This is a collaboration of educational, business, and home management principles. I have taught at colleges, have been a manager, restaurant owner, entrepreneur, and mother of nine for many years. I have tried to find the best of the best in each field and then bring all these ideas together to make life more efficient, productive, and to SAVE effort and time.
Keeping Life’s Demands in Balance
An edited version of a speech given by:
One of my colleagues said to me that some good would come from a recent, difficult illness. He suggested that it is good, on occasion, for everyone to face adversity, especially if it causes introspection that enables us to openly and honestly assess our lives. That is what I did.
The night before my surgery, my doctors talked about the possibility of cancer. When I was left alone, my mind filled with thoughts of my family and of my life. I realized that I needed to rearrange some of my priorities to accomplish the things that matter most to me.
Sometimes we need a personal crisis to reinforce in our minds what we really value and cherish. Perhaps if you, too, search your heart and courageously assess the priorities in your life, you may discover, as I did, that you need a better balance among your priorities.
All of us must come to an honest, open self-examination, an awareness within as to who and what we want to be.
As most of you know, coping with the complex and diverse challenges of everyday life, while not an easy task, can upset the balance and harmony we seek. Many good people who care a great deal are trying very hard to maintain balance, but they sometimes feel overwhelmed and defeated.
A mother of four small children said: “There is no balance at all in my life. I am completely consumed in trying to raise my children. I hardly have time to think of anything else!”
A young father, who felt the pressure of being the family provider, said: “My new business requires all of my time. I realize that I am neglecting my family and other responsibilities, but if I can just get through one more year I will make enough money, and then things will settle down.”
A high school student said: “We hear so many contrasting views that it is hard to always know what is right and what is wrong.”
How often have we heard this one? “No one knows better than I do how important exercise is, but I just have no time in my day for exercising.”
A single parent said: “I find it next to impossible to accomplish all that I need to do to manage my home and lead my family. In fact, sometimes I think the world expects too much of me. Regardless of how hard I work, I never will live up to everyone’s expectations.”
Another mother of four remarked: “My struggle is between self-esteem, confidence, and feelings of self-worth versus guilt, depression, and discouragement for not doing everything I am told we must do to attain heaven.”
We all face these kinds of struggles from time to time. They are common human experiences. Many people have heavy demands upon them stemming from parental, family, employment, church, and civic responsibilities. Keeping everything in balance can be a real problem.
I have a few suggestions that I hope will be valuable to those of you concerned with balancing life’s demands. These suggestions are very basic; their concepts can easily be overlooked if you are not careful. You will need a strong commitment and personal discipline to incorporate them into your life.
First, think about your life and set your priorities. Find some quiet time regularly to think deeply about where you are going and what you will need to do to get there. Write down the tasks you would like to accomplish each day. Keep foremost in mind the priorities most important in the long run (such as God, marriage, family, health) as you write down your daily schedules.
Second, set short-term goals that you can reach. Set goals that are well balanced—not too many nor too few, and not too high nor too low. Write down your attainable goals and work on them according to their importance. Ponder (and prayer is good, too) in your goal setting.
Third, everyone faces financial challenges in life. Through wise budgeting, control your real needs and measure them carefully against your many wants in life. Far too many individuals and families have incurred too much debt. Be careful of the many attractive offers to borrow money. It is much easier to borrow money than it is to pay it back. There are no shortcuts to financial security. There are no get-rich-quick schemes that work. Perhaps none need the principle of balance in their lives more than those who are driven toward accumulating “things” in this world.
Do not trust your money to others without a thorough evaluation of any proposed investment. Many have lost far too much money by trusting their assets to others. In my judgment, we never will have balance in our lives unless our finances are securely under control.
Fourth, stay close to your spouse, children, relatives, and friends. They will help you keep a balance in your life. In a recent study by the Church, adults in the United States were asked to identify a time when they were very happy and to describe the experience. They were also asked to describe a time when they were very unhappy. For most people, one thing that had made them the most happy or the most sad was their personal relationships with others. Much less important were their personal health, employment, money, and other material things. Build relationships with your family and friends through open and honest communication.
A good marriage and good family relationships can be maintained through gentle, loving, thoughtful communication. Remember that often a glance, a wink, a nod, or a touch will say more than words. A sense of humor and good listening are also vital parts of good communication.
Fifth, many people, including me, have difficulty finding the time for sufficient rest, exercise, and relaxation. We must schedule time on our daily calendars for these activities if we are to enjoy a healthy and balanced life. Good physical appearance enhances our dignity and self-respect.
Sixth, families should spend time together in learning, playing, and doing things that build relationships.
I realize that other suggestions could be added to these. However, I believe that when we focus on a few basic objectives, we are more likely to be able to manage the many demands that life makes on us.
Remember, too much of anything in life can throw us off-balance. At the same time, too little of the important things can do the same thing.
Often the lack of clear direction and goals can waste away our time and energy and contribute to imbalance in our lives. A life that gets out of balance is much like a car tire that is out of balance. It will make the operation of the car rough and unsafe. Tires in perfect balance can give a smooth and comfortable ride. So it is with life. The ride through mortality can be smoother for us when we strive to stay in balance. With this as our goal, why not eliminate from our lives the things that clamor for and consume our thoughts, feelings, and energies without contributing to our reaching that goal?
Just do the very best you can each day. Do the basic things and, before you realize it, your life will be full of understanding that will confirm to you that you are loved.
When a person knows this, then life will be full of purpose and meaning, making balance easier to maintain.
Live every day with joy in your heart.
“Keeping Life’s Demands in Balance,”May 1987, 14).
Self-employed consultant to businesses and individuals. I work with clients to improve business efficiencies, set up innovative resource strategies, simplify and refine processes, systematize, train employees, coach executives, and so forth.
I have a PhD in Organization and Management.
I have an MBA and a BA in Human Resource and business. I am the mother of 10 children, nine living, ages 14 through 33.(Yes, they are all mine and with one husband, HA!)
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As a family, we lived on our food storage for more than one month...go to food storage to see the whole story and learn more on how you can prepare your family and/or business.
If you have a toddler, Carry a cheap Chapstick with you everywhere you go. Instead of using the phone to distract or entertain your child which isn't good for their mind...give them the Chapstick.
They will play with it, put it on their lips, hands, etc. But it keeps them busy and quiet, doesn't hurt them, and doesn't stain.
I buy them either at Dollar Tree or at Sam's. You will go through a lot! LOL.
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