We all know we might have been putting in a lot of 80-hour months in a row, and we can feel the side effects of earning that sort of dedication. The critical question then becomes: What are we going to do about it?
I’ve found that the best CEOs are always striving to locate balance in their lives. That’s what makes them great leaders and great men and women. You understand heading within that trade that you are likely to really go out of balance. However, the key is to be conscious about that and understand what you’re sacrificing in the deal.
What exactly are the secrets good CEOs use to live a balanced life? They measure themselves seven key elements, where they give themselves a score from 1 (way from balance) to 10 (Zen-like harmony) to see where they stand. I am not sure I’ve ever met anybody who has scored a 10 on all of seven components, so a more reasonable goal may be to find balance with half of those parts of your life.
1. Physical health.
Whether you are a CEO or merely a go-getter at work, it’s easy to allow things such as exercise and diet to go by the wayside once items get busy at the workplace. But the body you have is the only body you are likely to get, and it needs to take you until the conclusion of the match. That is why it’s essential to keep to maintain your body strong and healthy enough to enable you to do the things that excite you–whether that is traveling for business or seeing your grandkids. The key here is to be fit enough that you don’t need to say “no” to anything that you would like to do.
How do you feel about your family time? What is your relationship like with your partner? Your children? Family ties are the tightest connections you should have in your life, no matter how busy things get on the job. If you give yourself a low score here, it is worth hitting the pause button to invest in repairing these relationships. Family members are truly part of your support network, and you will never miss them more than once you’re at your lowest point.
Do you have a robust network of friends or maybe not? Do you have a group of people you hang out with regularly, possibly to get a book club or to go play football? Otherwise, it’s time to begin building these kinds of relationships. Having people around you that you enjoy and trust is one of the greatest indications of living a lifetime. If you are sacrificing relationships like these because you are working too hard, you’re definitely not in balance.
What does your personal financial balance sheet look like? Are you on a path to collect enough wealth that you will be able to enjoy a comfortable retirement? Are your resources increasing over time–or have you ever neglected to take the time to tend your financial garden? The key to personal financial health would be to feel in control and understand you have enough money to get options. If you are working too much and you do not have the cash that you need, something is clearly missing in the equation.
Whether you’re in charge of your own business or climbing the corporate ladder, then ask yourself how energized you should go into work daily. Are you excited to be making a difference and making progress–or do you dread the monotony of your daily drag? Or, even if you own the business, how are things moving: Are earnings and gains growing? A number of those who are high achievers might never give themselves a 10 here no matter what. But it’s well worth measuring how all that time you’re investing in your job is paying off.
How much time are you can invest in the things you care about in your community? That may mean anything from committing to serving on the PTA or training a sports club –anything that turns you on if you give yourself. Consider it because of your attitude of gratitude. If you haven’t made a while to give back, you are missing out on real emotional revenge, since you are rewarded with the action of giving. And the important thing here isn’t only signing checks–time and talent are the real presents.
The final aspect of living a balanced lifestyle is the spiritual side. This might be anything from taking a walk in the forests to visiting the church on Sunday–anything matches up to your cup. This is the way we renew ourselves when we are down–and it is something that can be easily neglected. Should you score low here, take the opportunity to rethink your link to God, character, or whatever. You will feel refreshed and ready to attack the world.
Finding equilibrium among these seven components is not always simple. But I’ll discuss a cautionary tale of what could happen if you find yourself out of equilibrium for too long. Early in my career, I worked for a CEO who was a business celebrity. However, everyone, including his loved ones, loathed him. He may have been a triumph from the element of business, but he had no friends, his children wanted nothing to do with him was to his fourth wife, and he was spiritually bankrupt.