Learning specialist Bobbi DePorter, has lived the 8 Keys for more than 25 years. They are principles of behavior that inspire people to try great things—and succeed. These Keys have the power to constantly propel you forward and to help bring purpose, meaning and fulfillment to your life and your work. The first key is balance - living a fulfilled life by aligning your mind, body and spirit.
You create balance in your life by apportioning your time according to your highest priorities. What are the things that are most important to you? Family, friends, health, a talent you have, a cause you care about? Spending time on the things that are important to you brings a sense of balance. Staying in balance is an ongoing process that is affected by the choices you make every day.
It brings a feeling of quiet peace you might not even notice. Balance is a subtle, quiet Key Balance is subtle. You may not always recognize it when it's there, but you'll feel its absence. Imbalance clanks loudly, like an out-of-tune piano. When you're out of balance, you know it.
Keeping your balance is about bringing your life into alignment, recognizing when some part of your life doesn't reflect your priorities, and rearranging your life in a way that creates an ongoing sense of peace and fulfillment. When you're able to make time for what matters in your life, your life will be in balance, you will feel fulfilled, and you won't be plagued with a nagging sensation that some aspect of life is passing you by. When she was in the process of developing the 8 Keys, Bobbi first tried to bring balance to her life by devoting equal time and energy to all the important aspects of her life. She made a pie chart and devoted equal slices to work, home, family, friends, charitable organizations, and so forth, and then set about trying to apportion her time to match the chart. No matter how hard she tried to do strike a balance in her life that way, no matter how close she got to that goal, something still felt out of whack. Eventually, she came to realize that it wasn't a matter of rigidly devoting equal time to everything that mattered to her, but of prioritizing and then finding the allotment of time and energy that created the greatest sense of fulfillment.
That's balance. How to know when you're out of balance You may not recognize that you're out of balance unless you take the time to step back and look at your life from a different perspective. And remember that the times we're most in need of a new perspective are often the times when it's most difficult to take that break. 1. Take a time-out—especially when you think you can least afford it Sometimes when you're going too fast in one or more areas of your life, you just have to call a time-out, just like a basketball coach whose team seems out of sync.
Take your time out to do something fun and relaxing and make sure it's a long enough break that it gives you a chance to evaluate how you're spending your time and if aspects of your life might be out of balance. Balance has little to do with the amount of time you spend in any area of your life. When you're focused and excited about something, you can spend mega hours at it and feel fulfilled and balanced. So, don't worry about whether you're spending too much time at something. The secret to balance lies not in an allotment of time but in an awareness of your priorities.
2. Check your priorities daily When you're driving a car, you're making constant small corrections. You're steering, adjusting the gas, and braking almost automatically, but you are paying attention and constantly making corrections to accommodate changing situations along your route. Keeping your life in balance requires the same kind of ongoing correction process. Balance is about choices.
When you're keeping yourself in balance you're making a thousand internal corrections each day. You're constantly asking yourself, What do I value? What's really important? Does this activity really need to be done now? No matter how good you become at it, you won't be in balance every moment of every day. Tune in to the signals your mind, spirit, and body send that warn you when you're slipping out of balance. Compensate sooner rather than later. The quicker you realign yourself, the smaller the "wobble" you'll have to correct.
The balance that comes from fulfillment acts as a lens. It clears the view to your dream. Balance and the big picture are self-reinforcing energies. Stay balanced, and you'll be able to keep the big picture in sight—stay focused on the big picture, and you'll see clearly the choices that will keep your balance. Fulfillment creates balance—and balance creates fulfillment. Make choices that are consistent with what makes you feel fulfilled.
Use this Balance affirmation often: I give to the things that are important to me the amount of time that creates the greatest sense of fulfillment. "The antidote to exhaustion is wholeheartedness. It's the things you do half-heartedly that really wear you out." —David Whyte.
At SuperCamp, the learning and life skills summer camps for students in grades 4 through 12, kids learn about the 8 Keys of Excellence. Parents, go to http://www.SuperCamp.com now to learn about enrolling your son or daughter while space remains. Age-specific programs are available for students in grades 4-12 and incoming college freshmen. At the website, you also can get a free eBook that gives you an inside look at what works with teens.