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Integration and Focus, Not Balance

BalanceWe hear more and more about balance and the balanced life these days. But be careful – this is an illusion, a trap, something that will have you frustrated most of the time. And balance may not even be what we’re seeking.

Much of the problem stems from our definition of balance and what we think we are missing by not having it. We like to think of it from an integration standpoint, with an intentional focus on the few activities in one’s life that bring both meaning and purpose. To really reach a level of mastery at most things in life requires practice, time and attention to those vital few things that will enable you to purposefully contribute in ways that add value and bring meaning into your life.

This is more easily done when we live an integrated life – one that has less separateness, is less linear, and blends our lifestyle with our chosen profession. It also implies that we will not be spending an equal amount of time in our personal and professional lives. However, when engaged in activities that bring us meaning, the quality of our life and our attention will be greater and more positive!

An integrated life of focus is further enhanced by being present, or paying moment-to-moment attention to whatever is right in front of us. While we may prefer something different, we remain completely present, mindful of how it makes us feel. In this way, “balance” becomes less important than our true goal – a meaningful, purposeful life.

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