Get to where you want to go and have fun on the way there!
Balance is the key to life.
It is said that a just balance will elevate a good man, I totally concur!
As I walk down the streets of life observing people, it is obvious that most are living very unbalanced lives. What is more shocking is the apparent ignorance of most people to their plight. I have been there too.
Life seems so unfair sometimes; it throws so many balls at you demanding that you juggle, and you have no choice than to comply. Just when you are getting a grasp of juggling the balls, you get thrown a curve ball that must be added to those you are already juggling.
We all try to achieve some kind of balance in our lives, but it seems to be an ever-illusive commodity. Every time you attempt to balance out one area, you tend to over-compensate and find yourself tittering off. Have you ever tried to walk on a tight rope?
To do it successfully, you have to find a way of evenly distributing your weight on both sides of the rope. That’s life!
By the way, what is balance? Balance can be defined as the middle of the road or the ability to stand stable, secure, with weight evenly distributed, and not vulnerable to an easy fall.
Is balance in life the same for everyone? Not necessarily, but there are some basic elements that make for balance in every life. What I hope to do in the next few paragraphs is share with you four crucial elements to achieving balance in life.
Before I start sharing these four elements, let me once again underscore the need for balance. Many people do not live balanced lives at all, because they are consumed with doing everything possible to make money. So they live to work, seeing work as the means to make money, without a break or vacation of any kind. And when he does go on holiday, he is looking for one job or the other to do at the same time.
“We live to work! We spend all our time making a living that we have little time left to actually live.”
Your ability to achieve balance in life is also governed by your perspectives, priorities and definitions of life. I believe that life is meant to be enjoyed. I believe life is meant for value addition. To do this, you need to have a long-term perspective of life. You cannot cram every necessary activity into everyday, so you have to look at life from a panoramic perspective, on a periodic basis.
The first crucial element of a balanced life is discovering your vocation in life. Your vocation is what you do for a living; what earns you money! The truth is that everything is ultimately driven by money. So you must have a constant source of income. I must quickly emphasize here that life is not all about money. When we make it all about money, we lose the balance and start living an unhealthy lifestyle.
Balance is the key to a healthy life! For a balanced life, your vocation should not be defined by where money is perceived to be abundant, but by what you find passion in doing. Yes, most of us do not start where we want to be, however, we must start with what we have on our way to where we want to be. You might need to do a job you don’t like for a while, but you must continue with the job till it opens the door to your desired place.
Your vocation should also be defined not just by your acquired skills (school, degrees, etc), but by your gifts. Your gifts and talents come naturally and they give you pleasure. So you should look for a vocation that will allow you utilize them. Your vocation should afford you some recreation on the job. In other words, you so enjoy what you are doing at work that you do not really see it as work, but pleasure!
How many people hate Monday mornings because of the prospect of going to a dreadful job, just to be able to pay bills. Get your vocation aligned with your passion, then, you will wake up alert and excited to go to work.
At that point, your vocation has become recreation. This is a vital element to a balanced life!
Life is not about vocation and work! You have got to make time for recreation. It is said that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!
To have a balanced life, you have got to make time for play! What recreational activity do you engage in?
I recommend recreational activities that utilize energy, like a sports and exercise. Some of us are just too serious about life. Take some time out to let your hair down. Taking time out to have fun is truly therapeutic and recreative. You will feel more alive and ready to face the next challenge life throws your way.
You need to develop the culture of going on vacation, at least one a year, plus short breaks in-between. Someone said, “But that would cost a lot of money.” “Yes, you can save towards it,” said someone who knows the value of vacationing - this is the most effective form of recreation.
A vacation to where you have never been improves your worldview and exposure. It really does put you in position to come back to your vocation with fresh ideas, concepts and zeal. You can start small and grow big from there. Vacationing also does wonders for your relationships when you travel with your spouse or nuclear family.
You cannot have a balanced life without working on your relationships. Life is not meant to be lived in isolation. We are created to be fulfilled in relating with others. So for a balanced life, you must identify the important relationships in your life and invest in them.
Let me quickly give you four levels of relationship that you must cultivate to live a balanced life.
Relationship with those above you - Your bosses and those that are already where you want to be.
Relationship with those at the same level as you - Your colleagues and friends.
Relationship with those below you - Those that work with you and are below you in status.
Relationship with God - You must have a vital link with God to be covered in all areas.
You should not allow yourself to be tossed to and fro by the urgent demands of life. It is time to take charge and dictate how to live a balanced life. God bless you!