At Opening Gates we contend that the concept of work-life balance in its purest form is not a sustainable state of being, yet so many people embark on a constant and frenetic search for it. A futile search that will leave you with a sense of failure, and with feelings of guilt and stress.
Getting the most out of life requires an intentional mindset and the ability to harness the power of Intentional Imbalance.
The name, Intentional Imbalance, suggests that there is intention and that there may not be balance. That is exactly how it is. It is all about optimising your time by spending it in an intentional way – in a way that you intend for a particular period of time – a way that enables you to live the life you aspire to.
It takes the sense of failure, guilt and stress out of the equation because the imbalance is intentional – you are on purpose, you are moving ahead as planned and the bigger picture is unfolding as you intended it would. You are no longer running blind – you can see how today sets the foundation for your future.
An important part of the solution is to become more flexible and innovative in the way we design our businesses, our workplaces, and our jobs – yet it is so much more than that.
Sometimes it is easier to understand a new concept by considering what it is and what it isn’t.
Intentional Imbalance IS NOT:
- Work-life balance;
- A simple easy fix or a magic wand moment;
- A one size fits all solution;
- About lowering your expectations in life;
- About embracing stress as a constant;
- About ‘slacking at work’;
- About working longer and harder without reward;
- About giving up and accepting one’s lot;
- Only about money; and
- About what someone else wants for or expects of you.
Intentional Imbalance IS:
- A way of life;
- A whole of life story – not just about work;
- About family, community, learning, spirituality, health, wealth, and work
- Having a plan for your life which includes work;
- Taking back control;
- Setting intentions and time frames;
- Choosing who will (and will not) influence you;
- Knowing your value and embracing it;
- Not settling for less;
- Being flexible and creative;
- Being clear on your bigger picture and how each decision impacts it;
- Understanding what is negotiable and what is not;
- Being prepared to change your mindset – to let beliefs that no longer serve you go; and
- Believing that you can live the life you aspire to.
INTENTIONAL IMBALANCE AND BUSINESS
Now that you know what Intentional Imbalance IS and what it ISN’T, here is a practical example of how Intentional Imbalance plays out for a business owner.
Business clients, Matt and Jen*, have embraced Intentional Imbalance. After working through the LIFE by DESIGN Program, they identified as part of their life plan that their philanthropic work in Asia was really important to them. They set an intention to carry out this philanthropic work several times a year. Their challenge was, every time they left their business to focus on the philanthropic work, the business floundered. As a result, the business wasn’t as profitable as they needed it to be. It wasn’t going to fund their wealth plan, which enabled their philanthropic work to continue. This understandably drained their energy and enthusiasm for the business.
Matt and Jen identified that the business in its current form would not allow them to harness Intentional Imbalance – to enable them to spend their time as they wished. As a result, we began the process of redesigning the business using the BUSINESS by DESIGN Program. Together we went about re-engineering the business – looking at systems and structure, their team, culture, leadership, productivity, profit plans and leadership – all the while very much aware of the intentions Matt and Jen had planned for their lives, and in particular their philanthropic work. Matt and Jen’s attitude to the business shifted significantly from being a burden to being an enabler – it now enabled them to live the life they had planned.
The bonus in this process was the renewed positive energy that Matt and Jen now brought into the business – it flowed through to the team and their customers. The compounding effect of energy, design, and intention is core to the success of Matt and Jen’s story.
By the way, during their last trip to Asia, the business performed at record levels – without Matt and Jen being there!
(*Their names have been changed to protect their anonymity)
To read more about Intentional Imbalance