This week I chose to look at the idea of "Balance" vs. "Satisfaction"
in life. The inspiration for this came from a book I'm reading right now, called "Off Balance" by Matthew Kelly.
Having been actively involved in both personal and community
development for almost 6 years now, one of the contast issues
that comes up in conversation is how do we, as young people who want to create positive change in the world, create balance in our lives. How do we have everything?
The truth is, we don't and we can't.
We can't have everything. At any given time, when you make one choice, you're giving up another.
A while ago, I wrote an article for Sojo on balance. In the article I
talked about making small adjustments every day in order to
keep ourselves on top of things. Those tiny adjustments to our circumstances is what keeps us from falling over.
I still think that's true. But I want to add to that based on what
I've been reading and learning lately.
Having balance in our lives is great. It's nice when we can
clearly separate our work from our social lives or when we can feel
as though we're getting enough rest and exercise while at the
same time rocking it in our jobs.
But balance can also be kind of boring.
Rather than choosing "balance" as my goal, I'm shifting my
focus and choosing satisfaction.
When I stop and reﬂect on what brings me satisfaction, very
little of that has to do with having a balanced lifestyle. I love
working late into the night from time to time, in order to be able
to have a really well-done presentation. I love working hard some
weeks so that I can take time off to spend with my friends and
For me, satisfaction doesn't come from having a balanced life. I'd
say that my life, at this point, is anything but balanced. What
I'm ﬁnding though, is that my satisfaction comes from being
able to put all of my passion and energy into the people and the
things that I love. Being able to give myself to a project fully, to
have meaningful conversations with others and, as I dive into
fatherhood, to be able to give myself fully to my family when I
can, is what creates satisfaction.
I sat down earlier this week and I made a list of the Top 5 things
that bring satisfaction into my life. It turns out, "balance"
wasn't even near making the list.
If you were to sit down and do the same, what would ﬁnd? What
brings you satisfaction? Are you doing what you need to do in
order to bring that into your life regularly?
Matt Tod is an international speaker, leadership facilitator, writer and lover of all things Zombie-related.