On Life Balance

Build your relationships first….then your dentistry. ~ Bob Barkley

On Life Balance

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Imagine your life as a metaphorical four burner gas stove top, with each burner representing a major quadrant of your life, and those quadrants being :

FAMILY CAREER

HEALTH FRIENDS

This thought experiment is called “The Four Burner’s Theory”, and is somewhat similar to the “Cross of Life” that L.D. Pankey taught us.

Both concepts imply that the pursuit of “life balance” is a process, not an event, and that they actually represent a series of values-driven decisions leading us toward a preferred future.

Obviously, there are many times in life, by choice or circumstance, when we are severely out of balance.

Dental school – imbalance
Young children – imbalance
Starting a practice – imbalance

And so forth…

In fact, The Four Burners Theory says that to be successful in business we need to initially “turn down” two burners to establish an initial beachhead.

But frankly, we don’t like to hear that message. Rather, we want to hear that we can “have it all” – and soon. This impatient, short-term mind-set has now permeated our culture, even to the point where many think that somehow “having it all” is their birthright.

But viewing life balance as a birthright is quite problematic, because it can never be fully realized, and because of that, it is easy to start feeling victimized.

And victims don’t act, they blame-shift, they sulk, they over-think, and they FAIL TO ACT IN ANY VALUES-DRIVEN FASHION.

A much more realistic way to view things is that life is full of “seasons”, around which we need to both be aware and act appropriately.

A great homage to this life truth was sung by legendary band, The Byrds*:

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven
A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep
To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven
A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together
To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven
A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time…

Know yourself. Know your season. Act thoughtfully. Live joyfully.

Paul A Henny DDS

*Largely adopted from Ecclesiastes 3 of the Bible.

Thought Experiments LLC, ©2016

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