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Giving yourself a "real" edge.

It's an interesting concept, really--does creating an edge for myself mean working my butt off so I don't have anything else in my life? Does it mean that I spend so much time engulfed in my work that I forget about family? Does it mean striving for perfection?

I don't think so. I think I create an edge for myself by striving for and maintaining balance. I have three main areas of my life--family, work and playtime. All three are important to me, and I find that when one of them gets out of whack, I feel disconnected. Oh, I admit that I sometimes have to peel myself from the computer when I'm working on a project--and that, sometimes, I don't pay enough attention to my family (did I just admit that?) But, I think having an edge also means I recognize when my life gets skewed--it's one thing to know that I'm out of balance, and it's another to do something about it!

A LIFE OUT OF BALANCE

I always chuckle when someone tells me they're a 'perfectionist'. They don't realize that it's a signal cuing them that their life is out of balance and that they're focusing on something that simply isn't possible. And, perhaps more interesting, when I hear the 'I'm a perfectionist' phrase, it seems to be said with a great deal of pride. Really? Why? Expecting perfection, whether it's for myself or someone else, just doesn't make any sense--it's not an attainable goal. And creating and attaining reasonable goals is a great way to maintain balance in my life--and, by doing the same, you can achieve a balance that works for you.

IT'S A GREAT WAY TO GIVE YOURSELF AN EDGE!

As a motivational speaker and conflict resolution facilitator, I have an opportunity to work with individuals every day--I hear their stories, recognize their challenges in life and I offer solutions. So much of my practice is helping people to achieve and maintain life balance--which translates into creating and maintaining an edge in life--they truly are one and the same.

If you're encroaching on middle age or you're already there, you may notice that you have to write things down in order to jog your memory--me too. But there's another 'plus' to writing down your list of 'things to do'--it serves to keep you on track. And, once you're on track, you'll find that you get more done and with far less pressure. You begin to achieve balance. Let's face it--checking items off one by one is a great feeling of accomplishment--there are many days that I have up to 15 or 20 items on my to do list and I only check off three or four. But I don't dwell on the fact that I had 20 when I started ... I focus on what I accomplished. The 'undone' items will be there the next day and before you know it, you have all of them scratched off your list.

FEELING DISCOMBOBULATED? TRY THIS.

So, if you're feeling a little discombobulated or you're feeling slightly out of control, try these two things: don't fall prey to unreasonable expectations (perfection) and organize your day by writing down what you need to accomplish. I think you'll find that some of your stress will melt away--and, less stress means giving yourself an edge!

I know it sounds simple. It is simple. It's amazing to me that one tiny, little effort will be such a catalyst for balance in my daily routine.

And, you know what?

I like having that edge!

I think you will, too ...

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Faith Wood, Facilitator and Communication Trainer, has over two decades of experience dealing with conflict. Her 14 years as a Canadian peace officer coupled with a Master's Degree in Neurolinguistic Psychology, plus years of coaching and mentoring, offers a unique understanding of conflict situations. Article courtesy of Troy Media.
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Title Annotation:EXPERT ADVICE
Author:Wood, Faith
Publication:Canadian Manager
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Sep 22, 2011
Words:648
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