Balance is key! whether it is your personal life or your work life, too much of anything can be harmful. However the idea of balance can mean different things to different people. I want to address four areas of life that are essential to anyone and which, if worked on properly, can make you calm, clear-headed and well-grounded. Too many people are being pulled from many directions and too many times they are directions they do not need to follow.
Living a balanced life is like sitting on a four-legged chair, if one leg is missing, sitting safely and comfortably becomes almost impossible. Following are four areas of your life that if paid close attention to, and worked on diligently would provide you with a solid foundation for a life well-lived.
Psychologists often call human beings social animals and rightful so. Most of human history was spent in small groups in which people had to dependent on each other for survival. It is not very different today, in fact our capacity for social living plays a big role in our happiness and success. The social aspect of life does not just consist of the time we are enjoying ourselves with friends, it also focuses on the principles of personal leadership and well as our ability to lead others. Social ties and the feeling of being connected are very important for our mental balance. No matter how much knowledge or talent we possess, if we do not share it will not amount to much.
The physical dimension of your life is caring for your physical body. This involves eating the right food, getting enough rest and relaxation and exercising on a regular basis. You would not put dirty gasoline in your car and expect to run properly, so why would some people eat junk food and expect health? Eating right not only prevents many diseases but also can allow you to maintain a healthy weight. The benefits of exercising are too many to list here, almost all health experts agree that regular exercise, even 200 minutes per week can help you feel better, reduce stress, give your more energy, improve your mood and perhaps even make you live longer. Rest and relaxation are not less important. In fact taking a break from the hum drum of your busy life to recharge your “batteries” is of paramount importance.
It is important that we feed our mind the good stuff by reading great books. Reading broadly and exposing ourselves to great minds is very important for our mental balance. An untrained mind is always more inclined to see the negative side of things, and that only leads to worrying and unhappiness. Just like any other muscle in your body, your brain needs exercising to maintain good health. In the brain, exercise is thinking, visualizing, and indulging in other creative mental activities. A healthy mind, makes good choices. There is a well known story about grandfather teaching his grandson about life and it goes like this:
“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the child. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it and after a minute he asked, “Which wolf will win?”
The elder simply replied, “The one I feed.”
This area of life is your center, it governs your commitment to a value system. It draws upon what inspires, uplifts and connect you with timeless truths. This for many people is religion and their relationship with God! Research has shown that people with a spiritual life are better equipped to deal with life’s difficulties. In fact believing and trusting in God helps tremendously in finding your way when things get tough. Spiritual people tend to do the right thing, have a deep connection with others, seek and share wisdom. In the pursuit of success, this is the most neglect part of our life. Some take care of the physical because they would like to look good, others handle well the social, because they want to network well, still others read good books and seek more knowledge, because they want to sound good in conversation. However, let us not forget that the spiritual is the fourth leg that will allow us to sit firmly on the chair of life, well balanced.
What is your idea of a balanced life?