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Showing posts from May, 2014

One Way to Gain Self-Knowledge

(Courtesy freedigitalphotos.net)
I have talked extensively on this blog about the importance of self-knowledge as a key to stress management and work-life balance. Knowing what makes you tick - priorities, principles, learning style, communication style, etc. - is tantamount to effectively caring for yourself when things get harried. But how does one go about figuring these things out if they are not obvious? In the midst of practicing your Realms of Balance when there is no ideal vacation or extended quiet time in sight, taking time to gain self-knowledge can be challenging.

In previous posts (here and here), I've recommended self-reflective activities such as mindfulness meditation, journaling, and dialogues with coworkers, but there are other tools out there. Recently, I was reminded of a good one that not everyone may be familiar with: the personality test!

Near the end of my senior year in high school, my dad (an MBA executive and ever the business manager) sat me down and h…

How to define balance? Some themes from the "experts"

Image: lovemyyoga.com (click for explanation of pose)
Lots of people write about balance. The January 2014 issue of Real Simple magazine was all about balance, so of course I had to read it (delayed a few months, checked out from the library). Here is a link to the Table of Contents for the issue. One article included some great quotes from people who have made the topic part of their life's work in some way. In their Life Lessons column, the editors asked, "What does balance mean to you?" There were some common themes:
Balance is a bit of a misnomer. Physically and temporally, the term "balance" has connotations that do not perfectly apply to the idea of work-life balance. When people think of balance, they often think of a fulcrum point - things on one side of the seesaw are up while the others are down. And these are seen as occurring in one point of time. However, as author Jeremy Adam Smith stated, "You can't look at one specific moment and determin…