For most of my life I have thought that if done properly I could keep the major parts of my life in balance and that would bring true happiness…In fact, what I have learned and experienced is that it is difficult and almost impossible to accomplish this life goal. Some aspects of your life do take a back seat at any point in time. It sounds very negative, but really it is not. I have learned that it is the understanding of where you are balanced at a particular point that is the key to being happy in business, relationships, and personal /spiritual growth. If you can understand it, you can manage it, and you can adapt to the priorities you define…thus no excuses. Accountability for yourself – nice concept. The diagram below is my visual tool to help keep life in balance. The center blue circle is always moving…I am in control of circle. Sometimes its round, other times it is deformed or oblong. It moves and shifts based on priorities at any given point.
This is an equine veterinary blog right? How does this play in our industry? Simply put, we as practitioners are very passionate about our profession, and the patients we treat. This passion drives us, the feedback from owners stimulates our egos, and frankly we often find ourselves working, and working, and working
to please others and care for the patients at the expense of living our lives. This is my perspective of most equine practitioners and my own experiences. Balance for me is understanding this cycle, and learning how to adjust and be happy. One of the solutions is to improve our business skills to reduce the daily stresses, improve profitability, and decrease the emotional challenges and frustrations of managing staff and difficult people. Delegation, empowerment, and engagement are popular buzz words, but they are very real and are all predicated on the fact that we need good people in our organizations to help steer the ship on a daily basis. This has been my approach in the past 4-5 years. It’s still a journey and will always be one.
Recently I finished about 150+ miles of backpacking in the Green Mountains of Vermont. Several friends, my wife, and my dog Gracie joined me on the trail at different times. The solitude of hiking alone for 10+ miles a day in the rugged terrain was a great experience….so simple that it makes you think about life, business, and priorities….and yes balance. I love horses, I love business and most of all I love family and life.
The challenges facing the equine industry are many, from decreasing revenues, increasing student debt, to economic forces not in our control. I believe that often we do not address the issue of personal balance in life as an important factor in our careers and for the future equine veterinarian. What do you think?