The following is an excerpt from One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership (you can get your copy here). This post focuses on having a balanced life and the importance of keeping things in perspective. If you’re burned out, you’re worthless. Here’s an example of how I keep myself in balance and the obvious question to you is “how do you keep yourself in balance?”
It is easy to get wrapped up in your work. If you have chosen your profession well, you are darn good at what you do and take a great deal of satisfaction away from doing it well. Unfortunately it is easy to forget that there are other people out there who want some of your time. Your family and friends need your attention. There are also other passions worth pursuing outside the office. Taking part in activities you enjoy will keep you centered and add meaning and fulfillment to your life.
Unless you have a mechanism to tear yourself away from the office you might find yourself trapped in the mindset of “I’ll do (insert enjoyable thing here) this weekend when I’m off work” or “I’ll do that when I retire” or “I’ll get to that someday.” Someone who reads my blog shared a great maxim on this point: “Someday is not a day of the week.” We would all do well to keep this in mind and act accordingly.
My great-grandfather adopted a quote as his maxim to remind him to live life. He always said “Enjoy life now because you’ll be a long time dead.” He did not coin the phrase but he used it frequently. The saying has made its way through a few generations of my family as something we say on a semi-regular basis. Regardless of how it is phrased, the key point is we must have balance in our lives which entails living our lives while there is still breath in our lungs.
Without a frequent reminder to do what you truly enjoy and have passion for, you might not notice your life slipping by.