"What's The O Ring for You?"

Today is the 25th anniversary of the Challenger Space Shuttle Disaster. It exploded in air a few seconds after launch. Seven people lost their lives. This past Summer I was fortunate to hear a former shuttle member talk about the space program and the events that helped contribute to the explosion. I knew it was a faulty "O ring" but his comments gave the bigger picture.

He provided documentation from engineers at NASA and others who were highlighting the problems with the O ring. Many of them said that continued use of these particular rings could have major consequences. For many reasons, however, the program continued with the current rings in use. And then on January 28, 1986, the problem manifested itself in a horrific way... it could have been avoided.

I can't help but think that many of us have a similar dysfunctional process going on as it relates to work life balance. We KNOW that continually overstressing our bodies and our minds is not healthy. We realize that neglecting time with our children, spouse and friends can have major consequences on our well being. We also can appreciate the value of "sacred idleness" but forego that in the rush to get one or two more things done.

And just like the Challenger explosion, some level of disaster awaits us. Will it be burnout at work that leads to leaving what could have been the perfect job? Regret that so little time was spent enjoying those moments with loved ones-and now they are gone? Or will the pain be a heart attack, limited activity due to weight gain or physical problems? No, many of us won't pay with our life like those on the space shuttle, but pay something we will.

So I ask you, today. What's your O ring? What's something you have been avoiding addressing because it would be uncomfortable? Where do you need to be more honest with yourself and take the appropriate steps? What's that "something" that keeps you awake at night or limits your ability to really experience the joy that "life lived to the fullest" has to offer? What's the change you need to make? Make it now-the costs of not doing so are just too high.