As a part of his workout, he included time standing on inflatable balance discs in between sets of weightlifting. His goal was to maintain his balance on the disc for 45 seconds while standing on each leg. Sometimes he stayed in balance for more than 45 seconds, and other times he lost his balance quickly. As I watched his routine, I became curious. When we both finished our workout, I approached him to ask about his workout and goals for the balance disc.
He shared with me that he was using the balance disc for several reasons. He wanted to make sure he was working on the little muscles around his ankles and knees. And he also felt like it improved his balance when walking, hiking, golfing and skiing. Then I asked him about why he was able to remain standing on one leg on the balance disc sometimes for a minute or more, and other times he lost his balance early or in just 10 or 15 seconds.
His response didn’t shock me. He shared that when he was able to maintain his focus on staying in balance on the disc, he could stay on for longer periods of time. He always stood in front of a mirror in the gym and would center his eyes on his chest in the reflection. The times when he achieved the greatest success were when he remained focused on his position. However, he said that when he lost his balance early it was because he allowed his mind to drift onto other things going on in his life.
How many of us lose our balance in life when we allow ourselves to become distracted? We all want balance, yet too often we wind up being our own worst enemy as we spread ourselves too thin. When we do this, we invite distraction into our lives, knocking us off balance and out of harmony. And when we find ourselves feeling like we have lost it and balance is nowhere to be found, we should remember the lesson from my friend in the gym and reacquire our focus.
The first thing we need to do is to understand our priorities and where we want balance and harmony in our lives. Once we are completely aware of what is truly important to us, then we can align our expectations and boundaries so that we don’t give way to the distractions that pop up. And most importantly, after establishing our priorities and setting our boundaries, is that we remain focused on the people, activities and things in life that bring us the greatest joy and satisfaction.
Let’s face it, distractions come at us all day long, life happens. They come in the form of calls, texts, emails, news, social media, unexpected circumstances and situations. We can never completely avoid being sidetracked, but we can minimize our chances of being distracted by knowing and owning our priorities and remaining focused on those.
Not taking the time to think through and commit to what is most important to us is like trying to drive somewhere that we have never been without GPS or a map. And as the old quote by Lewis Carroll goes, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”
Where are we missing our balance? Is it at home? At work? In our relationships? If we could improve the harmony in our lives, where would it create the greatest impact? For me, my balance comes when I remain focused on the five Fs in life: my faith, family, friends, fitness and finances, and in that order. And now thanks to my new friend from the gym, I can add the sixth F, focus.
Are you finding balance in the most important areas of your life? Would a little more focus and less distractions help you find your balance? I would love to hear your story at firstname.lastname@example.org and when we can maximize balance by minimizing distractions, it really will be a better than good life.
Michael Norton is an author, a personal and professional coach, consultant, trainer, encourager and motivator of individuals and businesses, working with organizations and associations across multiple industries.