Is Work-Life Balance a Myth?

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Being a leadership coach for more than 25 years, an author of many books, and a teacher of coaching skills, the topic of work-life balance for clients (and ourselves) is often discussed.  I even suggest the use of a Life Balance Wheel, showing the user the main categories of their life, personal and business, and to score their level of satisfaction with each.

However, unlike some other writers who speak to making the wheel round somehow and getting the same high number in each category, I teach that it is a relative level of satisfaction and may change with circumstances.  So, it is a measure of energy, focus and satisfaction, not a static attempt to get high scores and then achieve balance.

This was made perfectly clear to me several years ago when my wife and I attended a traveling circus tent performance of Cirque de Soleil in Denver, Colorado.  This particular show uses horses and lots of jumping on to horses, trading riders while standing on the horse, twirling objects and the typical avant-garde characters of a Cirque performance.

I was so mesmerized, thinking to myself, “how do they do that?  What tremendous balance.”

At intermission, when they hope you will buy shirts, programs, and products, I spoke to one of the performers, who was still on stilts but selling to me. As he looked down I stated “ I am so impressed with the balance of you and your fellow performers…just amazing…I am a life coaching and I try to get my clients to achieve balance in their life.”

To which he replied, in his French Canadian accent, “ obviously monsieur, you were not paying attention…we only achieve balance momentarily…we are in a constant state of motion!”

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