Finding a happy medium in life is what we as human beings strive to have: the perfect harmony of all elements allowing for smooth runnings and ultimately, a peaceful existence. A lot of people assume balance is literally that: balancing every part of your life equally with everything else – it’s not. In fact, that’d probably make sh*t a lot worse. Let me start by asking you this – what are you looking for?
“Our true self is the part of us that is always in balance, no matter what is going on around us. Finding personal balance is about doing the inner work to choose peace, no matter what the situation. Whenever we are ready, the great news is that our true selves are there waiting to be rediscovered.
Personal balance can be about work-life balance, about work-fun balance, or simply about being healthy. But at a deeper level, the goal of personal balance is ultimately about finding some peace of mind and joy in life, no matter what the circumstances. Like our true selves, personal balance is always there for us to rediscover. As we search for health in mind, body and spirit, we don’t need anything except the willingness to look inside to find it and to do the things most of us already know how to do.” – Will Ellis, Finding Personal Balance: A Path to Inner Peace in a Life of Doing More.
What are you looking for?
The reason I’m writing about balance is mainly down to how the topic arose in the first place. After my initial #MP entries, I decided to ask people what they wanted me to write about; if there was a particular internal issue they were facing and needed advice on. After going through responses, I saw a comment which simply read, “balance.” When I asked the commenter to elaborate, he expressed his desire to find balance in his life.
He said, “to be real with you, I’m having an internal battle at the moment. I don’t sleep because I think I should be doing something productive. The following day I’m really tired, but I feel guilty by resting: I don’t want to get so relaxed that I become lazy and have to double my input to get back on track. Sometimes I get paralysed in a mental deadlock of indecisiveness that is crippling to the positive energy I want to put out into the universe. I want to work harder, train, spend time with loved ones, and still have that peace that allows me to look at every aspect of life with an unbiased, harmonious view to inspire others.” The reason this caught me off-guard was because this person is a very good friend of mine, a creative, and one of the most well-rounded people I have met.
It’s clear that in this day and age, you have to work a lot harder to make a lot less money. You’re constantly trying to maintain a strong working ethic, whilst having personal time, family time, a social life and creative balance. We find it challenging and virtually impossible to create that level-playing field. But why is it so difficult? An Einstein quote reigns true: “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Balance is important because you get to do all the things you wanted to do, see the people you want to see, and most importantly, just enjoy living your every day. People also look for balance to find peace, happiness, and sometimes because they just want to be more efficient (see, work balance). I want you to know that although these tips won’t immediately guarantee a sudden zen, the more time dedicated, the closer you’ll be to achieving your desired goal. You can attempt to do them all, or selective ones.
- Prioritise: I know you’re probably thinking that this goes without saying, but there’s a difference between listing priorities and actually acting upon it. So, state all of the main tasks and elements in your life, order them in regards to importance. What are your main priorities that demand immediate attention? And what little things are floating around in your head that can be left to do at a later date? Sift through them, and dedicate a block time for each in order of importance.
- Lists: I find the best way to get through the day is by making a to-do list the night before. In addition to this, set a monthly to-do list for ongoing tasks and deadlines. Make sure to put any significant social date into your diary as SOON as it’s confirmed, too. That way you can plan around events you can’t miss (birthdays, weddings, and so on).
- Rest: you’re human, not a vampire. Over-working yourself will usually result in lower standards of work anyway, so why waste time having to re-do it all? Sleeping is glorious – your mind and body are in ease, and your relaxed state will allow for greater productivity. If you’re a snoozer, set your alarm really loud, and put it at the opposite end of the room. You’re forced to wake up, and all is well, homie.
- Downtime: you’re allowed to have fun, and this is the best form of balance, I feel. Allow yourself to do something you love, or just do something mindless. If you’re working for hours on end, put some time aside that evening to watch a film that makes you laugh. In my case, after writing for ages, I browse BuzzFeed for ten minutes. (Any longer though, and it becomes an almost Candy Crush-like addiction. Key: balance).
- DON’T play Candy Crush. There’s enjoying yourself, and then there’s shooting yourself in the foot.
With candies. And that re-growing chocolate BS. And those stupidly needless liquorices that absorb all the power. I f*cking hate Jelly, too. Jelly can go to hell. Sorry.
- Don’t aim to please everyone: not everyone can demand your attention. Remember, if you keep saying yes to doing things you don’t want to do, solely to please others; the more times you’ll subconsciously be saying no to yourself, doing things you’d like to do. Get it? If not, I apologise for how poorly that was phrased.
- Exercising and Meditation: I’ve noticed a few friends getting into meditation, and a few others that have been exercising a lot more. Needless to say, they all seem to be feeling a lot happier, and are ridiculously pro-active.
- Arts: finally, one for the artists. Even if you are lucky enough to be doing something you love for a living – you still need time away from it. Don’t let your art fall into routine. Take breaks, if something doesn’t immediately click then leave it for a few days. Come back at another time and start fresh.
So once more, what are you looking for?