Friday, March 07, 2008

Balancing Your Plate

Do you have a lot on your plate? Most of us do. There are times in our lives when we are overwhelmed, exhausted or even discouraged by all that we have to do. In this newsletter, I want us to take a look at your plate... not only what is on top of it, but what it is supporting it.

Your plate is usually full of all the things you have to do and all of the roles you have to play. If you look at it from above it may look like this...

Here, the green ball may represent the tasks and role of your job or business. The blue ball may represent your health and workout regimen. The red ball may represent your community activities. You get the picture, right? You have all these balls balancing on your plate every single day. Sometimes, one of them will roll close to the edge and you'll have to drop what you're doing to pay attention to it and bring it back to the center of the plate. But, while you're doing that, another ball starts to roll off the edge. Does that sound familiar?

We all know that focusing on keeping the balls on our plate is important, but how would it feel if we could bring our plate more into balance? What if it wasn't consistently leaning to one side or the other? What if we were to look at what is holding up your plate and could somehow steady your plate?Wouldn't a level, balanced plate make balancing everything on it much easier?

It's not what's on your plate, but what's under it

The main supports of your plate are your values and value judgments. Your values determine your choices. Your choices determine your actions. Your actions determine your results (which balls are firmly on your plate and which ones are teetering on the edge.) So, what determines your values? Quite simply, your thoughts.

As the science of axiology has uncovered, there are 3 classes of value into which every one of your thoughts fall.

There is SYSTEMIC value... conceptual or theoretical value. Constructs of the mind, expectations and ideas fall into this class of value. The value of perfection, black and white thinking; consistency, order, conformity; authority; anything that is part of a system - all fall under the systemic class of value.

There is the EXTRINSIC value class... practical or situational value. These are material values or concrete things. You can compare these things as in good, better or best. They have functional and material value. Your tasks and roles, what you do - all fall under the extrinsic class of value.

Then, there is INTRINSIC value... personal or spiritual value. These are the infinite, irreplaceable, worth of individuals. The immeasurable value of the unique and one-of-a-kind. Your own being, timeless principles like wisdom and integrity fall into the intrinsic value class.

In order to keep your plate balanced, your thoughts in each of these value classes must be balanced. What does that mean? {Click here to read the rest of the newsletter.}