Posts Tagged ‘balance’

How to stay centered

Chiemseemorgen I

In the classic 1944 mystery film Laura, the detective was constantly fidgeting with one of those games where you try to get a bead into a hole. He seemed to do it as much to annoy the suspects as to center himself. I love those games. The only problem is that once you get the bead in place, even the slightest movement sends it rolling off in all directions again.

Hate to admit it, but for the last few months I’ve been a lot like those beads … unable to hold center. I’ll roll aimlessly around the board trying to regroup, find my way back for a day or two, then suddenly get jarred loose and start rolling again.

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Quotes on emotional needs

Clouds Give Dramatic Backdrop to Russian Space Station Mir, from Space Shuttle Atlantis

Have you ever taken a trip thinking you’d planned everything perfectly only to discover you’d forgotten something critical, such as reservations or directions? In a way, that’s what happened to Dr. Norman E. Thagard.

 

It was the summer of 1995, and in the 34 years since the Soviets first blasted off Yuri Gagarin, more than 300 American and Russian astronauts had totaled 38 years in space. Finally, the two Super Powers had arranged for their space travelers to spend some quality time together. Thagard would join two Russians for four months aboard the space station Mir. It would be the longest space trip ever undertaken by an American.

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Is your life off-balance?

Seesaw in Children's Playground, Vermont

As a small child, I was so afraid of heights I was scared to go up on a teeter-totter. So I only got on with children much smaller than I was. That way I could control the experience, keeping myself in the middle and bottom ranges and sending the other kids soaring to the top. Naturally, they were thrilled with the view from on high. The view from the bottom wasn’t so great, but at least it didn’t come with a panic attack.

The other day, I realized I’m back on the teeter-totter, sitting at the bottom and hating the sucky view. Only this time, I don’t have the same level of control. That’s because the teeter-totter is my life, and I’ve somehow seesawed out of balance, becoming focused on work to the exclusion of almost everything else—including my health and well-being.

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Keep burnout at bay

Candles Burn in a Church Courtyard During Corpus Christi

No wonder our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents talk so longingly about how much more relaxed life seemed in their youth. A quick Internet search reveals the term burnout didn’t go mainstream until about 1980. That’s when headlines suddenly began warning that health professionals, office workers, parents, priests, ministers, teachers, perfectionists, coaches, air-traffic controllers, child stars, and holiday celebrants were in danger of incinerating. Burnout, the papers proclaimed, was pandemic. People were even burned out on talking about burnout.

Three decades later things have gotten worse. A recent survey of British human-resource execs by Capital Learning and Development finds that two-thirds are worried about their employees burning out from added responsibilities following recession-based layoffs. And the outsourcing provider found more than half those HR execs are concerned extra duties have kept employees from learning new technologies. Their skills are becoming obsolete, which could impede them from fully exploiting any economic recovery.

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