How do you get into the zone with ease and consistency – and maintain it? The short answer is balance. Think of when you have been in the zone. Likely, it was a time when you had the physical health and clarity of mind to address problems and resolve them.

The challenge is to avoid the unfortunate mental trap of always trying to be balanced. It is unrealistic and impossible to always be balanced. Inevitably, this utopian wish sets the individual off on a kind of quixotic crusade which ends up producing the exact opposite of what is intended. Instead of being in the flow, the individual finds they end up overwhelmed, frustrated and increasingly out of the zone. People end up getting stressed out about trying be balanced.

What I recommended in last month’s column is that you play what we call “The Game” to achieve more balance in your life in a realistic way.

Let me ask you a ridiculous question. If the game you were playing were baseball, would you really expect to bat 1,000? No. You would know that the point is to get up to bat and be as consistent as possible in striving for batting 1,000, but you would not leave the game just because you didn’t.

This may sound silly, but how many people end up leaving their field early or altogether because they could not achieve balance? In the last article, I challenged you to answer the question “on a scale of 1-10, how balanced is my life?”

This time, I want to take the process even deeper by having you examine and rate each day on a scale of 1 to 10. The trick here is to do this every day for 30 days and begin to examine when you seem to be most balanced in the day, the week and the month. Take a look at what are the people, places, things, activities and information that tend to provide you with more perspective and more balance.

When I share with people that I get up often at 3 or 4 a.m., they look at me like I must be out of my mind. At the same time, I have found a real kernel of truth in the old adage “early to bed, early to rise, makes a person healthy, wealthy and wise.”

For me I find that my best energy flow is in the early morning. But the reality is that by noon I am pretty worthless. So why not start my day early, do my most challenging activities in the “sweet spot” of my day, when my mind tends to be most balanced?

As I look at my daily diet I can begin to see what foods tend to leave my mind in a productive and balanced state and what foods – or even times of day that I am eating – lead to a depleted or less than optimal state.

If you are starting to think that true balance is an art and not a science, you definitely understand what I have discovered about myself. In a sense we could describe a lack of balance as a state of stress.

Our goal is to reach a level of balance that gives you an ability to not just get in the zone, but to maintain that very special state where much of what we want to accomplish occurs almost effortlessly.

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