One of the things I like to do to relax is cook. A couple of years ago I decided to make a special treat for everyone and I wanted to make a Caramel Flan for dessert. Now I had never made one before and so I had to find a recipe and follow it closely. One of the ingredients in the recipe was one cap (capfull) of Vanilla Extract. Well, I misread the recipe and thought it said one cup of Vanilla Extract. I thought that was extraordinary but the recipe must be right. So I had to run to store and buy more vanilla and added one cup of Vanilla Extract to the mix.
Well, as you may guess, the result was horrible. The smell and taste of the vanilla was so overpowering that no one could eat it and we had to throw it out!
I had the right ingredients but I didn’t have them in the right balance.
As an entrepreneur, as a small businessman, and as a leader we make those choices for balance on a daily basis. We recognize the importance of balance but it is very hard to achieve.
We need to keep things in perspective and understand first of all that you are never going to achieve perfect balance in our lives. There are always going to be things that happen daily that tip the scale one way or the other. No matter how good our plans are, life will get in the way of our quest to achieve balance.
What’s important to us is progress, not perfection.
Right Ingredients, Right Mix
A key to making progress is having the right ingredients in the right mixture.
- The right skills in the right quantities
- The right knowledge and information we need to make good decisions
- The right spirtual foundation
- The right team members around us
- The right environment
Again, understand it will be a continual struggle. We want progress and not perfection. You will make balance choices each day and the scales will tip first to one side and then the other. The real balance is in the choices of how we spend our time and where it is most important to spend it now. Being consistent with those choices will help move us towards balance.
Don’t try to balance your life; work, home, church, community, friends. Instead, try to be consistent. Consistency seeks its own balance.
Here’s a few things that will help you along towards making progress on achieving balance:
- Establish priorities in advance – when your priorities are clear, decisions about where to spend your time become easier.
- Gather an effective team – Without the support of people around you, you tend to view yourself as indispensable. When you do that, leaving work becomes harder to do. A good team gives you confidence.
- Seek wise counsel to give you perspective – We all need someone to take our blinders off and see other points of view.
- Find an accountability partner – Someone to help hold your responsible for your commitments. Someone who is preferably not your spouse or business partner.