There is nothing more practical than good theory
It is easy to seek success and neglect our own physical and mental health. Many of us have been conditioned to believe that the only way to achieve our goals is to work hard, often at the expense of our physical and mental health. However, common sense and research suggests that a balanced life is essential for long-term success and happiness.
Drive to Survive
To succeed in today's competitive environment, we need to be driven and focused. We need to be willing to take risks, push ourselves out of our comfort zones, and work tirelessly towards our goals. However, this drive should not cost us our well-being. It is essential to find a balance between our work and our personal lives, to ensure that we can maintain our energy and enthusiasm for the long haul.
One way to achieve this balance is to set clear priorities and boundaries around our time and energy. We need to be mindful of our own limits and learn to say no when we are feeling overwhelmed. It is also important to take breaks when we need them, to recharge our batteries and come back to our work with renewed focus and energy.
Just Be Kind
While it is important to be driven and focused, it is equally important to be kind to ourselves. We need to recognize that we are human beings, not machines, and that we need time to rest and recharge. We will have the energy and resilience to face the hurdles of life if we do so.
One way to unwind and be kind to ourselves is to focus on activities outside of work that lead us to be fulfilled. This could be spending time with family and friends, pursuing a hobby or passion, or simply taking time to relax and recharge.
The Importance of Empathy
Another key component of a balanced life is empathy. Satya Nadella says that 'success comes from empathy". If empathy is the 'action to understanding and being aware (even vicariously) of the experience, feelings, and thoughts of others' [Merriam-Webster], then it is essential for building strong relationships and also creating a positive culture at work.
One way to develop empathy is to practice active listening. When we listen attentively to others, we show them that we value their thoughts and feelings. We can also put ourselves in their shoes and try to imagine how they might be feeling. By doing so, we can develop a deeper understanding of their experiences and perspectives.
The Power of Mindfulness
Finally, mindfulness is another powerful tool for achieving balance and well-being. Mindfulness helps us to be present and engaged where we are. Being mindful people helps us manage stress, reduce anxieties, and increase our overall sense of well-being.
One way to cultivate mindfulness is to practice meditation or other mindfulness exercises. These practices can help us to quiet our minds and focus our attention on the present moment. They can also help us to develop a greater sense of self-awareness and improve our ability to manage our thoughts and emotions.
In conclusion, a balanced life is essential for long-term success and happiness. By finding a balance between drive and self-care, we can achieve our goals while also maintaining our physical and mental well-being. By cultivating empathy and mindfulness, we can create a positive work culture, and build strong relationships with others. So, whether you prefer to "drive to survive" or "unwind to be kind," remember that a balanced life is within your reach.
Check out this FREE resource for meditation: www.uclahealth.org/programs/marc/free-guided-meditations/getting-started
Victor Padilla-Taylor is Director of Networks at the Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale. He was the 2021 recipient of the Linda Lorimer Award for Distinguished Service, conferred by Yale’s president on staff who have demonstrated their commitment to innovative thinking and the educational and research missions of the university. He also serves as board leader at Global Consortium for Entrepreneurship Centers, Long Wharf Theatre, Yale SOM Alumni Advisory Board, and Saint Thomas More Chapel and Center at Yale University. For his accomplishments as alumni volunteer, he received the 2023 Yale Alumni Leadership Award for his service and innovative leadership as nominated and selected by alumni relations staff members.
A global soul with MBA experience from GNAM schools around the world