Life’s Balancing Act

You shall not go out with haste, . . . for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard —Isaiah 52:12

If you’ve been to a circus or watched one on television, it’s likely you were entertained by a tightrope walker performing amazing stunts while balancing on a thin wire suspended between two large poles.  It’s an incredible feat and most of us can’t imagine doing something requiring such skill, concentration and coordination.  Unfortunately, the older you grow the more likely it becomes you will have to perform an even more difficult balancing act–maintaining balance in your life.

As a management consultant, the “Wheel of Life” illustration at the head of this post is something I use frequently when conducting time management seminars and coaching.  How can you tell when a wheel is badly out of balance on your car?  You might feel a “shimmy” in the steering wheel.  Your life is like a wheel, constantly spinning as you go and go.  If  a part of your personal wheel of life is out of  balance, it tends to affect all of the other parts on the wheel.


Science had shown that trying to keep the six areas on the outer perimeter of the “Wheel of Life” in balance will lead to a higher quality of life.  It will also make you more efficient and content with your life in the workplace and at home. This doesn’t mean you should devote an equal amount of time to each area on the wheel.  At certain points in life you will have to devote a lot of time to one area over all of the others.   Those caring for aging parents, raising young children or dealing with serious health concerns know exactly what I mean.

However, it’s a certainty that if any area on the wheel is neglected for too long it will have a serious impact on many or all of the others. For instance, if you fail to pay attention to your health and let yourself become morbidly obese, it’s fairly clear this will affect other areas on your wheel.

Many of my clients have such busy schedules that they feel like there’s insufficient time in the day to stop and plan out their actions.  They live each day in full “reaction” mode, bouncing back and forth between whatever task demands the most attention at the moment.  They start work early, stay late and constantly feel tired and swamped.  Worst of all, at the end of the day they have no feeling of accomplishment, which leads to frustration and unnecessary fretting.

Periodically taking time to stop and evaluate the situation is guaranteed to give you clarity and make your life simpler.  I advise my business clients to spend 10-15 minutes at the beginning of each day reviewing their calendars and organizing their daily tasks.  This helps ensure that they focus on the most important tasks on their “to do” lists.

The same principle applies to everyone.  Taking just a few minutes of quiet time each morning to pray, study the scriptures and reflect on the day ahead will add clarity and purpose to your day.  Christians could learn a lesson from the followers of Islam.  Muslims stop five times per day to pray–morning, noon, afternoon, sunset and evening. Periodically pausing for prayer throughout each day is guaranteed to help you cope with daily stress and worries.

It seems that I’ve spent a good deal of my life in a hurry.  My mother was always telling me to slow down. It took me years to figure out what she meant.  As we begin a new year, it’s a great time to reassess how we spend our time.  As we move forward in 2012, let’s proceed with the power of knowing that the God of Israel goes before us and clears a pathway for us, if only we will follow Him.

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