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Business Coaching #2 - Work-Life Balance & Fulfilled Living

Aug 17, 2007
The first time I heard about the term work-life balance I was surprised that anybody even thought of balancing the two. Wasn't that like counting apples and oranges? Still, the idea was quite exciting and I thought I'd explore it a bit more:

I thought long and hard about what kind of working hours I wanted to have, what kind of office, how many people. By means of visualization all of that became a clear image that I was drawn to. Interestingly enough my enjoyment of the visions lasted only until the moment I realized that all my dreams and visions had come true! There is a Chinese curse: May you reach all your goals. That is exactly how I felt: empty and cursed - dreamless. So I pondered what I could do differently.

First of all I learned that constant striving for new actions creates a mess of outcomes that are not necessarily beneficial. It is like attempting to weave a rug using thread that is in a tangled mass. Imagine yourself inspired by the idea of the colors you want to use, the thread choice and the size of the rug. Your vision is clear and you slowly start working on it until you meet the first obstacle: knots that start taking you away from the initial goal. As you are solving the unpredicted problem, emotions arise, impatience, confusion, you end up working on untying the knot rather than weaving the rug.

My personal experience was that I dealt with both with determination and focus, so I kept balancing the acts, weaving and untying the knots, keeping myself busy, thinking that was just how life was.

There are times when it is right just to sit back and relax, allow thoughts to clear and become a tabula rasa, a blank sheet of paper ready to be filled with fresh ideas. When I first was taught this, I was initially confused and even upset by the lack of taking action and I rebelled against the process. I questioned if it was right for me, but each time I would face the same old fact: action was the thing that brought me where I was in the first place, and I wasn't fulfilled.

Thinking about what triggered this awareness, I realized it was a simple exercise that seemed at first to be non-action:

Exercise for clearing the mind.

Find a comfortable chair and while sitting (or lying) observe your thoughts while not acting upon them. Free your mind of all 'I shoulds', of all 'I musts'. Once a thought comes that brings a 'WOW!' state, a real desire to act, (sometimes there are other versions of it: 'Wouldn't that be nice!', 'I wish!', 'That would be great!'), proceed with one action that takes you closer to the realization of that thought. For those doing the exercise for the first time: when moving from thought to an action, choose small steps that are easy to achieve and give you a sense of completion.

Do this exercise daily for 20 to 60 minutes a day.

Copyright 2007 Dalida Turkovic
About the Author
Dalida Turkovic - Master Coach and Master NLP Practitioner has lived and worked in China since 1990. Please visit her business coaching website Small Steps Coaching and her blog at Life Coaching First Steps.
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