Integration Not Balance

Xperience Growthblogposts

Work-life balance is wrong.

Your goal should not be work-life balance.

You might think that counter-balance is okay. Counter-balance often looks like working 24/7 for 6 months and then taking a vacation to blow off the pent-up steam.

Again, flawed. The problem is that the vacation will likely not blow off all the steam. Even if it did, you’d be building back steam starting around 10am the Monday you get back to work.

Balance is found at an object’s center of gravity. The moment there’s movement, the center of gravity shifts along with it. So, we’re always shifting trying to find the balance point. It’s really a fruitless task that leads to more frustration than it does to awakening.

This week, I’ve had the great pleasure of spending time at Chris Suarez’ family farm home in Portland, OR with the 2023 class of Xperiential MBA. We spent time talking about a myriad of topics ranging from mind mapping, to leadership lessons from investor Naval Ravikant & Jeff Bezos, mastering time and learning how Chris helped to build a billion dollar company. We also met an Oregon wine marker changing the way wine is made (as tasting his goods) and candle making bringing us back to who “I AM.” We ate outside and did a forest walk to recharge from nature.

In addition, we talked about a foundational model to living our life true to ourselves. It’s how Chris and both have designed our life and continue to pursue and teach. It’s whole life integration.

There are six pillars in an experiential life. We call them pillars because they hold up and support our life. Like a building, if a pillar or two starts to give way, your life could fall apart. Inversely, the stronger we build our pillars – the support for our life is all the more strong. We can experience the life – and all the key aspects to life – that we desire.

Those pillars are: career, relationships, wealth, personal growth, health and spirituality.

What we want is whole life integration. This integration means that we are actively growing and making each of our pillars stronger consistently.

When we are integrated, we ensure that our key relationships are solid, we are learning & growing, building wealth, maintaining our health and elevating our connection with spirituality.

What I’ve found is that the first principle to living experientially and fully integrated life is intentionality.

For me, at least, it takes intentionality to keep a focus on all six pillars. Note, it’s not a balance or an equal distribution of time and attention. It’s an integration where I’m constantly doing activities that fulfill these pillars.

In the past few weeks, I’ve had more time away from home than I’ve been at home for events that are centered around my career. I’ve also been able to focus on relationships with colleagues & clients. I’ve also begun training in mindfulness, which again is a career yet in the process, it takes personal growth & spirituality.

Being out of home, my health can take a backseat – especially with the foods I choose to eat. I love good food. Good food usually isn’t the best for you. I make the decision to eat all the things when I’m in awesome food places like Portland and New York City. And, in the time leading up to travel, time in between travel and post travel I am super intentional around sticking to my food meal plan.

All of this allows me to live a full life with lots of fulfillment and tons of joy. Do I have a career that I love and see success? You bet. It’s not at the expense of any other pillar or how I experience life.

Create a fully integrative life. Live experientially!