Balance in Life-How to Create or Restore It
For many, finding and keeping balance in life is an elusive journey. It seems that society continually pushes us into doing more, reaching new heights, and acquiring more “stuff’. The expectations for achieving greatness (or at least success) is at an all time high, yet millions of us are so unbalanced by the expectations and the attempts to achieve them, that it’s time to stop the madness and either restore, or in many cases find, some balance in our lives.
Perhaps the recent recession is providing an opportunity to reevaluate what we truly need in our lives, as many people have been downsized and finding that they need to reinvent themselves. Even for those who have not faced income loss, but are feeling like the rats are winning the rat race, are searching for a way to stop the crazy, frazzled, out of balance feeling plaguing them, there are indeed ways to reclaim balance.
Courage, Faith and a Plan
In order to either create, or restore, some balance in life, a person really needs to take time to figure out just what it is that he, or she, wants their life to be. It might sound trite, but if you don’t really know what you want out of life, then you are most likely going to wander through life taking whatever it has to hand you.
Consider what roles you are playing,-single, married, in a committed relationship, parent, friend, relative, in a career, worker in a dead end job, unemployed, etc. and for each role have a heart to heart talk with yourself and ask yourself the following questions:
1. Do the roles that you play create satisfaction in your life or do the role(s) contribute to an overwhelming sense of being?
2. Which roles could you alter in order to create balance?
3. Do you really need as many material items in your life?
4. What would it take to alter your life to create a “new normal”?
It takes courage to ask yourself the questions and even more courage to answer them honestly and completely. After reflecting and answering the questions, you will need both faith and courage to take the necessary steps to respond yourself.
Faith either from a higher power and/or from believe in yourself, that you have a choice in taking action on the questions that you have answered for yourself.
A plan is necessary in order to truly create or restore balance in life. A plan may need to include a way to downsize your life. Downsizing may mean a job change or a change in living conditions. You may find that you don’t really need a certain amount of money to live on and can actually live on less and be quite happy.
Happiness can be a key ingredient in leading a balanced life. There are many resources about the topic of happiness. In his book Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way author Dan Buettner suggests that among the many things that can contribute to one’s happiness is focusing on experiences rather than gifts or things.
The notion that providing experiences to our children, other family members and friends is a novel one in today’s materialistic society. Buettner says that recent research says that we tend to remain happy about a gift that we have been given for about nine months and then the happiness dissipates. An experience can create happy feelings for a much long time even a lifetime. So this begs the question as to why we continue to place such a high value on things and not on experiences.
If we were to shift our thinking after asking ourselves the tough questions, reflecting and then taking action we most likely will find ways to create balance in our lives. No one is saying that it is an easy process but then again, if everything were easy would we value it as much? Best wishes on finding or restoring balance in your life, it is a journey worth taking!