9 Ways High Achievers Can Realize Optimum Life Balance

9 Ways High Achievers Can Realize Optimum Life Balance

By Sheri Riley

The Power of Thought - NARA - 534178

Life’s true tragedy is that, when someone dies, the misfortune is not only the death itself but also the untapped potential and unrealized dreams that die with them. This “compounded loss” happens more often than not.  Far too many of us spend 100% of our time on only 10% of who we are today, and can be tomorrow.

“According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many of us work eight hours per day, commute for at least one hour per day, spend at least two hours eating, watch TV for five hours each day and spend nearly two hours a day using a computer for leisure activity, such as online games, research or social media,” Riley notes. “That’s nearly 18 hours, which doesn’t even include the multiple hours needed for our evening slumber. Clearly, we spend more time on what we aren’t than we do on who and what we are…and want to be.”

For high achievers in particular, there isn’t a problem understanding HOW to get things done but rather there are challenges balancing it all.  So many successful people spend the majority of their time on one area of their life where they excel, but perpetually feel unfulfilled.

With this in mind, Riley offers these 9 methods to help high achievers tap into the other 90% of “who they are,” beyond “what they do,” and realize greater life balance, joy and fulfillment in kind:

Method 1: Healthy Living is about More Than Diet!

There is more to life than the race to achieve more money or a fancy job title.  And, there is more to living healthfully than what food you ingest or what physical exercises you do.

Other lifestyle decisions, such as those related to marriage, parenting, and friendships, all factor into one’s healthy sense of self.

Healthy living requires being true to yourself and being truly “present” when you’re with loved ones.  Healthy living is also a frame of mind.

If your thoughts are self-destructive, this negativity will manifest itself in your body through stress, anxiety and other adverse physical conditions, and can undermine your personal and professional relationships with others.

Method 2:  Peace and a Positive Mind – Your Defender in the Face of Distractions

what area do u need to target wrapsCultivating and maintaining a peaceful life must be a goal of paramount importance.  Distractions and life’s distresses both small and large will pull you away from this goal each and every time you allow it.

Your thoughts are the training ground and spring board for your overall disposition and perspective on life.  Many accomplished people never pause to revel in or acknowledge their success.  They are constantly striving for what’s next.

While not entirely a bad thing, when your desire to achieve becomes bigger than your desire to BE, your existence will be likened to a hamster running in an endless circle, never at peace and never at a point of rest.

Method 3:  The Importance of Having a Giving Heart and Spirit

Most know that giving back to society and those in need is one of the most meaningful activities we can engage in.  In fact, many very successful people believe that giving is directly tied to their continued success.

Having a giving heart and spirit not only creates more opportunities for you to provide for others, but doing so allows more opportunities for your continued success to manifest in your life, and others: what impacts one impacts us all.

Achievement and accomplishments come from the work of our hands and minds, but true success and fulfillment comes from giving of the heart.

Not just donating your time through charitable work or financial donations, but also allocating precious time to family and friends.  Being present and accessible to loved ones is the ultimate gift for others…and yourself.

Method 4: Live in Your P.O.W.E.R ™

High achievers should strive to tap into their personal P.O.W.E.R., which is Perspective, Ownership, Wisdom, Engagement, and Reward. Perspective cultivates recognition of what is draining your life and what is enriching your life.

This leads to Ownership of your relationship with yourself and with others.  It allows you to establish your personal boundaries and define what and where you are to give of yourself and your time.  This understanding of your own truth is a major component of Wisdom, which is gained from how you implement your life experiences into your life and evolve your thinking and decisions through expanding your knowledge and good judgment.  This enlightenment brings consistent Engagement in the quality of your life.

Your desire, energy, and personal encouragement will motivate you to commit yourself to stop spending 100% of your time on 10% of who you are – this is your Reward

Method 5:  Stop Working So You Can Maximize your Opportunities

When you are constantly working, you seldom recognize your achievements.  Without taking these moments to recognize your accomplishments, you are constantly stretching for what’s next and never appreciating and enjoying what you have completed.

This cycle often leads to burn out, health issues, personal relationship issues, and low self esteem.  And, many times, it does not have a clearly defined end of moment of victory.  When you change your mindset from working to maximizing opportunities, you reposition your thought process and how you approach your life.

You are able to separate and segment your work from other areas of your life because maximizing the opportunity has a beginning and an end.  You are quicker to recognize when to end or remove your self because you understand what you are spending your time on is meant to be an opportunity not a burden you spend time on with out benefit or value.

