The Importance of Balance

Like many little girls this summer, my six-year-old-daughter was enthralled by The Final Five, Team USA’s amazing and talented Women’s Gymnastics team. Now, she is in gymnastics every Tuesday night, working on her splits and cartwheels, and on walking heel-to-toe across the balance beam. Watching my daughter today takes me back to the days when my youngest sister was a competitive gymnast, and the days we would spend at gym meets across the Twin Cities. I loved watching her twirl and flip on the floor exercise and uneven bars, but I was a nervous wreck watching her on the balance beam. The very idea of leaping, pirouetting and flipping through the air, all while trying to land on a six-inch-wide beam seemed ludicrous, impossible, and from the second she hopped onto that beam at each meet, it was a countdown in my head to when she could jump OFF!

In the 2016 Summer Olympics, the poise, strength and skill demonstrated by the gymnasts in their beam routines was nothing short of amazing. Their ability to land complicated combinations, in many cases with blind landings, was a testament to their natural ability, to their hard work and dedication . . . and to their sense of balance.

Achieving balance is hard. It is hard to do on a beam, and it is hard to do in life, but it is something for which we should all strive. Achieving tremendous financial success may ring hollow without the opportunity to do something impactful with that money. An eighty-hour work week may result in an amazing, successful career, but leaves little time for enjoying that success. Finding a balance-point between your professional success, your financial independence, your personal and family life, and your health and wellness is, in my opinion, a surefire recipe for success.

Success means setting, and achieving, goals in all aspects of your life, both personal and professional. And goal-setting starts with identifying your starting point. If you don’t know where you are, it is pretty difficult to know where you are going. Not sure where your starting point is? Use the image above as your guide.

Make a dot on each axis of where you believe yourself to be in each category, then connect the dots to form a diamond. By looking at the shape of the diamond, and the areas where your numbers are lower, you can quickly identify your starting point and where you need to improve.

Do the exercise, and see what your diamond looks like. If it’s not what you want it to be, it’s time to set your goals, build a plan, and get to work. It can be hard to do that alone; if you need a partner, don’t hesitate to reach out. Let’s get you on a path to your version of success!

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