Do you sometimes wonder whether your life is in balance?
On the one hand, you focus on something you want to achieve and you progress, but another area of your life gets neglected in the process. Sound familiar?
Almost every person who I come into contact with in my personal and professional life is struggling with the concept of finding balance in their lives, and most importantly sustaining a balanced life. Our fast paced society tries to throw us out of balance and sometimes no matter what you do, you still feel like your life is going in the wrong direction.
There is always someone to answer to, somewhere to be, things we want to do and things we must do. The challenge is to balance what we have to do with what we enjoy and choose to do. In the process, we need to find ways to reduce stress. The key is to try and make sure that we are giving every element of our lives what it needs, and each person’s needs and definition of balance is different.
True balance has a physical, spiritual and mental or emotional component.
The various areas of a person’s life can be divided into mind, body, spirit, social, family career and finance. Different priorities will occur at different times, however, it is important to be aware of what your personal definition of balance is.What do you need to feel balanced? What feeds and nourishes your soul? What do you need to sustain and motivate you to achieve your desired outcomes?
Taking a regular assessment of the important areas of your life will assist you in achieving what you want. Adopting a wider perspective is the key rather than focusing on one area and neglecting the other areas.
For me, my definition of balance all became clear when I learned to ride a bike. Believe it or not, this only happened shortly after my fortieth birthday. When I found myself actually sitting on a bike, after a bit of coercion, I was scared and nervous. Yes, I fell quite a few times but I persevered until I felt steady. The feelings I experienced after balancing and riding that first day were indescribable.
I was hooked. Thoughts of falling off, getting knocked over and even getting killed permeated my head each day. But something made me continue and my fear was slowly replaced by exhilaration. Knowing I was steady and I was riding made me feel balanced and whole, and this filtered through to every area of my life. I was going for the ride wherever it took me and I realised that I was in control and I could achieve a balanced life and move forward.
The concept of a balanced life might sound complicated at first but it is actually quite simple. It takes some work initially to get in the flow and discover the simple ways to steer your life in the direction you want it to go.
Once you do, you will feel empowered and energised. You will see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Here are some essential tips:
- Practice awareness and mindfulness – this will take care of the emotional and spiritual elements.
- Appreciate your body by taking care of it- adequate rest, healthy nutrition and exercise- this will take care of the physical element.
- Simplify all areas and processes of your life.
- Cultivate patience and creativity.
- Reassess priorities regularly and make adjustments where necessary. Be flexible.
If you get a handle on the various elements in your life and you don’t feel like your heart and mind are being pulled in one particular direction, you should feel balanced. When you’re balanced you can feel it.You get the sense that your life is moving along steadily and you take things in your stride.You’re able to offset the negative events in your life with positive ones. You’ll feel there is enough of a challenge in your life but you are relaxed enough to enjoy it.
A balanced life is not symmetrical. Like riding a bike, living a balanced life becomes easier as you gain momentum. Then on your journey, you will find your own understanding of what balance means to you and the way to get there yourself.
In the famous words of Albert Einstein: “Life is like riding a bike, to keep your balance you must keep moving.”
These words came to life for me when I learnt to ride.
Conquering my fear of riding a bike has not only helped me to find and create balance in my life, but it has kept me moving forward and transformed my life from ordinary to extra-ordinary.
Are you moving forward and leading a balanced life?