All my life I've been something of an overachiever in the sense that there have always been many things in which I've had a great deal of interest. I've also chosen to participate in most of them. That much was apparent when I was just a toddler, and it's formally documented as early as high school: at the back of our yearbook there is a listing of the activities each of the senior-class members participated in during their high school careers. My listing shows eighteen different activities — the most of anyone, and several of those represent two or even three years of participation. I've always been a very busy guy with immense interest in lots of things.
That didn't change in college, in graduate school, during my first jobs, or any time since either. I'm still engaged in a myriad of activities, many of which require a significant amount of time, discipline, newly learned skills, and dedication. One of my friends introduces me as someone who is not merely multi-dimensional but over-dimensional! It would be too easy to assume that the "jack of all trades, master of none" moniker could be applied to me, but my experiences and successes indicate that this would be inaccurate.
Leaning Towards Balance in Life
Looking back, I think I have done well in so many different disciplines because I somehow inherently developed a way of focusing on one or two areas until there was some appropriate place to shift my attention or until circumstances forced me to break my concentration and move from one thing to another. In short, I have a natural inclination that leans me toward balance in my life rather than away from it. I can, as it were, easily juggle many things at one time without having the juggling itself wear on me. It has only been in the last few decades that I have recognized this for the incredible gift that it is.
Indeed, it was only after I began managing other people about mid-way through my career in corporate America that I began to notice that others — particularly those I supervised, since my managerial style was to get close to them and the totality of their lives — were having trouble keeping their lives in balance.
At first, I simply could not understand this. Most of these people seemed to have far fewer things to do than I did and yet they also appeared to be having a much more difficult time than I was dealing with the demands being made on them. Many couldn't cope at all, and I watched as their families and relationships or their health or their work productivity or any combination of things fell apart around them. My friends, associates, co-workers, and employees seemed to be victimized by all the things in their lives that were frequently and insistently calling for their attention.
In talking with them — actually, more often listening to them vent while they were in the middle of some stressful episode — I was left with the feeling that they had no control over what they did with their time and attention. The people, activities, and even the possessions they'd collected made demands on them, and they were powerless to do anything but react. Life for them became one reaction after another.
They seemed to have no sense of what their lives actually looked like; they could not get out of the details of the trees to see the totality of the forest. More importantly, they seemed to have no plan to move their lives to something that might be better for them and for those in their immediate circles — families, friends, and co-workers.
It occurred to me that I had access to a mind-set and some skills that could be useful to these people. Being involved in many things has required me to develop a disciplined methodology and a construct to hold all the various elements of my life.
I also realized that because I had so many activities in my life in which I had keen and genuine interest, it became nearly impossible for any one of them to push me out of balance. Oh, I might have felt overwhelmed by all there was to do at any given time, but even those occasional periods of overwhelm were somehow themselves balanced. It was never just one thing toward which my life was slipping like some unstoppable avalanche.
Making Conscious & Sometimes Difficult Choices
The need to keep track of and ensure that I completed each of the tasks for all of the aspects of my life activities ultimately developed into a discipline of sorts, and that discipline required me to make conscious and sometimes difficult choices. No matter how complicated the requirements or the mix became, I seemed able to handle it and rarely felt out of control.
And that's what I brought to many of those conversations with others caught in the throes of imbalance — hope that things could get better for them coupled with specific tools and things to do that would actually effect the changes they could now allow themselves to envision.
What you have here in this book is a remarkable opportunity — perhaps even a "once in a lifetime" opportunity — to take control of your life and to balance it based on a vision that you believe will work for you. It is an opportunity for you to move yourself forward to a Life Balance equation that may be better for you and for everyone around you rather than simply continuing to make the best of what has been dealt to you. Most people don't even know that this is an option. When you've completed this book, you will not only know that it is an option, but you will know exactly how to do it.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Beyond Words Publishing, Inc.
Become A Life Balance Master
by Ric Giardina.
Do you feel as if you’re perpetually juggling too much in life? Keeping your life in balance need not be a daunting task. Whether your life is just a little out of kilter or in terrible shape, Ric Giardina will help you take more control and create the life that you want. Become a Life Balance Master offers a practical, accessible, results-driven system to guide you away from a chaotic, reactionary existence to a calm, deliberate, and focused way of life.
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About the Author
RIC GIARDINA is the founder and president of The Spirit Employed Company, a management consulting and training firm that offers keynote addresses and other programs on authenticity, balance, community, and discipline. Ric is the author of Your Authentic Self: Be Yourself at Work and a book of poetry called Threads of Gold.
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