Method 6: Happy is a Choice; Contentment and Joy are Lifestyles

One of the definitions of the word overwhelmed is “to give too much of a thing.”  When you truly desire to live a life that is fulfilled in all areas, you are destined to have more to do than you have the time, energy, and ability or help to accomplish or complete.

The feeling of being overwhelmed is when you have what you need and are overflowing with what you want.  When you have so much success, opportunity, potential, clients, projects, options, prosperity that you can’t “handle” or manage everything, your reaction is that you are overwhelmed.  So what about those times when you’re overwhelmed with challenges, struggles, health issues, and other life concerns?

Know the plan for your life is perfect and the struggles are never to defeat you but to make you stronger and uncover your true power.  Surrender and find peace living in the overflow, joy and abundance of being overwhelmed.

Method 7:  Building Lasting Confidence

Believe it or not, whatever you want is available to you if you have the confidence and belief that you can have what you want and that you deserve it. This does not mean confidence in our degrees, our knowledge, job titles, position, social status, etc.

Instead, it is about having a pure and honest confidence in the person you are. Many successful people have achieved career success through their fear of failure.  And while such fear can be a powerful and effective motivator, it can also limit your sense of accomplishment and impede growth in other areas of your life.  For many high achievers, confidence is built on external validations like applause, accolades, wins, or promotions.  And their ensuring quest to feel this rush keeps them from being engaged in other areas of their lives.

True confidence should come from a life well lived and enjoyed…not the proverbial feathers in your cap.

Method 8: The Courage to be Faithful

Stepping out of your fears and into your greatness requires great courage.  Sometimes we are so busy with the work of life that we don’t sit still and take the time to listen to our heart.

Being courageous means not allowing life to steal, kill, or destroy your dreams, hopes, aspirations, and plans but living in the now, the moment, the presence of your power to receive life, and the fullness of all life has to offer and even more abundantly.  It takes courage to be honest with yourself, acknowledge your personal truth, and be present in your quest to live that truth.

The easiest thing for high achievers to do is be successful.  But living in the fullness of who they are – and want to be – while also maintaining their success takes true grit.

Method 9: – Exponential Living

Exponential Living is achieved through excellence in your Personal, Spiritual, and Emotional health, and balance in all aspects of your life – with yourself and others.  It is achieved by building and maintaining spirituality; loving and caring for yourself (hobbies, exercise, “me” time); spending quality time with and appreciating yourself and your family; recognizing your success; and living in your own truth.

When living exponentially you are comfortable with who you are, separate from what you do.  It’s when you live in a state of true contentment, being present with yourself and others while also pursuing and maintaining excellence in all aspects of your life.

Often, high achievers are limited by their success because they are only living in the accomplishments in one area of their lives.

They have achieved or have the drive to achieve high levels of professional success but are not truly fulfilled with their lives overall.  Or, they have reached their career goals but now know there are other facets of life they want to pursue but don’t know what/how/why/when.

Exponential Living gives such high achievers the power of being true to themselves and achieving a balance between work, family, friends, healthy living, and spiritual commitment to manifest a life that is genuinely complete and content.


Sheri Riley is the founder and Chief Partnership Strategist of GLUE, Inc. and creator of the Exponential Living program (www.exponentialliving.com) – a ground-breaking initiative that helps individuals create balance among life’s key areas in ways that promote a higher standard of excellence.



Affirmations & Reflections: Balancing Personal and Professional Life

Affirmations & Reflections: Balancing Personal and Professional Life

I balance my personal and professional life.

I am a firm believer that the healthiest lifestyle is one that is balanced. Imbalance can create untenable situations in my life and cause things to break down, while balance helps me to achieve peace of mind.

I place significant importance on both my personal and professional life. Both aspects of my life play a great part in making me who I am. I recognize that there is a time and place for everything, and I strive to listen to my gut instincts when they tell me it is time to shift focus.

I love my job and what it allows me to achieve. I spend much time dedicated to excelling in my craft, and feel rewarded when my hard work pays off. I know how to take that success in stride and also when to take a break from work and focus on my personal life.

My personal life helps to balance the efforts, dedication and hard work in my professional life. Spending time on non-work activities makes dealing with work stress a lot easier. Plus, the important people in my personal life appreciate my efforts to spend time with them.

Today, I commit to focusing on finding that fine balance between my personal and professional pursuits. I feel happier when I allow elements of both sides of my life to take priority at the opportune time.

Self-Reflection Questions:

1. Do I work equally as hard on my personal life as I do on my professional life?
2. Can situations around me teach me how to balance personal and professional concerns?
3. How do I react when people tell me that I am not giving enough in one aspect of my life?

