Lesson 8 – Strive for Balance

“The art of being wise is knowing when to step aside and what to overlook.”  -William James

Over the past 7 weeks you have become more self aware and learned what makes you tick.

-You’ve learned how to release negative thoughts and beliefs and replace them with positive affirmations.

-You have cleaned house by organizing clutter which has enabled you to focus and create peace of mind.

-You have discovered your “Why” that is so strong that nothing can get in the way of you achieving goals and dreams.

-You have turned wishes into concrete goals.

-You have mapped out the actions necessary to reach your goals…

And now you are ready to put everything you have learned together to live a full and purposeful life.

This lesson is to show you the importance of achieving balance while effectively working towards your short term and long term goals. 

Many people buy into the notion that they must keep trying all the time, with every ounce of willpower until exhaustion sets in. The truth is that unless you take breaks from this pressure cooker of intensity, you’ll eventually run out of steam.  The excitement of working towards your goals becomes resentment over time because you become mentally and emotionally worn out and you begin to lack creativity and zest for life.

One of the most common reasons for getting blocked while trying to solve problems, for example, is that the brain gets stuck in a rut that’s unhelpful and uncreative.  When you can break up periods of concentrated focus with do-nothing breaks, our mental blocks have time to dissipate and as we return to more intense focus there is a far greater chance of seeing the challenge in a fresh and more productive light.

TIME TO BREATHE

“I don’t even have time to breath!” How often does that thought pass through your mind?  How often do you hear others complain of not having enough hours in the day? Breathing space is far more important than most of us realize.  It’s where we recharge, relax and re-focus.

Plan to “just breathe” and then do it!  It is vitally important to schedule even very small gaps to pause and do nothing but unwind.  Take time to sit back in your favorite chair or walk on the beach or sit on a park bench and feel the warmth of the sun on your face.  Close your eyes and picture your long term goals as if they were accomplished. Soak in the feeling of success and breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.  Do this until you feel like you could fall asleep and if the situation is appropriate, do just that.

DO NOTHING – ACHIEVE MORE

We all need deep rest and not just physical rest…our brain needs a holiday too.   Physically active people know that it is in the times of rest when their muscles grow and gain strength… when healing occurs.  It is the same with our brains.  Genius awakens in the quiet moments.

Small doses of sleep or relaxation – just a few minutes at a time- have been proven to have just as much impact on our brain as a full night’s sleep.

During sleep, your brain reviews information and processes new memories and ideas. A few brief periods of rest can allow your brain to complete some of this processing in advance, making night time processing faster and more effective.

WHAT IS BALANCE?

What exactly does balance mean to you?  To most, it means separating work from their personal lives. 

I think balance has more to do with moving towards your highest goals, being enthusiastic about life, being aware of the moments that matter most and being full of appreciation and gratitude.  That is the ideal use of your energy. Are you frustrated, overwhelmed or unfulfilled?  Just spending time away from work won’t fix this for you.

Achieving your highest goals and ultimate fulfillment requires redefining what balance means to you.  Your work and your personal life will cross paths and that isn’t a problem as long as you are not overly focused on one or the other.  There may be times that you accomplish your work to-do list in record time and that will allow you to spend more time “breathing”. But once in a while you may see opportunities in your business that requires the balance of time to be lop-sided; you’ll put in double the time you normally do. Seizing the opportunities and doing what needs to be done will create positive results.  Don’t be rigid in your work versus rest schedule. Being aware of your overall balance and fitting in the down time you need to be at your best is what counts.

Do spectacular things as well as nothing at the right moments and allow your energy to serve you in the ways that move you forward in all areas of your life.  THAT is balance.

Assignment:

1)    Last week you created a master to-do list and then broke that list into daily tasks.  Review your daily to-do list and schedule in your do-nothing moments.  These moments are just as important as when you are actively building your business. 

2)   Add at least one image to your dream board or book each week.  This action directs your focus on to your long term goals.  Visualize all of your goals as if you have achieved them for at least 10 minutes once per day.

3)   After you have visualized your future, take the time to give thanks for all that you have.  Start by giving thanks for your husband or wife, your children, your home etc. Keep going until you feel your heart open and get a tear in your eye.  The minute you get this feeling ask your Source (God, the universe, your soul, your Inner Guidance etc) “What would you love me to fulfill? What’s my purpose here on Earth?”

Ask that your heart may be opened and the outlines of your destiny revealed. Thank your Source for its wisdom.

If you are truly grateful, the message will come quickly so get ready to write it down.  If it doesn’t come right away, take some more time to think about what you are thankful for until you feel the well of emotion rise to the surface and then ask again.

Write all of your messages down and ask, “Is there more?” Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your Inner Guidance. Listening to and trusting that small voice within is one of the greatest resources we have. All of the great leaders tap into this resource.

When you take the time to rest, recharge and visualize your best life you will find that you are more effective in your working moments.  This is the essence of balance.

Congratulations for finishing this last lesson and completing the first of our 3 course series.  Our goal was to take you through the process of self discovery so you can move forward in your business and life with an effective plan of action.  Now that you’ve completed these lessons, you’re molded, you understand, you’re prepared … now you are aware and ready to move onto the next course that will focus on building your network marketing business entitled “Building a Legacy.”

Natalie and Penny

Copyright © 2007 Academy of Personal Development.  All rights reserved.

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