How to Achieve Balance? Establish Goals, Don’t Forsake Family and Shake Up Your Life

“You need to get a ‘t’ time,” says Dr. James T. Reese during the Monday working lunch General Session. “You say, ‘I don’t play golf.’ That’s not the ‘t’ I’m talking about ladies and gentlemen. Find time to take the ‘t’ off the word ‘can’t.’ ”

Reese — an internationally known author and trainer in stress management, leadership, workplace violence and motivation — says we can maintain balance in our work and families by centering on the most important things in our lives and aiming straight at them.

“I had a cop come into my office one year at that FBI Academy and he said, ‘I listened to your lecture on goal setting and balancing your work and your life. I’m 43 years of age. I’m not where I wanted to be.’ I said, ‘Where did you want to be at 43?’ ‘I’m not sure.’ ‘You made it.’ …

“Get up in the morning with a purpose. Have something to do. … But we tend to forget the balance. We start doing the things we enjoy but we forget about the people who enjoy us,” he says.

“We want to take a step backward and say how do we measure balance? You measure it with satisfaction both in yourself and those who depend on you,” says Reese, a pioneer criminal profiler with the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit.

He says don’t be so dedicated to work that “you forget to focus on the appointment with your family because this is everything. You’re going to have sit back and relegate your priorities, and the next thing you know it will be just you and your job and everything will be gone.

“Balance is about knowing the things that are important to you and that matter. … Don’t let others control how you believe. That’s your real balance. That’s the root of it all. Other people will take you and spin you sideways. … Once you give up that control other people will play you like a banjo,” he says.

“How do you start thinking positive? By finding something good in your life and doing it. Or finding something you are bad at and getting better. The best defense against burnout when you get tired of burnout is personal growth. Learn something new and it will change your entire life,” Reese says.

He was coming back from NASA when he realized he was seated on the plane next to Thomas Stafford, the astronaut. Reese asked why he was reading a book on Portuguese art. “His answer? ‘Counter burnout. Because I don’t know anything about it.’ … Keep from staying down that same channel,” Reese says.

“Possibility thinking? If you could do, achieve, become, apply, learn, what are the possibilities? They are limitless. I was told in high school that I was borderline dyslexia and dyscalculia; I didn’t do math well. I decided that if you can’t read books, write them. So I’ve written like seven. Edited five textbooks,” he says.

“Don’t let anything stop you. … The path of least resistance is what makes men and rivers crooked.  Look at your goal and legitimately get to it. Goals are just dreams with headlines. That’s how you get your balance,” Reese says.

He said the best way to achieve and keep balance is to wake up with a good attitude and work on it all day long. How to do that?

  • Ignite yourself – GET EXCITED!
  • Think about your attitude.
  • Be grateful for something.
  • Believe in yourself.
  • Believe in what you do for a living.
  • Reinvent yourself if necessary.
  • You must CREATE a positive attitude.