Last month I attended the 9th Annual Graham Sessions in Phoenix, Arizona and I also had the pleasure to present on a forum discussion about women in leadership positions. If you don’t know about the Graham Sessions, check out Heidi’s blog post to find out more information or this post to recap this year’s session. My co-presenters for the session were Ann Wendel and Sandy Hilton. Sharon Dunn moderated the session. It was a lot of fun to talk about women in leadership positions and hopefully the discussion will bring some attention about the continued disparity of pay and c suite leadership positions between men and women in physical therapy, in healthcare and in society at large. There is much more to be said about this topic but that is not what I want to talk about today.
Today I want to talk about the concept of work-life balance. During the Graham Sessions, I was asked how I achieved work-life balance. My answer to this question is that I don’t believe in work-life balance. I think this must be a myth like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that we keep searching for. I think that the concept of balance can lead us to despair because there is no such thing as a balanced life. Work-life balance is a lie. I don’t believe that we can achieve anything ‘great’ if we stay balanced.
I believe that we have to go to extremes to achieve something great, we must push ourselves beyond our comfort zone and intentionally get out of balance. I have to admit that I am not an expert in this area and this is only my opinion about life and work. And I can’t wait to hear what our Leadership Development coach, Daphne Scott would have to say on the topic. I also know that when I am at the extremes that I tend of over eat, over drink and find other ways to down shift my life. It can be a slippery slope at times. I am now working on meditating more and turning less towards food and alcohol. But the bottom line is that I don’t want to be balanced.
This is what I know. I personally don’t want to go out of this life well rested and totally balanced. I want to go out with nothing left in the tank. I enjoy working really hard and going to the extremes to achieve big goals. I know that I can’t live my life at the extremes and that my life pendulum will need to swing back to reset and recover – fine. But once I have recovered then I want to go back out on the field and compete. I believe in hard work and grit and feel that happens at the extremes. Do you think that Oprah Winfrey, Mia Hamm or Hilary Clinton are living a balanced life? I feel like the only one that is holding us back is ourselves. And the truth is that I am scared all the time, of everything – but the point is that you go for it anyway. So quit trying to live a balanced life. Ask yourself this, “are you willing to go to the extremes”?
**The picture is from the book, The One Thing by Gary Keller. It is worth the read!