Balance is key: I need to be successful in my career to feel fulfilled, be surrounded by people I care about to share it with, and have my health to be able to do the things I love to do!
I was fortunate to have been selected for the first class of our cities leadership program that was offered by our Central Indiana Chamber of Commerce and funded by the Lacy Foundation more than 30 years ago. The organization has prepared hundreds of our business and community leaders ever since. Many of the participants have gone on to make significant contributions that have helped make our city the great place it is today. Most of us who have participated over the years have stayed connected through our membership in the Lacy Leadership Association which provides a number of programs that keep members involved and informed.
As you know I have been modifying my activities so that I can be effective within my capabilities while retaining some balance in my life. It has stimulated my interest in hearing what others have done to achieve the same thing. In the process I found the following article written by a fellow Lacy member who was the creator of our countries largest health insurance company, first as it’s President and then as the Chairman of the Board. Even though he retired seven or so years ago from that career it has not stopped him from continuing to make major contributions both in business and in life choices. Here is what he wrote about four years ago.
For me, it has never been necessary to sacrifice all for my career. Professional success without meaningful family life, community, and devotion to my own personal growth and performance would be failure.
It seems unfair, however, to disparage those who cannot or choose not to live a balanced life. A balanced life is not a priority for everyone. Maybe they cannot find the discipline they need or the time. Maybe they link self-esteem to self-sacrifice. Maybe they are wired differently and simply love their work above all else.
Having been asked often how to maintain a balance in life, I offer the following suggestions to those struggling to achieve it.
First, learn where the line is between working hard and being consumed by your work. If you can’t figure out where the line is, ask a friend, spouse or significant other to help you. If you cross the line, step back quickly. Do not put it off, or else the line moves and you have sacrificed more life.
Second, recognize that you need periodic, complete breaks from work (vacations) to regain perspective and rest deeply. Thinking that the organization you lead cannot do without you is most likely your own stuff. It should do fine in your absence. If it cannot, you are failing as a leader.
Third, sustain a healthy level of fitness, not just to avoid disease, but to have a competitive advantage that allows you to outperform and outwork most everyone around you yet make better decisions. Most bad decisions are made when we are fatigued. Stay fit, fatigue less, and remain sharp.
Fourth, hold family events inviolate. Kids’ school programs, athletic or other events and birthdays should rarely ever be missed.
I have an incredibly rich, blessed life, in large part because a balanced life allows me to "have it all." The suggestions above serve me well.
This is truly sound advice, I know that in a small way I have reaped great benefit that resulted from my putting balance ahead of compulsive ambition twenty years ago, I only wish I had not waited so long.
A well-developed sense of humor is the pole that adds balance to your steps as you walk the tightrope of life.
William Arthur Ward
TRAFFIC LIGHT — apparatus that automatically turns red when your car approaches.
DIVORCE — postgraduate in School of Love.
PIONEER — early American who was lucky enough to find his way out of the woods.
PEOPLE — some make things happen, some watch things happen, and the majority has no idea what’s happened.
SWIMMING POOL — a mob of people with water in it.
SELF-CONTROL — the ability to eat only one peanut.
SALESMAN — man with ability to convince wife she’d look fat in mink.
EGOCENTRIC — a person who believes he is everything you know you are.
FOREIGN FILM — any movie shown in Texas theater that isn’t a western.
OPTIMIST — girl who regards a bulge as a curve.
MAGAZINE — bunch of printed pages that tell you what’s coming in the next issue.
COLLEGE: The four-year period when parents are permitted access to the telephone.
EMERGENCY NUMBERS: Police station, fire department and places that deliver.
OPERA: When a guy gets stabbed in the back and instead of bleeding he sings.
BUFFET: A French word that means "Get up and get it yourself."
BABY-SITTER: A teen-ager who must behave like an adult so that the adults who are out can behave like teen-agers.
"If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one."
A mother was showing her son how to zip up his coat. "The secret," she said, "is to get the left part of the zipper to fit in the other side before you try to zip it up."
The boy looked at her quizzically…"Why does it have to be a secret?"
I thought I had found the perfect date in the Personals when she said she liked country music, but what she failed to say was her country was Albania.
Three blondes died and found themselves standing before St. Peter. He told them that before they could enter the Kingdom, they had to tell him what Easter represented.
The first blonde said, "Easter is a holiday where they have a big feast and we give thanks and eat turkey."
St. Peter said, "Noooooo," and he banished her to Hell.
The second blonde said, "Easter is when we celebrate Jesus’ birth and exchange gifts."
St. Peter said, "Noooooo," and he banished her to Hell.
The third blonde said she knew what Easter was.
St. Peter said, "So, tell me."
She said, " Easter is a Christian holiday that coincides with the Jewish festival of Passover. Jesus was having Passover feast with His disciples when He was betrayed by Judas, and the Romans arrested Him. The Romans hung Him on the cross and eventually He died. Then they buried Him in a tomb behind a very large boulder…
St. Peter said, "Verrrrrry good."
Then the blonde continued, "Now, every year the Jews roll away the boulder and Jesus comes out. If he sees his shadow, we have six more weeks of basketball."
St. Peter fainted.
Doctor to patient: I have good news and bad news. The good news is that you are not a hypochondriac.
Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.
The editor is somewhat senile.
This daily is sent only to special people who want to start their day on an upbeat. If you have system overload because of our daily clutter, let me know and I will send you the information via mental telepathy. If you have not been getting our daily you can join at http://groups.google.com/group/Rays-Daily. Back issues are posted at http://raykiwsp.multiply.com/journal currently there are about 2000 readers from around the world.