11 - LIVE IN PEACE AND BALANCE
Have you ever felt out of balance? Try this!
A man attending a BYB training once proudly told us how he led his company to its most successful year ever. His smile faded quickly as he said, “but it also cost me my marriage and family.”
The famous Zig Ziglar once said, “Being successful means having a balance of success stories across many areas of you life. You can’t truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles.”
That’s why balance is not just “nice to have” but it is critical! Balance is a matter of doing what matters most, planning to maintain your priorities, and sticking to your plan. The results of a balanced life are confidence, inner strength, peace, and reduced stress. Not to mention a greater capacity to work effectively with and help other people. That is why my team and I have developed The Circle of Peace and Balance. This tool is incredibly helpful in determining what areas of life need attention in order to achieve greater balance.
The Circle of Peace and Balance measures several different facets of life, including:
•Physical and Emotional – Exercise and develop a sense of well-being. Build emotional reserves. Get plenty of sleep. Eat a healthy diet.
• Mental – Gain knowledge and stay sharp mentally. Exercise your brain. Read a book a month. Think healthy thoughts.
• Financial – Establish a wise financial plan. Get out of debt and build a retirement fund.
• Security and Safety – Don’t take unnecessary risk. Take measures to ensure you and your family will be safe and secure in the future.
• Social and Relationship – Build strong and healthy relationships with family and friends. Be able to laugh and enjoy life.
• Spiritual – Cultivate a tenderness and sensitivity of spirit. Do good; leave the world a better place. Help others.
The Circle of Peace and Balance is easy to use. The Weekly Tool below explains how to use it.
1. Perform the “Peace & Balance Evaluation.” Click Here to view the evaluation and complete the exercise.
More Contagious than the Flu?
Personal peace is rare because it requires you to change your attitudes and thoughts. Why? Because you are the only variable in the whole equation that you can control.
If you believe your happiness is due to forces in the external environment, then you are stuck. You’re left with an assumption that is not true – that the world is causing your feelings. In that scenario there is no way out because you can do nothing to change the external environment. You can blame, kick, and scream all you want about the banking system, inflation, high unemployment, low housing values, heat, cold, rain, and whatever else is bothering you, and it won’t change a thing. All it will do is disrupt your peace.
Believing that the world is causing your fear, anxiety, or stress is a habit of thinking which you’ve likely learned from others. In truth, your own thoughts are the cause and the reality of your life. “By changing your thoughts,” said the Dalai Lama, “you immediately get inner peace.” So, what’s a simple tool to help us change our thoughts? Laughter!
Laughter and a sense of humor are infectious. The sound of laughter is far more contagious than a flu bug and when laughter is shared, it bonds people and tends to increase happiness. It can bring peace and happiness when the seriousness of the world weighs on us.
Laughter triggers healthy physical responses in your body. Laughter and a sense of humor strengthen your immune system, increase your energy, reduce your pain, and are an effective antidote for stress. Humor can lighten burdens, brighten spirits, inspire hopes, connect you to others, and help you to stay alert and focused. Well-placed and tasteful humor helps build a more constructive environment.
Applied at the right time, laughter and a good sense of humor can change the atmosphere of a tense situation to one that is more inviting and relaxed. Humor can completely change the tone of a meeting or situation so the participants can more easily put things into perspective and get on to a positive solution. One of the extraordinary things about laughter is that it can change things quickly and it can affect everyone.
Cultivate laughter and a tasteful sense of humor. Have some fun. Laugh with friends. Tell some jokes. See if you can change stressful counter-productive situations into happier, more positive situations through appropriate humor. Be more spontaneous. Let go of defensiveness. Express your true, best, good-natured feelings. All of these behaviors can lead to greater peace.
1. Decide to laugh more during the week. Find and schedule time to do some things that help bring increased laughter into your life…read a funny joke, watch a funny clip, or simply smile at yourself in the mirror. You will feel better when you’re smiling or laughing, sometimes it can be the best medicine!
2. Remember, you are the variable! This week remember that you are the one who decides the outcome. You can’t control the external environment, but you can choose your response to it. Choose to make a positive response, no matter how ugly the situation might be!
2 ways to stay calm
Do you find you constantly have way too much to accomplish and far too little time to get it done? Do you come home from work exhausted and worn out? Does caring for your children take a toll on you and your physical well-being? Does your body feel the effects of stress?
About 40 percent of employees claim to be worn out due to work related stress, accounting for a loss of $300 billion in the workplace in the U.S. alone (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health). Two tools will be provided that can alleviate stressful conditions in your life. These investments of time will help you create lasting peace in the storm of daily life!
Weekly planning helps you think in terms of balance and will bring greater peace to your life. Use your planner or organizer and hold a planning session before the start of each week.
Such planning consists of determining what matters most in the upcoming week in each of your roles (parent, spouse, friend, employee, and so on) and specifying an actual time during the week when you’ll do what you’ve identified.
Meditation is another proven tool to alleviate stress. When my son was in high school he practiced 4 hours of piano each day! He would take a few minutes to sit down, close his eyes, and “clear his mind” after coming home from school. This helped him concentrate on piano easier and to be more productive with his time.
Here is a simple process for meditating:
1. Close your eyes and relax. Find a relatively quiet space to do this.
2. Take deep breaths. Exhale completely. Feel the heaviness of your hands, arms, and legs leave as you let them totally relax.
3. Imagine a serene, safe, and peaceful location.
4. Allow your mind to be free. Enjoy the rare chance to let your mind simply be free.
5. After two to ten minutes, return to your fully conscious state and slowly open your eyes.
As you repeat this process frequently you will likely feel much greater peace and balance in your life.
1. Hold a weekly planning session. Identify what matters most this week and specify when and how to accomplish your tasks. This will help you stay in control of your life and bring you a greater sense of peace.
2. Do a relaxation exercise. Take two to ten minutes to meditate using the steps in this email. Get in the habit of doing this frequently.
Is this really worth fighting over?
“Darth Maul was a Sith Lord!” “No, he wasn’t— and I’m right!” This petty disagreement between some young family members recently escalated into a full blown argument that ended in tears! Teenagers were literally in tears over whether or not Darth Maul was a Sith Lord! All peace and balance was lost. As silly as this was, many of us often engage in petty differences—even as adults.
Adults argue over who works harder, who is a better driver, and whose political leanings are correct. People get upset over waiting two minutes or when someone has bad manners. When tempted to argue over small things, ask yourself, “Is this really worth fighting over?” “How can I laugh at this instead?” By refusing to engage in petty differences—you can achieve much greater peace and balance everyday!
Steve Shallenberger once moved into a new home. After the move, he listed his previous house for sale and shortly thereafter I got a call from his old neighbor. She was noticeably agitated and asked him to move some metal shelves that had been left on the side of the house. After her somewhat rude comments and request, he was tempted to snap back but decided to surprise her with his reaction. He said, “Sure, thank you for letting me know. We’ll jump right on it.”
“You mean you aren’t upset?”, she responded. She was genuinely shocked that Steve refused to argue over such an insignificant issue. He was at peace after the call and thankful he hadn’t snapped back.
By refusing to engage in petty differences, we each maintain increased peace and balance.
1. Identify a situation you could have handled better. In your thoughts book write down several phrases that can help defuse those types of situations. For example, the phrase from my story above is often useful, “Thank you for letting me know.”
2. Listen to calming music. Fascinating studies show that classical music lowers blood pressure and stress, develops intellect, and can improve your sleep. These things can certainly make life more peaceful and balanced!