We are frequently encouraged to find balance in the modern world. A quick check of the language we use shows an emphasis on the concept of balance and how important it is in all aspects of our lives. Phrases such as those below are common place.

…need to get the balance right

…we need to strike a balance between the two

…a balanced approach

…fair and balanced

…checks and balances

…hang in the balance

…redress the balance

We are also encouraged to find a good work life balance to look after our health and wellbeing along with eating a balanced diet. All noble concepts but difficult to define, let alone agree on. How do you measure when you have achieved the elusive balance? Does balance bring with it, success or a better life? Is finding balance worth the pursuit?

A dictionary check gives the definition of balance used as a noun as “a situation in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions”. And as a verb… “offset or compare the value of (one thing) with another”.

So what are the “correct proportions”? Who decides?

A quick google search reveals a wide selection of suggestions.

From the serious…

The word “happiness” would lose its meaning if it were nor balanced by sadness. Carl Jung

Life is a balance of holding on and letting go. Rumi the 13th-century Persian Sunni Muslim poet.

Life is a balance between what we can control and what we cannot. I am learning to live between effort and surrender.  Danielle Orner. Writer, Actor, Yoga instructor

To the practical…

Balance is not something you find; it is something you create. Jane Kingsford

Balance is not better time management, but better boundary management. Balance means making choices and enjoying those choices. Anonymous.

The key to keeping your balance is knowing when you have lost it. Unknown

Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life. Dolly Parton.

Even Dr Seuss has a view…

Step with care and great tact. And remember that life is a great balancing act.


Some don’t like balance.

I don’t like balance. Balance is not a word you can use in Versace fashion. Donatella Versace

Some take a more humourous view…

Some days you eat salads and go to the gym. Some days you eat cupcakes and refuse to put on pants…it’s called balance.

So can you achieve the holy grail of balance and is it worth pursuing? I believe we need to decide for ourselves. No-one else has your answers.

However these 2 quotes are worth consideration.

If I had to embrace a definition of success, it would be that success is making the best choices we can…and accepting them. Sheryl Sandberg.

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you need to keep moving. Albert Einstein


Author: Chris Sully

Chris is based in our Alexandria office.