When was the last time you felt balanced within your work and personal life? How do you view the concept of balance and out-of-balance? See if Mary’s story sounds like yours.

Mary wanted desperately to balance her busy work life with a full family agenda. She loved her work. She loved her family. But there wasn’t enough time in the day to devote the energy she needed for both. Something had to change.

Step one involved a clear definition of what work/life balance meant to Mary. Did it mean a true 50/50 balance between both everyday? And are they completely separate things or do they overlap? Once we tackled those fundamental questions, Mary discovered that she wanted to achieve a balance of accomplishment and happiness.

Accomplishment was a simple enough concept and Mary described her excitement in achieving meaningful results in her work and with her family. When it came to a happiness definition – we explored all the dimensions… including pleasure, contentment, enjoyment, achievement, fulfillment, love, and a sense of well being. It became clear to Mary that her old perspective of “work/life” balance was being replaced by a new perspective of achieving accomplishment and happiness in combination within her work and family. This discovery created a new perspective of her life, and how she might see new and different pathways to get to her goals of accomplishment and happiness.

Our next step was to explore where Mary placed her focus, not just how she was spending her time.

  • Which were Mary’s most important priorities?
  • How did she determine which were the most important?
  • What did she say “yes” to, resulting in those areas she said “no” to?

We focused on what would allow her to both accomplish and achieve happiness in her life. Our coaching took us in many wonderful directions over several months of identifying and tracking Mary’s daily events, and then measuring her levels of accomplishment and happiness. In the end, Mary made just a few key changes in her life that made a big difference in how she was able to achieve her goals of integrating accomplishment and happiness in her life.

The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers. – M. Scott Peck, MD

Why not take some time on your way home from work today, and think about the level of satisfaction in your life. Does something need to change? Try taking the next week to track where you place your focus and efforts and see if you are surprised at what you discover. Would a few changes make a big difference for you?

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