The Problem With Passion: In Pursuit of Balance

The Problem With Passion: In Pursuit of Balance

I have this problem. I love what I do for a living. I have always known that I wanted to be a writer, and now that I’m doing it successfully, I couldn’t be happier. I really feel fulfilled in my career and I am generally very satisfied in that area of my life. I feel lucky to be doing what I love and getting paid for it. Really, really lucky.

And also, part of what I do is help other freelance writers to succeed. That’s almost as awesome as actually getting paid to do what I love. A lot of people have helped me along the way in my career (and many still do) so paying it forward feels good to me, and really, is probably part of the reason for my success. (Since you get what you put out there back and all.)

Did I mention that I love what I do? I really do. A lot.

So much, in fact, that I very often work seven days a week, and I don’t mind a bit. Not even a little. I am very passionate about my work and I often run on continuous creative bursts of energy.

You feel me, right? I’ll get an idea and I’ll be just absolutely driven to bring it to fruition, and I can’t stop until it’s done. It’s what I like to call inspired action.

So what’s the problem?

The problem is that in being so focused on my work, I have no time to just relax. Between working and taking care of my wonderful family, it’s really easy to put off anything that could be officially classified as fun. (And again, being the writing nerd that I am, I don’t even notice sometimes.) I honestly can’t remember going out with my girlfriends for a night on the town in…several years. Sad, I know.

This weekend, I was on a couple of hot deadlines. I had things that needed to be done by Sunday night. Big things. And, if I’m being honest, I could have probably finished all of my important stuff on Saturday, and then I could have taken Sunday off and could have just relaxed with my family that day.

So why didn’t I do that? 

Because, as I was working on Saturday, I was suddenly hit with a flash of inspiration that caused me to create a welcome/about video for one of the WM Network websites (The WM Freelance Writers Connection–I know, you’re shocked.) The video turned out ok, I think, but did you know that it can take two or three hours to make an almost four minute video? Yep, it’s true.

So, while I did manage to get some of my “real work” that was due on Sunday done on Saturday, I did not finish all of it. So, when my husband suggested on Sunday that we take the kids to the park to feed the ducks and then out to eat, I felt a little anxious. We do things like this pretty often, but this week, I had so much to do and I just didn’t think I had the time to do it.

At first, I told him I couldn’t go, but that went over like a lead balloon. He said that I shouldn’t work seven days a week–that everyone needs a day off sometimes. (That, and he didn’t want to try to wrangle three kids at the duck pond all by himself.)

I tried to reason with him. I love what I’m doing, so my work doesn’t feel like work, I explained.

He stood firm, and insisted that I come out with the family. Of course, I realized that he was right…eventually…and we all went to the park and fed the ducks and stopped and had dinner afterward.

We had a great time. And, believe it or not, I only thought about all the work awaiting me once or twice during our adventure. But in addition to enjoying the time with my favorite people in the whole wide world and watching my kids faces light up when the ducks and geese ate the bread they threw out, I thought about something else…something big.

I decided my husband was right (gasp!)–maybe I needed to take a day off. In fact, maybe I needed to take at least one scheduled day off each week. Now, don’t get me wrong–I spend time with my family every day.

But, while we have fun and love one another like no one’s business, I work all day when they’re at school and work, and then a lot of times in the evenings after dinner and late into the night–basically, I work anytime I’m not spending with the family. I hardly even watch TV and rarely get the chance to read for pleasure, let alone any other type of non-Mom, non-wife or non-writer activities.

So, I decided as we walked in the park that it was time to rethink that strategy. While I’m not unhappy with my crazy work habits, I am definitely a bit out of balance. I have to have time to renew my spirit, refresh myself–and time to have fun. Fun that is unrelated to writing.

“From now on,” I declared to my family as I stopped walking to emphasize my point, “I am taking Sundays off!”

While I expected a surprised and enthusiastic cheer to burst forth from my family, the likes of which would be heard all over town, I got more of a subdued response.

“Cool,” one of them said.

“Sounds good,” said another.

“I’ll believe it when I see it,” said a particularly pessimistic member.

“Come on, Mommy, give me more bread so I can feed the ducks!” said the smallest one.

So, regardless of my family’s less than epic reaction, that’s my plan, at least the first step of it. I am officially (gulp) taking Sundays off. And, I think, it just might be time to schedule one of those girls’ nights out…you know, before I forget what my friends look like.

How about you? Do you find yourself working or playing too much? How do you find balance? Tell me in the comments!

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