Monday, 28 April 2008

Test, re-test and test again

Earlier posts in this blog have suggested that balancing is a difficult act, especially when it is applied to interpreting the complex commitments and priorities of work and life. In this post we'll leave aside the high-wire act (and the long fall to the ground associated with it) but it is worth re-asserting that the constant need to assess and re-assess in order to find balance is a short-term, inward looking activity that doesn't lend itself well to objectifying success and satisfaction any real distance into the future.

As suggested in previous posts, basing your work/life choices on a greater understanding of personal values, talents and goals offers the ability to analyse and plan without built-in opposition or conflict but, an important question to address in recap is: How do you know that you are on the right path?

The answer is of course different for each individual but the personalised building blocks of values, talents & goals allow you to frame an educated hypothesis and to test it going forward. Once you have a direction that withstands preliminary testing you can test it again and again and not just in theory, in practice as well.

Challenging the fusion hypothesis from another angle, you may well ask how the need to test and re-test can be any more productive than the endless search for balance? Aren't you just swamping yourself again in an endless cycle of frequent, time-sapping adjustments?

There is of course no escape from difficult decisions but the critical difference is that fusion allows you to look and test way into the future and your activity is far more illustrative as a result.

Using the medical profession as an example, if I want to become a doctor I need to get qualified. I am also helping myself if I get familiar with the practical issues around becoming a doctor (additional years at school, long-hours, low wages at first, the sight of blood and weight of expectation placed on my judgement). I can ask myself if these factors (and a host of others) make me more interested or put me off wanting to be a doctor. Even if I eventually decide against becoming a doctor, I have learned some important lessons that have a practical use in shaping my new career direction. Whatever I end up deciding, my new career-hypothesis is an even more educated one as a result of my findings.

Can you do the same if your focus is finding balance? The answer to that question is up for debate!

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