Balance is as balance does

I’ve had cause to reflect a lot lately.

I look around me and I hear conversations. Some are laughing. Some are lamenting. Some are distressed and some are enthused.

I try to be attuned to what’s happening in the world of work for others. My own work is not without its insights, yet I often find it so much more interesting to hear what else is happening out there.

And through it all, I try to understand – what balance have you achieved?

Sometimes in life, shit gets thrown our way and it sticks for a bloody long time. Yet people perservere and live and fight and make things happen.

Sometimes in life, things are really good and we coast on the good feelings enjoying that high point.

I wonder – what does balance look like?

Some call it flow, some call it balance, some call it mindful, whatever it is, it makes me curious.

It makes me curious about why I need to worry about balance? Life happens, and sometimes life is completely off balance and yet it persists.

Why do I need balance? What does it help me with?

Resilience. That’s what.

When I’m resilient I stay healthy. When I’m resilient I move forwards. When I’m resilient I don’t stay static. When I’m resilient I strive.

This is our challenge. This is our purpose. If I am resilient, I will achieve.

In organisations, we don’t care about resilience. We care about results. We often don’t care about how those results are achieved. We say we care, but we don’t really.

Flexible hours, benefits, credit unions, working from home, these things don’t build resilience. They are just useful things to help employees be flexible.

Coaching, team understanding, healthy debates, open conversations, knowledge sharing, open information, collaboration. These things build resilience. When we have the opportunity to be included, that’s where resilience gets built because by virtue of the method, we build a support network.

Balance, then, becomes a result of the support we have.

*dons boxing gear and ventures back into the ring*

3 comments

  1. Most fun in my life is when I’m a little off-balance.
    Absorbed in something, be it family or work or exercise or plotting a party….
    Resilience? Well I think it means a lot to different people….
    For some, I think resilience means the ability to Just. keep. Going…. Even if they might be better off stopping.
    For me? Resilience means I stay feeling good and connected. I might be rushing about, but I can still smile or still appreciate the absurdities of fake boobs on a 24 year old (I ran into Amy Child’s from TOWIE recently…it was an experience) without getting angry or frustrated…..
    Resilience for me is about harnessing energy within myself….and that might not be balanced…

    Not sure what I’m saying other than sometimes balance is overrated.

  2. I’m still smiling at the interesting juxtaposition of Fuchsia Blue and Amy Childs… oh to have been a fly on the wall!

    Anyway, I just wanted to disagree slightly – in the politest possible terms of course – with the statement that “In organisations, we don’t care about resilience. We care about results. We often don’t care about how those results are achieved. We say we care, but we don’t really”

    I have absolutely worked in situations where this was true. But equally I think it is only true of the short-sighted employer (of which there are admittedly many). The far sighted, forward thinking employer knows that if they want to kill results, they let people burn out and lose their sense of balance. What follows is almost inevitably either poor performance and eventual departure or long term sickness absence.

    As you say yourself “When I’m resilient I stay healthy. When I’m resilient I move forwards. When I’m resilient I don’t stay static. When I’m resilient I strive.” That’s why a sensible employer cares about resilience.

  3. Thought-provoking, Sukh.

    Made me wonder if organisational “Culture” – and I’ll throw in “engagement” and all that jazz whilst I’m at it – could become, simply, “Support.”

    The ramifications would speak for themselves in the results. It would cascade to the right “commercial” places.

    Even if we achieve balance, do we recognise it? Or appreciate it? We’re humans, we change things – it’s International Happiness Day today. Balance, like happiness, is a momentary state.

    Imbalance is stimulating. Even when we don’t like it. With the right support, we’re resilient, as you say.

    Some care enough I think. We just don’t always structure it so well.

    Support. Simple.

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