A Balanced Life

In my book Web to Success there is a chapter on Work Life Balance but I wanted to broaden the topic to look at balance in life in general. We all need balance in our lives but it seems to be one of the hardest things to achieve and it’s transitory. No sooner do we feel we have a balance than a proverbial spanner comes flying in and knocks us out of kilter again. It’s a constant struggle.

To start with, what does having a balanced life actually mean? To me, it means I have a handle on all the various elements in my life and don't feel that my heart or mind are being pulled too hard in any one direction. I feel calm, grounded, clear-headed, and motivated.

The Meaning of Balance by Robin Long.

Many people are led to believe that it’s impossible to find balance because there just isn’t enough time in the day or energy in the body. It simply feels impossible to balance all that life throws at us on a given day or week.

Somewhere along the way for many of us the idea of balance becomes mistakenly synonymous with “doing it all”. Balance is often mis-understood as making all things equal and giving equal weight to all things. Finding balance does not come from giving equal parts to all things. You cannot do it all. And if you think you can, then I would argue that you cannot do it all WELL.

Living a balanced life means determining what is most important to you and expending your time and energy accordingly. Our society is busy and over-committed. Busy-ness is celebrated and encouraged as if it makes us more worthy and important. But I believe in order to find balance we have to avoid the trap of thinking that more things, more commitments, more everything is always better. We have to decide what it is that matters most to us and what is deserving of our time, energy, and even money, and then arrange our lives accordingly.

Once we determine what it is that we want MORE of in our life, then we also have to commit to giving LESS to other areas. And that’s okay. Yes, you read that right, it is okay to do less!

Finding balance comes from giving time and energy to the things that build you up and give you life. And likewise, eliminating the things that bring you down and stress you out.

So, I encourage you today, take a moment to list out what is most important to you in your life. Keep the list short – no more than 8 – and attempt to spend your time and energy doing things that fall within those categories.

Balance will not look the same for everyone. Finding YOUR unique life balance will simplify your life in a way that brings freedom and peace of mind.

You can find the full article here https://thebalancedlifeonline.com/the-meaning-of-balance/

How to Create a Balanced Life: 9 Tips to Feel Calm and Grounded

The more balanced I feel, the more free I feel. I am often reminded that what works for some people does not necessarily work for others; and that one person’s idea of balance may not constitute anything remotely balanced from another person’s perspective.

What are the various elements of life that can require balancing?

How do you find your balance?

The elements in life that require the most balancing can be divided into two categories: internal and external. Often, people focus on one more than the other.

Internal (Mind, Heart, Health)
  • Mind: Challenging yourself intellectually vs. creating opportunities for your mind to rest

  • Heart: Giving love vs. receiving love

  • Health: Eating, drinking, exercising properly vs. resting and treating yourself to some extra yummies

External (Work, Social, Family, Fun)
  • Work: Pushing yourself to achieve goals vs. seeing the bigger picture and enjoying the ride

  • Social: Satisfying your social desires vs. taking time for yourself

  • Family: Fulfilling your familial responsibilities vs. creating healthy boundaries

  • Fun: Allocating time for things you enjoy doing vs. making sure you don’t overdo it

As you can see, both ends of each spectrum are actually positive; but if either side is taken to an extreme, something that is intended to be positive can end up being detrimental.

It’s helpful to check in with yourself to see if you feel balanced.

If you feel pulled in any one direction and uneasy about it, these steps may help you get your life aligned:

1. Acknowledge. Take some time to really look at your life, your state of mind, and how you’re feeling. Be honest with yourself and notice the areas of your life that you’re neglecting.

2. Examine.

Notice if you’re leaning more toward an internal or external focus, or if there are areas within each category that you would like to be more balanced.

3. Set Goals.

Look at the outline to help you decide which ways you want to balance your life. Make a list.

4. Plan Tasks.

Make a list of daily, weekly, and monthly tasks that you will need to do to achieve each of these goals. What have you tried in the past? Did it work? If not, what can you do differently?

5. Reflect.

What is the most important thing you’ve accomplished in the past? How did you stay focused toward this goal? How did you handle your fears, doubts, anxieties, worries, and negative self-talk? How does it feel to know that you accomplished the goal in spite of these parts of yourself?

