The Five H’s of a Well Balanced Life
For your consideration, here are five H’s of a balanced, productive, and happy life. It was originally four, but I recently added a fifth. For you Management Theory buffs, be sure to read to the end (but don’t start there – it will spoil the surprise).
Putting health in the number one slot is a no brainer. Yes, in front of family. If you don’t maintain your own health, you aren’t much good to your family, or anyone else for that matter. It’s like the instructions you receive on an airplane, to “put your own oxygen mask on first before assisting others.”
Health includes body, mind, and spirit. It’s an all-inclusive deal. It means getting enough rest, eating right, moderating stimulants and depressants, being appropriately active, taking supplements and prescription medications regularly, watching stress levels, not letting things or people bug you, and doing things you enjoy regularly. Everyone is different, so you must customize to fit your situation.
It doesn’t hurt to have a daily check list. Medication – check. Took my walk – check. Listened to some music I love – check. And so on and so forth. Again, you need to customize to suit your particular needs. And don’t be shy about asking for what you really need. If you don’t ask, how will other people know?
Home means different things to different people. To me it means things that nurture and support my core existence. My immediate family, my actual house where I hang out, my daily habits, and so on.
This is where I put activities such as spending time with my family and friends, keeping up around the house to make it clean, comfortable, and safe, and taking care of all the daily chores that allow life to flow easily.
There needs to be food on the table, and a roof over my head, clean sheets to sleep on, comfortable clothes to put on my back, and so forth. It also means working on those “relationships” that make your life special and unique. You can’t neglect these things for long, even for a “noble” cause.
I use this as a shorthand way to remind me to “honor” my commitments to others. In this category I fit my obligations to my work, my church, any clubs or organizations I belong to, and so on.
Here is the trick. You must recognize how much “honor” will sustain your health and home, and keep it at that. Overdoing these obligations, even if you feel “guilt” for not doing some of them (e.g., I really should go to that networking mixer, but I don’t feel up to it, etc.). This is where the balancing act gets sketchy for some. An important word to learn here is “no.”
I love music. It is my passion. To say I “need” music in my life is a true statement. I need to listen to it, play it, feel it, and so on, each and every day of my life. For you, you may find your harmony in nature, or playing sports, or painting, or cooking, and so on. Whatever “resonates” with you is your harmony. I could have called it “bliss” but that doesn’t start with H!
In finding your harmony, you will find your strength and build your self-confidence. It goes beyond what you do at “work” and helps you express your true self. It is important to find time for your bliss, even if only a little bit each day.
This is my fifth, and recently added H. It’s really all about transcendence and legacy. This is about leaving something behind for future generations. Many, many people do that with their children, and there is nothing wrong with that. For me, I need more. I need something of significance that I created, that will outlive me.
This is an important aspect of your life, but you obviously can’t work on it until the first four H’s are under control. This brings me to the great “reveal.”
For those of you familiar with Abraham Maslow, you have probably already realized that I just “recreated” his “Hierarchy of Needs.” Hopefully, I’ve done it in a way that is a bit more accessible for daily use. There is a reason they teach this stuff in every Management Theory class you’ve ever taken.
Now, get out there and write your own version. I've given you the recipe. All you need to do is find the ingredients and mix well!