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Creating the Balance


The daily demands of our professional and personal lives bring with them the enormous challenge of balance. For many of us who work in the performing arts, our work will generally take precedence over our personal life. Work life can spill over into the weekends and holidays, and before we realize it, our personal life becomes something unfamiliar, something we recall from the distant past. Interestingly enough, the amount of advice available online on how to achieve a better work-life balance isn’t scarce, and the multitude of techniques we can try could certainly keep us busy trying out different ideas each month. As funny as it sounds, what most people want to achieve is simply more of a personal life, not more of a work life!


Do our workaholic habits result simply from the demand for paying the bills? For providing for a family? For earning enough to save for retirement someday, or for the competition to keep up with the Joneses? Maybe we just love working. Perhaps some folks narrow their decisions to one thing versus the other, like a game where you have to choose only one side: “Would you rather have fame, or would you rather have fortune?” Certainly, however our motivations emanate, the reasons and the answers we select are different for each of us.


When trying to create balance in our lives, a difficulty is prioritizing one side so that the other doesn't suffer. On the other hand, there will undoubtedly be times when one part of our life will be sacrificed over the other. We can definitely experience “seasons” when either the work life or the personal life will be more demanding than the other. Sometimes we’re just doing what needs to be done in the moment and we need not overthink or stress too much about it. We need to be careful, however, when the imbalance lasts much longer than these seasons and turns into years or decades.


Cultural perspectives, however, come into play when considering imbalances. Depending on which section of the globe we live, our lifestyle will be heavily influenced by our environment. It truly boils down to our individual culture and which part of the globe we’re influenced by. All we need to ask ourselves is: “What are our priorities?” But does this need to be that cut and dry? Meaning, if you live in one section of the globe, then your life needs to be constructed this way, and if you live in another area, your life needs to be constructed that way?


We’ve become such a global unit that perhaps there is value in examining other cultures and taking the best parts they offer, integrating those habits into our own. For those who need to bring their personal life more into balance, finding a convenient way to include more time for family and friends could make you feel more connected. It can be something as simple as prioritizing the opportunity to share a meal together—even if it has to be done virtually. Perhaps you simply want more alone time to focus on yourself or other endeavors. Figure out what can be replaced in your schedule in order to accomplish that. It can be something as simple as a 15-minute daily effort.


We can certainly discover ways to navigate our own lives to suit our needs and incorporate what works best for our situation. Sometimes bringing balance into our life rests simply in reframing our mindset and figuring out how we can adjust our priorities to work better in our lives. Balance might not be something we can attain instantly, but it can certainly be achieved through small steps to eventually transform into the larger goal. The important thing is to truly know exactly what our priorities are and not live life blindly by “going with the flow.” Let us not live our lives by chance, because there is so much each of us can do if we establish our goals and give enough thought to our life’s trajectory.


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