One often hears people using the term,’ I’m searching for balance in work and family.’ I asked myself that question many times during the early stages of my career. I can confidently admit, I never found it anywhere external.
The truth is our society is under immense pressure. We have to juggle careers, kids, family, friends and if we are fortunate enough to have some extra time, our hobbies. On each parameter, nothing short of ‘the best’ is good enough.
Amidst this craziness comes contentment. This is where a few individuals take a leap of courage and follow their passion as Founders of start-ups. I’m not sure if it helps if you do this at a stage when there are no other commitments e.g. mortgage, kids. Each stage for an individual comes with its own challenges.
I speak from the point of view of a startup with two kids under the age of 10, that took the courage to quit their 9-5 highly paid jobs to take on the path of juggling, networking, constant rejection, sleepless nights whilst still running a home and family.
Try searching for balance in this situation!
How long do we continue with this momentum, surely something will give? Physical health, mental well-being, family, career!?
My husband and I have been at it full time for the last 14 months. However, to attain this cycle of balance we both look inwards first. This is exactly where we should start the process.
Is the task of achieving balance really that difficult?
I think it’s a choice that we make. The first step is to acknowledge that there is a cycle of life that represents us – Relationships, career, sleep and nutrition, spirituality, physical fitness and fun time. Moment to moment we give importance to one or two aspects of that cycle more than the others. That’s okay I feel as long as there is a conscious awareness of those changes.
Simple Secrets to Balance
Start the day early! This gives you some ‘me time’. The health coach and nutrition enthusiast in me can’t help but recommend a warm glass of lemon water upon waking.
Get a diary that’s devoted to your feelings, emotions and gratitude. There is a lot of information out there about the benefits of ‘morning pages’ I also swear by it. It’s the moment in the morning before you fully awaken, before the conscious mind kicks in. Everything you write comes from the subconscious, no time for judgements. Write at least 10 feelings of gratitude from the day before, a great way to acknowledge all that is wonderful in our life especially during the most challenging times. Then you should write anything and everything that is playing in your mind.
I recommend spending at least 30-40 minutes in silence, a guided meditation, strong affirmations, visualisation methods are also great ways to set the day.
Do whatever you want during these early hours, but make sure they are fuelling your mind and body. This is my mantra! ‘A balanced mind and body will lead to a balanced family and business’. Include your family in the affirmations, in your ideas and goals. Children appreciate honesty and transparency; this makes our job as parents easier. They become equal partners in understanding work, health and social commitments.
Know when to switch off
As a tech company, this may come as a surprise, but we encourage people to switch off their phones when they are engaging with family and friends. Use technology wisely and focus on real face to face interactions. Don’t forget we are social beings and we thrive on social interactions.
Balance is a choice, an awareness that isn’t found anywhere external. Don’t search for it, look within.
“Balance is the key to everything. What we do, think, say, eat and feel, they all require awareness and through this awareness we can grow.” Koi Fresco