Do you want balance in your life? If you said “Yes!” then chances are you’re singing what I call the “Work Life Balance Blues,” a sad song of addictive striving but never arriving.
In my February 2008 blog post titled Striving for Balance, I shared my thoughts about this misguided yet pervasive notion that you can obtain balance your life. It is hogwash and the sooner you come to understand this, the sooner you’ll be able to get on with your life.
In Today’s On-Purpose Minute, I share “The Balanced Life,” a poem I wrote back in 2004. My hope is you’ll begin to see the folly in living the false ideal of a balanced life. At the top of this post, there is a link to download the poem.
Now, let’s touch on the alternative approach to living your life: integrating your life. So just how does one integrate his or her life? Integration needs a point of integration. Here is where knowing your 2-word personal purpose statement is essential. If you don’t know who you are then any old you can show up any time. The absence of a unifying identity leaves us at risk of dis-integrating. Very simply, your life is either integrating or disintegrating—being pulled together or torn apart.
Beginning in the 1970s, people would talk about “getting my life together.” Implied in this fragmented existence is the longing to be whole and peaceful.
Balance is a devilish “ideal.” Balance pits two opposing forces against each other to create a fragile momentary emotional truce. Balance is marketed as being so sane and wholesome. Yet it is insanity and destructive.
Seeking balance avoids the deeper questions of life and leaves us thirsting to do more, earn more, and to “have it all.” Sadly, the risks of obtaining balance in one’s life produces just the opposite effect of the desired outcome. Instead, we’re running hard and fast, busy, burdened, always feeling behind, incomplete, and ragged mentally and physically. Unquenched, we press onward in a lost war of static attrition until finally we crash and burn out on the sidelines of life.
Integration is a divine gift, a workable progression rather than an unstable state of frenzied efforts. When you are approaching oneness of body, mind, and spirit, you’re moving toward a more productive and positive state of practical living. Your focus shifts from a fragile existence built on sandy soil to the solid bedrock of your inherent essence.
Integration demands a unifying core—a point that forms, informs, and transforms the realities of the world. This window on the world helps us to make sense of the senselessness and to find meaning in the otherwise absurd.
Purpose is your dynamic point of integration. Integrate you life around your purpose so you can be on-purpose.
Cut yourself free from the balanced life mantra that kills your energy and spirit with a distracting illusion. You don’t want a balanced life because it can’t be had. Live your life integrated around your purpose, and you’ll inevitably be an on-purpose person in creation.
On-Purpose Minutes by Kevin W. McCarthy provoke you to be a better leader of your life. They are distributed every Tuesday and Thursday morning. To subscribe, go HERE!