Book Review: Off Balance by Matthew Kelly

This is the first time I have read a book that has challenged the “I need balance between my work and my personal life” statement. This one will make you think and I believe the author is truly on to something. Kelly’s take is that there is no separation between the work and personal life, they are one in the same. I believe that he is right, we spend an enormous amount of our lives working so that we can pay the bills or as part of who we are. I prefer to think of my work as part of who I am and as the mission that God has given me in life.

Kelly says where the mistake is made is  in people who are looking for satisfaction in their lives and not balance. Again, I believe that he is right. I know when things are going great in the work that God has given me to do then things go better in all aspects of my life. We carry our lives from all sectors into all other parts of our life. If things are going great at home, they ultimately go better on the job as well.

The problems come when someone is hiding from one or the other and buries themselves in one to hide or get away from the other. This is an excellent book and I highly recommend it. There are helps here for us to name what it is we want in life and tools to help us focus our energies on getting those things. We must learn if we want to be the best at some things we have to let others things go.

Here are a few quotes that I really loved in the book and I would give it 4 out of 5 stars.


“After years of study, I’ve come to the conclusion that people don’t really need or want balance. People need and want a satisfying experience of life.”

“How do you get a satisfying life? Most of the time, living a life that is deeply satisfying requires a strategy, daily attention, self-awareness, and discipline.”

“Excellence in any field requires that we miss out on other things. If you want to be the best tennis player in the world, you are going to have to sacrifice a great many other things in order to achieve that. Success always has required and always will require sacrifice. If success were easy, it would be common. It is difficult, and that is why it is rare. I don’t think that the whole work-life balance discussion has adequately pointed out that excellence in any field requires sacrifice.”

Leave a Reply