6. Prepare.

What is your inner “stuff” that will try to keep you from sticking to your plan (fears, worries, doubts, negative self talk)? Can you specify the things you will say to yourself to push you off track? (For example: “Just one more bite, I’ll start eating better tomorrow”) Make a list.

7. Empower.

What do you need to remember in those times? What are things you can say to that self-sabotaging part of yourself? Be kind to yourself. Balance won’t feel good if you’re cruel to yourself in creating it!

8. Connect.

Is there a person or a tactic you can use to keep yourself supported, motivated, and focused in those hard times? I highly recommend connecting and sharing your inner process with someone. Find someone who can help you challenge your inner demons, and celebrate your little accomplishments.

9. Plan.

Just like accomplishing any goal in life, it takes time and effort to overcome your habitual patterns and create new ones. If you stay on track with this detailed and intentional process for three whole months, then there is a good chance you will create new habits to enjoy a more balanced life going forward!

Full article here http://tinybuddha.com/blog/9-tips-to-create-a-balanced-life/

5 ways to find balance in your life

What's the best way to bring balance into your life?

In today’s high speed, high pressure and high-stress world, it’s not just balance between work and family that’s hard to find. You very likely constantly struggle to find balance between the needs of your family and your own needs. Are you working so hard that you have troubles developing a social life, or even finding some down time for yourself? Or are you so involved in the drinking and partying world that you fail to take care of either your physical needs or the demands of your job? Balance is an issue for all of us.

There are so many things that we have to balance in our lives – work, family, play, leisure, relaxation, caring for others, caring for ourselves, social consciousness, political consciousness, environmental consciousness, religious beliefs and activities, physical needs…to name only a few of the issues most of us are balancing, often without realising it, all of the time. “Finding balance” in our lives is so important, yet so hard. It’s not at all hard to understand why we need balance and why we are searching for it; but why are we having so much trouble finding it?

When you take this point into account, almost everything else is easier to accomplish. But it’s a hard idea to accept, which is, I think, one of the reasons that it’s not always included in discussions of finding balance.

Finding balance is a lifetime project. It is ongoing. It is not a finite goal at the end of which you will have a peaceful, calm and meaningful life. Balance is a way of living. It is a process. When you take this point into account, almost everything else is easier to accomplish. But it’s a hard idea to accept, which is, I think, one of the reasons that it’s not always included in discussions of finding balance.

So, what can you do to find some balance in your life? Here are 5 suggestions:

1. Keep in mind that balance is not a final goal, but an ongoing process. Being balanced does not mean being calm, relaxed, and content all of the time. Balance often occurs only for a fleeting moment, but it can reappear over and over again. Rather than trying to stay balanced, think of yourself as practicing balancing, over and over again. You often hear the comment that it’s good to fall – it means you were trying. The same is true in life. As long as we keep practicing finding balance, we will find one. Of course, we will lose it. But we will find it again.

2. Prioritise. The problem is often figuring out just what is most important. On any given day, in any given moment, what is your priority? Is checking your email more important than calling your grandmother? Is taking a hot shower more important than talking to your best friend for the third time today? In order to stay on course, you may have to re-examine your priorities regularly. The point is that once you decide what’s important, focus on it and get it done.

3. Set both long and short term goals. For example, if you want to be to be a successful writer, your short term goals might be to get your first article published in any newspaper that will take it. Then you will need to break down that into even smaller steps, for instance, taking a writing class, writing for 30 minutes everyday, joining a writing group, or submitting something you’ve written to a local newspaper.

4. Be specific. It’s more useful to say, “I’m going to spend an hour alone with each child sometime this week,” than to say, “I’m going to have quality time with each of my children.” Quality time is a great concept, but it’s also a vague one. And since it’s so vague, it’s hard to know whether or not you’ve accomplished that goal, which makes it hard to feel in balance.

5. Remember that it's often easier to find balance with another person. If you're bearing all the weight, you can't get balanced. But if you're not carrying your share, you won't get balanced either. What's most important is not how much weight one person carries at any given time, but how you interact with one another, drawing from and giving energy to each other. That's balance.

