By Tej N Dhar
Become a Life Balance Master, Ric Giardina, Macmillan Publishers, Pp. 183 (PB), Rs 245.00
In his first book, Your Authentic Self: Be Yourself at Work Ric Giardina aimed to help people to balance the rigours of highly competitive workplace with the development of their personal selves. In Become a Life Balance Master, the Indian reprint of his second book that was published in the US in 2003, he furthers this by helping readers to take control of their lives and to balance them on a vision that they believe will work for them. For this, they need to possess personal characteristics: these include attention, intention, intuition, creativity, articulation, action, discipline, integrity, and patience.
Giardina states that balance is universal; it can be seen in nature, in stars and planets, and works even at atomic and molecular levels. Unfortunately, most of the time, it is missing in our lives, and is reflected in the rising levels of stress that adversely affects our physiological and psychological health. This can be remedied by working out balance in our lives, which keeps changing, and has to be in tune with what we think we are. It has also to be backed by the belief that our life is ours and has to be shaped by us. Though we often claim that our life is shaped by our free will, in effect it is shaped by our unconscious habits. This existing habit cycle has to be replaced by habit creation cycle, in which we do things because of a sense of awareness that these are good for us. Translated in terms of what Giardina calls “consciousness hierarchy,” it means we replace unconscious competence by conscious incompetence.
Creating a life balance implies that of our own free will we choose to perform activities that we find suitable for us, and the categories could include community contribution, family and friends, fun and frolic, health and fitness, money and finances, personal/spiritual growth, work and career, and projects and hobbies. For this, we need to know where we are now and how we can move to the level that we desire. This implies changing the current life balance by a future one, and answering vital questions like: What am I going to do? How am I going to do? What are the things that I need to handle? For this, we need a time bound programme, a properly identified support system, and a rigorous monitoring system.
Giardina also provides details about the factorial system that can ensure the desired balance that we seek and help us locate deviations that need to be attended to. He lucidly explains the activities involved—meditate, act, socialise, train, ethos, reflect, Sabbath—to help us evolve a scorecard by which we can measure our life balance on a weekly basis, so that we can know where we are heading and make the desired corrections as we move ahead.
Becoming a Life Balance Master is a well written book that is meant to help us to make our lives peaceful and purposeful. It also provides a step by step method to make that happen.
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