Putting Family First Leads to Success - MetroFamily Magazine
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Putting Family First Leads to Success

by Gayleen Langthorn

Reading Time: 3 minutes 

Think for a moment about Olympic athletes, be they swimmers, runners, or downhill skiers; often only a fraction of a second separates the gold medalist from the silver and bronze winners. Whether it is an extra lap in practice, better technique, or the confidence of sheer determination, top athletes have a “slight edge” that sets them apart from their competitors. Author Leo Weidener says we can all develop a slight edge to help us in life by being just a little more balanced and focused.

Weidener’s new book, Achieving the Balance, discusses his insights on finding success in life by making family a priority. The book uses examples from his 38 years as a life balance coach working with more than 2,000 people.

Key to Success
“The key to success is to wrap your business life around your personal life,” Weidener said. “Stress in our personal life makes us less effective at work.” Worrying about family conflicts makes it more difficult to focus on workplace tasks and takes away that slight edge.

“The problem is, we get so wrapped up in achieving that we forget the reason we are working in the first place,” Weidner said. He said in our society, men are typically taught that they need to be the providers. The husband starts working and then strives to be successful. More hours often mean more money to buy bigger houses, better cars, and nicer clothes. But too often, this causes problems.

“The reason there is conflict at home is because wives don’t feel they are first with their husbands,” Weidener said.

One remedy he offers for this is a weekly date night—an opportunity for a couple to spend one-on-one time together without children. “This gives him the chance to ask, ‘How can I be a better husband?’” Weidener said. “We all think we’re doing great, but it is how you are perceived that is important.” And many times, husbands and wives are not on the same page. “The only way we can learn is by asking.” He did advise that rather than offering a laundry list of things a spouse needs to work on, it’s best to focus on just one area that needs improvement.

Warm Fuzzies
Weidener calls another tip “warm fuzzies.” These are words of appreciation and support that highlight the positive qualities of those around us. Statements like, “I love you,” or “Thanks for your help,” are examples of warm fuzzies. Weidener recommends a minimum of two or three of these each day for your spouse.

Life Balance System
Through his coaching, Weidener has developed a system to help people get the stress out of their life. His LifeBalance System consists of the feelings journal, the “LifeCreed” and the “Byte.” Each of these elements is discussed in detail in Achieving the Balance. The feelings journal helps open up the connections in our brain between the logical and emotional side, Weidener said. Writing about how a situation is affecting us can give us important insights that make problems easier to handle.

“When you write it down, it gets rid of negative emotions,” he said. Readers can use the feelings journal and steps outlined in the book to develop a LifeCreed, a focused statement of goals including why each goal is important to them.

“You have to ask, ‘why do you want that goal?’” Weidener said. “Otherwise the roadblocks defeat you.”

He said having a LifeCreed can help you move to higher levels and helps people realize that the real joy in life comes from enjoying your spouse and children.

The other tool Weidener discusses in his book is called The Byte. If you have a problematic relationship, he suggests you make a list of all the other person’s great qualities. “When negative thoughts come up, call up the list and focus on the positive, rather than the negative,” Weidener said. “The Byte is invaluable in so many ways. The tool can be used in marriages, parenting, and with co-workers. “It works because the mind cannot focus on two dissimilar things,” Weidener said.

The Byte can also be implemented to deal with situations. Weidener had a client who was an alcoholic. The man had tried a variety of ways to stop drinking, but nothing worked. From their talks, Weidener knew that the man cherished his son. He convinced the man to promise his son he wouldn’t drink. To reinforce this, the man wrote the words “I promise you” on his son’s picture and placed it in his wallet, so he would see it if he took out his wallet at a bar or a liquor store. “He’s been sober now for seven years,” Weidener said.

Achieving the Balance is available at Amazon.com or through the LifeBalance website at lifebal.net.

Gayleen Langthorn is a mother of two and a freelance writer in Oklahoma City. She holds a BA in journalism from the University of Central Oklahoma and her work recently appeared in the Houston Chronicle.

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