judgement.
b) I look to others to help me define what balance is.
Now give yourself 2 points for all your ‘a’ responses and 1 point for all the ‘b’ responses. Generally, if you scored higher than 8 points, I am willing to bet that you are more likely to achieve balance, regardless of what your definition might be. If you scored 7 or lower, you may want to assess your overall life satisfaction and start exploring how your mental model is supporting your goals. Doing this might mean learning how to embrace some of the chaos, letting go a bit more, and hopefully learning more about your own potential to live a balanced, fulfilling life.
Please help me #startadialogue by sharing on social media with your quiz results.
*Quiz developed based on NLP meta-programs and anecdotal evidence.