Sometimes the demands of one part of our life, work or family, consume us. Sometimes because of a crisis, sometimes because of a spike in workload or children’s sports or…, sometimes just because we become consumed.

These days, mobile devices link us 24/7 to the office, our bosses, our employees and coworkers. We are, as I heard it said recently, living in time poverty. It may be necessary, now more than ever, to pause, regroup and allow ourselves to do something counterintuitive; listen to music, go sailing, jogging, practice yoga, make pottery or simply go for a walk.

Why counterintuitive? Because our responsible self says, stay with it, do the work, finish the project, take care of the sick loved one, etc. We tell ourselves its selfish to do something for ourselves “at a time like this”.

If we think of our lives as a three legged stool….when one leg is gone, it won’t balance and falls over. We can’t take the pressures of work and family and go back and forth between them alone….that’s where the third leg, a completely different activity that is our individual interest alone, comes in.

At the height of World War 2 when the pressures were immense, President Roosevelt would escape to his stamp collection for an hour or so, doing something completely different. General George Marshall would ride horseback many mornings to relieve the pressures of his job of building and leading an Army of 8 million men and women.

Think about it—

  • What is your third stool leg to balance your life?
  • How often are you trying to balance on only 2 legs?
  • How might you feel if all three legs were grounded on most days?

Why Vistage Works

Elisa K. Spain

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