Finding “The Balance”

The other day a young friend of mine called me up and asked, “John, with all of the work and time and travel it can take to start your own businesses, how do you find time for your family?” My first response was to ask him how many people had a steady 9 to 5 job but still didn’t seem to have time to build lasting relationships with their family? That type of response is a fallacy and merely distracts from the bigger question. How does an entrepreneur balance all of the priorities in his/her life, without making unnecessary or destructive sacrifices? How does an entrepreneur maintain a balanced perspective of what matters most?

I have asked a lot of financially successful people this question. I would say that by far the majority of people I ask this question respond to me that they didn’t know, but they sure wished they had spent more time on “what matters most”. That response is usually followed up with some comment that with the time and money they have freed up in their older age, they are really able to “enjoy” time with their family and those things that bring them happiness.

I’m a firm believer that a strong foundation on unchanging principles is the basis for happiness and balance in life. I am also a believer that is a serious process. It takes time, energy and humility to pursue that process. In fact, I believe that it is the honest pursuit of those principles that brings us into that balance.

I believe that ‘balance’ in the sense of life and principles is by no means a static state. Rather, it is the constant interaction and almost centrifugal state. –Kinda like a gyro or spinning bicycle wheel. The only way to keep it ‘balanced’ is to keep it spinning.

In other words there is really no rest from finding that balance. It takes time, study, teachability and constant application.

There are a lot of books I have regarding relationships and time management etc. By far, one of my favorites that I feel offers a clear understanding of the components to balance priorities is Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Honestly, if you haven’t read it. Read it.

If you have any suggestions of good books for me regarding finding the balance of life. Suggest it. I’m all ears.

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