Balance: What happens without it.

A few years back, I had ‘one of those days’. You know the kind of day I’m talking about. You’re not sure why, but the world just seems a little bleaker, people seem grumpier, and I’m just not ‘with it’. So I did what I normally do when I need to sort things out; I ran for a few miles. Nothing major, just another weekday run to clear my head and think.

As I ran, my mind wandered and it suddenly dawned on me what had happened. Somewhere during the previous few years, I had lost my balance. I had become a ‘glass half empty’ person. I had lost my balance in life.  

I had a good job and enjoyed time with my family. I was in decent shape physically, mentally, and spiritually. Why was I so negative? I did not know why, but I knew I didn’t like what I saw inside myself. By the time I got home from that run, I had vowed that I was going to be a ‘glass half full’ person. The real question now was how could I accomplish this turn-around?

In my younger years, I would set race goals; events in which I wanted to race or times I wanted to beat. At some point, I had stopped doing that. I had stopped setting goals and then challenging myself to attain them.

In the months that followed, certain recurring thoughts kept coming up along with a few goals. Ultimately, a ‘two-year’ plan began to emerge that included three significant milestones.  

At age 51, I went back to school for an MBA. Shortly after that, I left my safe job and took on my first General Manager role in a re-emerging casino.  Five months later, the Nevada Gaming Commission approved my key employee license. In less than six weeks from this writing, my two-year plan will be complete as I prepare to graduate with an MBA. It has been exhausting and I covered a lot of miles. As I think back on the last two years, a parallel has emerged in my mind.

My life has been like a triathlon. A series of disciplines intermixed with transitions. Age, children, career; each stage has had different goals and different outcomes. If I had removed any of them, I would not be the person I am. But without a plan, I am out of balance.

My race isn’t over. I have many miles in front of me. The real question now is; what’s the next stage? Like a triathlete transitioning from swimming to biking to running, my life balance is about figuring out what that next stage is and how to prepare for it.

My challenge to you is simple. Do you have your ‘balance’? If you do, please share how you do it. If you don’t have balance, I urge you to look inside yourself and find your inner balance. I guarantee that it’s there. You just may need to ‘run a few miles’ to find it.

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