The Six “F”s for a ‘Sort of’ Balanced Life
The other day I was speaking with a coaching partner about how to ‘balance’ our lives. Is that ever an elusive pursuit, but one pursuing nevertheless. I shared with him the 6 F’s for a balanced life. Years ago I was introduced to the Six F’s, a great framework for thinking about various categories in our lives. And a great way to juggle one’s life.
The Six are in no particular order Faith, Family, Friends, Finance, Fitness and Fun and any other F you want to add.
Today it’s popular to talk about ‘spirituality’. That’s great. My preference is to think about my faith, the part of me called my soul that connects with ultimate reality, and for me that ultimate reality is “God”. A personal God at that, and a Father, with a mother’s heart. I nurture my faith as a priority because everyday I need to be reminded that my soul matters to Someone, and that I am that Someone’s beloved, cherished child. So I make time every day in my schedule to nourish my faith.
This part is all about my marriage and now adult children and grandchildren. I could say so much about this but suffice it to say that i believe the quality of my life rises and falls on the quality of my family relationships. So I make sure to invest in my marriage with regular check in’s with my bride of 36 plus years, plus special scheduled weekends away, and annual vacations alone.
With my adult ‘kids’, I make sure to ask them where dad can connect with them and their kids, and how dad can best be part of their lives without imposing my passion for them on them.
So much of our lives is consumed with making money. Over the years my wife and I have worked hard to have margin financially as with other areas of our lives. We continue to practice the fundamentals of saving as much as we can, giving as much as we can, and spending as little as we can. We also make sure that we put enough away so that we are not presumptuous about the future, thinking there will be someone out there to take care of us. Good luck with that.
As the years go by this is an area I pay close attention to. Who are my real friends? Who are the people who I can count on and who can count on me? In a pinch, who would be my ‘go to’ buds? I’m glad my wife and I have a few of these that we know we can depend on, and I trust they know they can count on us too.
Proverbs 18:24 says, Friends come and friends go,
but a true friend sticks by you like family.
How true is that piece of ancient scripture!
There is so much written on this today, and so many opportunities to get ‘fit’ and stay fit. I have no trouble working out. This is the easiest for me to schedule although I still find it challenging to do consistently with age. My fitness regime is one of swimming twice a week by doing 60-70 lengths in olympic size pool, plus running/walking twice a week for 50-60 minutes, and two days in the gym on weights and machines. My wife says I am a ‘bull’. Not really but I love having this routine and it provides a strong physical foundation for the many life and work related tasks I take on.
This one I have to work on. I enjoy reading and watching movies and films, but am ‘light’ on hobbies. I don’t know if I ever will have a hobby but I continue to include fun in my life because I know I need it.
I have found the following rendition of the Lord’s prayer a wonderful ‘soul’ tonic for days when I am feeling out of balance. I call this psalm or prayer the psalm for ‘out of balance’ people.
Psalm 23 for Busy People
The Lord is my Pace Setter, I shall not rush,
He makes me stop and rest for quiet intervals,
He provides me with images of stillness,
Which restore my serenity.
He leads me in ways of efficiency,
through calmness of mind; and his guidance is peace.
Even though I have a great many things to accomplish each day,
I will not fret, for his presence is here.
His timelessness, his all-importance will keep me in balance.
He prepares refreshment and renewal in the midst of my activity,
by anointing my head with his oils of tranquility,
My cup of joyous energy overflows.
Surely harmony and effectiveness shall be the fruit of my hours,
For I shall walk in the pace of my Lord,