Knowing that I was taking my 11 year old son to start gymnastics today, a thought crossed my mind. One of the main fundamentals of gymnastics is balance. Having balance in your life is everything when it comes to being happy and successful. I've written about balance before (see: "The Power of Balance"), but I'm hoping to expand on the subject just a bit. Creating a balanced life is imperative when your goal is to be truly happy in all aspects of your life. As I've previously written in "The Power of Balance," it's important to make a diagram to visualize what your priorities are, and to make sure that each one gets enough attention.
This time, instead of using a diagram, I want you to take your hand and open it flat. Then, I want you to look at all five digits, and visualize each digit as being one of your priorities. For example, imagine one finger is for time that you hope to spend with family. Another finger is for having a social life, and spending time with friends. Another finger is for romance, and your love life. Another finger is for work/making money. And your thumb is for certain hobbies, sports, or activities that you enjoy.
Of course, you can have many more priorities and things that are important for you to have to feel happy. You're more than welcome to use two hands. However, in this example I'm using one hand so that it's easier to comprehend. So now imagine if you take one of those digits and remove it, because another priority is either taking up too much of your time, and not leaving enough time for it or if one of those priorities is becoming less successful, and seemingly failing on some level. In a situation like this, many times people's natural instinct would be to remove two of the digits altogether, but that can cause a lot of problems in maintaining a balanced life. Let me give you an example.
Let's say that the digit involving your work isn't going so well, and you're having a hard time getting a job, and making money. As well, let's assume that you're dating someone, engaged, and hoping to get married soon, but financially, it's not happening. Therefore, you're already struggling with that work/financial aspect, but now you've decided to eliminate the romantic/love aspect of your life as well, because of the work and financial issue. Therefore, two out of the five priorities that are important in maintaining the balance in your life are no longer existent. It's quite possible that now you won't feel as happy, nor be as successful as you would've been.
Once you remove one of the aspects of your life, you'll naturally feel some sort of loss, emptiness, or feel in somewhat of a deflated state. What's needed in that moment isn't another situation (priority) failing, but a certain type of support that could potentially lift your spirits. You definitely don't need something that will distract you or take you even further from having a balanced life. If you cut off one aspect of your life when another aspect isn't doing so well, it will only be harder for you. We're not talking about ripping a bandaid off here, instead of gently taking it off (baby hair included). We're talking about feeling the opposite of happiness, calm, relaxation, peace, and definitely the opposite of having balance.
Take one problem or issue at a time. This goes for all types of problems, issues, and arguments, etc. It's important to nip things in the bud, and address issues while they're new. You should never let things build up, and hold them in until the point that you want to explode, where you simply can't bear to keep them in any longer. Tell people how you feel, and address issues, without imploding, and letting things grow into something more elaborate. You definitely shouldn't let many issues build up, and spew them out all at once, after imploding them for so long. Address issues one at a time, and as they arise. This way, things will be much easier to handle, and nothing will feel like an explosion or too intense to address, and fix. People can get easily overwhelmed, and it's important to keep that in mind, and not hold things in and then act as if you're going to confession (from what I hear... Yes mom, I'm Jewish, I know!).
Remember, having a balanced life takes a little bit of effort. To say that your life is balanced is one thing. But, to live it is another. It's imperative that those that hope to live a more balanced life keep this in mind. Every single area of your life deserves your full and undivided love and attention. All of those areas that are important to you, whether greater or smaller, and despite the percentage that you give them, should all get your full attention when you're in that moment. Even in the diagram on the previous article that I linked in this blog, you need to create the percentages that you desire to give to each area. Everything that's important to you should get love and effort, again, despite the percentage.
For example, when you're in work mode, you need to concentrate, and put all of your effort into what you're doing. In order to achieve great success, this is what you need to do. Despite how much a job is paying or how much you view a job as temporary. You need to put it all out there, and do your best, because you never know where a job will lead, the connections or references that could help you, or what effect you may have on others around you. In other words, don't half a$$ anything. When it comes to love and relationships, the same thing goes (see: "Make Me a Priority or Move On"). This goes for every other aspect of your life as well. Remember, everything that you do needs your full attention. This is how you'll keep your life balanced and happy.