BUSY lives don't need to be OVERLOADED lives

A Friend Recently Asked Me How I Managed To Balance academic and family obligations so effectively and effortlessly? Well, I didn't feel that my balancing act was all that effective or effortless, but the question encouraged me to reflect on my daily decision-making and on how I set priorities.

I realized that at the basis of balance lies a fundamental trust that there is always time to do what is right. For me, a right activity is one that is inspired by love instead of motivated by fear of some kind—anxiety over lack of time, money, strength, or joy. When I'm asked whether I have time to do something, I like to point out that everybody has sufficient time—the choice is whether to take the time and prioritize a certain activity over others.

So what do we do when there seem to be parallel demands on our time, all seeming very right? I regularly write to-do lists, but sometimes I get overwhelmed by my own lists. My academic and professional obligations add up to a lot: Lately I've been working on my Ph. D. thesis, writing articles and book chapters for publications, giving presentations at international conferences, taking research trips abroad, and doing consultancy work.

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August 5, 2002

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