What does living a balanced life mean? How can I achieve it? How do I know if I am imbalanced?
I’ve read this opening a dozen times and am still not sure I like it, but here it goes anyway. I believe in living a balanced life. Believe me, it’s never easy, nor have I mastered it. Living a dynamic life isn’t for everyone. The level of personal discipline it takes isn’t easily achievable for every person. Many prefer to set on the sidelines of life vs. becoming engaged in building a life. There is a difference.
Our Life is Created By Our Choices and Decisions
Life is made up of a series of choices and decisions we’ve made. I outlined in my article, “What Does Dynamic Living Mean to You?” important factors to consider when you are designing your future. I think it’s important to figure out what kind of life you want to live. If not, you will “wander” and “wonder” through life without purpose or meaning.
Each of us has a different meaning of what it takes to live a vibrant life, but really, what does it mean to you? How can you achieve the kind of lifestyle you want?
Roles and Goals
Once you have identified the type of life you want, you’ll learn that you’ll have to assume different roles to achieve it. How well you perform and achieve success in these roles are key components to determine life and career satisfaction. I am a son, grandson, brother, and uncle. I am also a father and grandfather. I am also an entrepreneur, business owner, husband, friend, mentor, and other roles. Each of these roles requires something from me every day, every week and every month.
We all live through varied roles and how well we manage ourselves in each of them starts to set the stage for the ability to achieve a dynamic life. We all have the same amount of time in a day and a week, and there is no escaping it. Being able to devote the right time and energy to these roles determine if we are on track to living the life we want to live. Just like a business’s monthly financial statement, there are milestones to monitor that will guide you to what you want to accomplish. It just doesn’t happen in one day.
Finding Balance Creates Satisfaction
When you see a teeter-totter, if there is too much weight on one end, it’s imbalanced. Put the right weight on each end, and it will balance itself. The most fun occurs when you can rock back and forth with weight on each end. Too much weight on one end and the other end isn’t having much fun. Finding balance in life is kind of like a teeter-totter.
You have to make sure not to put too much into one area, or the balance isn’t right. We are the happiest when we’re in balance.
The decision to keep balance does not mean sacrifice; these are investments into your future. They pay off handsomely and genuinely improve the quality of life.
Each role we play requires us to pay attention to it. If we don’t pay attention, we become unbalanced. If, for example, you give too much to your career and miss your kids growing up, you may never be able to repair the relationships. On the other hand, if you don’t give enough to your career, you may miss promotions or opportunities. Then financial pressures can occur, or you become a lazy asset for the company. The key is to make conscious choices and decisions of what’s most important to you. Take charge of your life this way. You’ll be happier when you do.
Each person has to decide what is most important. And what is important changes with getting married, having children, changing jobs, getting older, and all the other circumstances that come our way in the journey of life. Making these choices consciously and with a plan, always create better outcomes.
You can never go back and change history. It’s locked, done. Despite being well planned, there are still regrets and things you wish you would have done differently. I am not sure you can ever escape that part of life. It is just the way it is. A key is to minimize how many you have of them by making smart choices with how you live your life every day.
A Rule of Balance – Minimize the I Wish I Had’s
No one wants to live with what I call, “I wish I had’s.” When you reflect on the past and say, I wish I had done this or that, that’s in the past and you can’t change a thing. The only thing you can control is what you do now and what you plan to do in the future. The energy it takes to decide and move forward starts every day you wake up. Seize the moment.
Look back in your life and answer these questions:
- When was there a time in your life where you made a decision that a few years later realized that was the wrong decision?
- What were the circumstances surrounding that decision?
- Based on what you know now, would you make the same decision again under the same kind of circumstances?
The answers to these questions begin to show you a pattern. If, over the years, under similar circumstances you made the same decision and the same outcomes occurred, you’ve succeeded at learning what works and what doesn’t. If you didn’t like the outcome, then don’t make the same decisions. It really is that simple to determine where in life these decisions get off track or the ones that put you on the track you want to be on.
Life Planning and Living in Balance
With a written life plan, you know if you are on track with what you want to accomplish and ultimately what will make you the happiest. When we find the balance, it creates a sense of purpose and unleashes focused energy. We are the happiest when the people we love and the things we love to do are in harmony with one another.