6. Endgame versus process. In an interview on NPR, the actor Ki Hong Lee, who appears in the film, The Maze Runner, makes this point beautifully. He says a friend once asked what his goal was in life and he answered, “to win the Academy Award for my acting.” When asked the same question, his friend said, “to be a working actor everyday for the rest of my life.” Ki Hong Lee was blown away by the realisation that his friend’s goal was about the process of living. It was about balance.

Remember that you are always in transition. The trick to living a balanced life is, to always keep in mind that “Balance is the process of holding something(s) steady during change.”

Full article here https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-couch/201409/5-ways-find-balance-in-your-life

10 Simple Ways to Find Balance and Get Your Life Back

What does life balance really mean? What would a balanced life look like to us? And most importantly, how do we go about achieving it in the midst of our crazy schedules?

There are steps you can take to change what isn’t working and get back some control and balance in your life. And once you start seeing results you’ll be better equipped to maintain that new found equilibrium. The key is not to try to change everything at once, but to make small adjustments over time to determine what works for you. Eventually you will have a whole new set of positive life habits and you’ll never look back!

Some strategies that work:

  • Turn it off – Disconnect on the weekend. Put the phone down and turn off the computer. Give your work brain a rest.

  • Trim, trim, trim – It’s a given that if your life is overflowing. Say no to everything that is either not essential or doesn’t add something valuable to your life. Be ruthless!

  • Pay attention to your health – We hear this over and over again, but usually only give it lip service. We are far more productive and happier when we get enough sleep, eat a little healthier and fit in some type of activity.

  • Minimise toxins– By that I don’t mean chemicals. Minimise the negative influences around you. Avoid toxic people (complainers, whiners, poor attitudes.) Surround yourself with positive, supportive, can-do people whenever possible

  • Spend time alone – Making time for you is probably the hardest thing to do for the typical overworked and overwhelmed person, but it is crucial for lowering stress, increasing happiness and encouraging creativity. Some things to try; meditate, write, sketch, do some yoga or simply sit quietly for a few minutes each day and do absolutely

  • nothing. You can do it!

  • Relationships do matter – Set aside quality time with your family and friends. Really get to know the people around you.

  • Treat yourself– It doesn’t need to be costly; a glass of wine, your favorite coffee or tea, a delightfully scented candle or beautiful flowers will make a huge impact.

  • Explore the world – Take a walk and pay attention to what’s going on around you. Attend a local performance, play amateur photographer or go to the park and watch children play. They really know how to enjoy life!

  • Expand your awareness – Take a class, learn to paint or try something new that you’ve always wanted to learn. Read a book that sparks your interest or try listening to uplifting music. Find what interests you.

  • Remember fun – Laugh, joke, play, find your sense of humor, subscribe to a daily joke or get a tear-off calendar. Nothing makes them feel better as fast as a good old-fashioned belly laugh.

Full article here http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/10-simple-ways-to-find-balance-and-get-your-life-back.html

What Does It Mean To Live A Balanced Life? Good article.


Quotes on balance in life...

It is better to rise from life as from a banquet - neither thirsty nor drunken. Aristotle

Fortunate, indeed, is the man who takes exactly the right measure of himself and holds a just balance between what he can acquire and what he can use. Peter Latham

Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some. Robert Fulgham

Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony. Thomas Merton

Balance, peace, and joy are the fruit of a successful life. It starts with recognizing your talents and finding ways to serve others by using them. Thomas Kinkade

The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man. Euripides

Work, love and play are the great balance wheels of man's being. Orison Swett Marden

Wisdom is your perspective on life, your sense of balance, your understanding of how the various parts and principles apply and relate to each other. Steven R. Covey

Problems arise in that one has to find a balance between what people need from you and what you need for yourself. Jessye Norman

We come into this world head first and go out feet first; in between, it is all a matter of balance. Paul Boese

We can be sure that the greatest hope for maintaining equilibrium in the face of any situation rests within ourselves. Francis J. Braceland

So divinely is the world organized that every one of us, in our place and time, is in balance with everything else. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I've learned that you can't have everything and do everything at the same time. Oprah Winfrey

The calm and balanced mind is the strong and great mind; the hurried and agitated mind is the weak one. Wallace D. Wattles

Next to love, balance is the most important thing. John Wooden

The key to keeping your balance is knowing when you've lost it. Anonymous

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