The 5 balls of life

Work life balance. Work life integration. Work life whatever.

No one gets to tell you how to balance your life. Self-help charlatans will lead you down the garden path and before you know you'll be lost.

Instead, I think of work, family, health, friends and spiritual health as five factors in my life. All have their own level of importance to me - but for the most part I'm happiest when they're all balanced.

When we put work ahead of everything else our life will suffer one day. When I'm leaning more towards work than everything else I remember this superb quote from a Coca-cola executive speaking at Georgia Tech:

Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them work, family, health, friends and spirit. And you’re keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls – family, health, friends and spirit – are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.

Think of this the next time someone tries to talk to you about how your life is, or isn't, balanced.