You have heard others say it thousands of times in your life, or you have said it yourself: “I want to have balance in my life.”
What does having balance really mean? A simple dictionary definition defines balance as “a state in which different things occur in equal or proper amounts or have an equal or proper amount of importance.”
If you step back and look at the complete picture, however, finding balance in life may seem overwhelming or impossible. It’s a constant work in progress.
Very rarely are we balanced because we are always in the process of balancing. We are constantly tweaking something or making a change in order to maintain that momentary sense of equanimity.
Albert Einstein said, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
The disconnect for many lies in the difference between being balance-d and doing the balanc-ing. Think of a surfer on his or her surf board. The surfer is always in the state of shifting his or her weight or position on the board to keep moving through the water and riding the wave. Think of the gymnast on the balance beam. The athlete is always balancing his or her weight so as not to fall off the beam.
Individuals are continuously shifting and moving in life. If we truly want to be balanced and live a balanced life, we have to shift and perform the act of balancing.
When I arrived home from college years ago, I was lost and confused. I didn’t know what I wanted to do or where I was going in my life. I decided to speak to a priest friend of mine and he encouraged me to strive for harmony. He spoke about five areas where I could set goals to develop a sense of balance in my life. Those areas to shoot for balance were in spirituality, family, business, finances, and in my personal well-being. That last aspect refers to having balance emotionally, physically, and in my health — because even to stay healthy, we must “balance” our diet.
Ultimately, having a target to shoot for and constantly setting and working toward short- and long-term goals was the key to my success, that and the realization that striving for a little bit of progress each day means being in a constant state of movement. Knowing that we will never be completely still helps to keep us balancing.
You might ask yourself, how in the world do you work on all of these areas at the same time? I don’t want to ruin any positive thoughts about whether this can be accomplished, but the reality is, it is very difficult.
But it is doable too. I own my own business and I learned that if I want it to be balanced, I can’t spend all my time doing the work of the business. I must spend time working on the business. That does not mean I have to spend equal amounts of time on each, but the time I do spend on each helps to determine the success of the business.
For instance, I may spend an hour a day working on planning and strategy, while two to three hours a day I spend working on prospecting and lead-generating. Some days I will spend more time on one area than the other because I constantly tweak things; thus I am always balancing my day, and balancing my business.
In life, I strive to keep my body, mind, and soul healthy by eating the right foods and getting enough exercise, by reading and listening to useful information, and by taking time to reflect on my family and blessings. For me, I lead a healthy lifestyle by spending 10 minutes a day reading, exercising for 30 minutes a day, and making smart and nutritious meal choices. That works for me. For you, it might be different.
Look at it through another example. When gardening, the pH level must be right for certain fruits and vegetables to grow so a gardener attempts to keep that pH level as balanced as possible. The same holds true for the water in a swimming pool. You must continuously monitor the chemical levels to keep them in balance.
If we desire balance in our lives or in business we must monitor and measure.
But knowing we are constantly in the act of balancing helps us to make the adjustments needed to feel that we’re in the right place at the right time at this point in our lives. And if it doesn’t seem right, we tweak our formula to reach the equanimity we need now. And that’s as close as we can get to living a balanced life.