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May 15th, 2015

Dynamic Balance in a Busy Life

By Addie K Martin

This year I’m embarking on a career shift. While I’ll continue writing, I’m transitioning away from the food and culture writing I’ve focused on for the last few years and shifting toward personal development writing and coaching. This change has not been an easy one, and it’s required ongoing adjustments and shifts in my habits as well as my mindsets. This is where practicing dynamic balance comes into play.

Addie-K-Martin-May-Blog-EWWhen I view my evolution via the dynamic balance lens I see how it takes all four of the asset types being in alignment to make this possible. However, I cannot give equal priority to each at any given time. To hold all in equal esteem, at all times, would be detrimental. To attempt to hold them all in a static balance state would result in none of the cups ever being as full as they could be. What’s more effective is for me to practice the concept of dynamic balance with my asset areas.

Instead of trying to hold on to everything in a static state, I focus on what’s most important at a given time. In the example of my career pivot, I’ve spent the majority of this year working on beefing up my Experience Assets. I’m in a nine month coaching training program that will increase my education in the personal development field. This program has also allowed me to meet new contacts and expand my network. Right now the Experience Asset quadrant is front and center in my life, most of the time.

However, when it’s the weekend, and I have time off, I put aside my Experience Assets, as they relate to my work, and focus more on my Core Assets. I spend time with my family and my husband having new experiences and creating new traditions and memories. Last month I wrote about how my nephew came to visit, and we went to the park to have an adventure. Playing in the park is one of our favorite past times. Each time we meet up, we engage in that same ritual to further solidify our bond and create lasting memories. When I take the time to put family first, above work, it increases my overall happiness and well-being. I also enjoy using the time to photograph my neighborhood and the gorgeous sunsets we experience over Bayou St. John. For me, weekends are the time to work on my Core Assets and to refill that particular cup. Generally, it’s quite likely needed, since I spend so much time during the week focused on Experience and Financial Assets.

Speaking of Financial Assets, for me, they’re omnipresent. As I write and gain experience in my new field of personal development, I’m earning money that allows me to fund my lifestyle and the things I do in my Core Asset and Contribution Asset categories. Not only that, but when I work and earn money, I’m increasing my retirement fund and growing my business so that I can ensure that I have an ongoing, sustainable income-generating mechanism. However, there’s a time and place to focus on these things. Instead of worrying about money all the time, I set aside time in my schedule each month to work on my income projections and my savings plans. I take time regularly to evaluate my business and its progress. Taking the time to put my Financial Assets front and center for a designated amount of time each month ensures that I can focus on my other three asset buckets outside of that time.

Finally, because I make deliberate and specific time for each of the other three asset buckets, that leaves ample time and money for me to work on my Contribution Assets. For me, this mainly comes in the form of financial and time contributions to our local food bank. Because I practice dynamic balance with my asset categories, I’m able to carve out time for my recipe development work with the food bank. I’m able to contribute financially to the cause as well because I pay attention to my Financial Assets and budget the money for such donations.

While my shift toward personal development writing has been a challenging transition for me, I’ve been able to keep it manageable by applying the dynamic balance concept. Giving each of my asset buckets time and attention in my life, at different times, has allowed me to leverage each to its fullest. By not trying to do everything all the time, I ensure that I’m able to devote specific time, energy, and effort to each. Some people believe balance is overrated. I’ve discovered that it’s essential and necessary for a happy and enriching life.

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