It is quite easy to focus too heavily on one area of life, and get out of balance. For instance, we may spend hours at the office, or on the computer, and neglect our relationships. Conversely, we may spend disproportionate hours with the family and neglect our vocational responsibilities.
It is important to feed all areas of life, and not expect to get all of our needs met from one specific source. If we rely too much on one area, and something happens to jeopardize it, we are left without the nurturance from other sources to help us handle the situation.
For example, if the sole focus is on our career, and this represents the main source of our self-esteem, connection and love, then getting laid off or facing retirement would be a very devastating loss. Likewise, if an important relationship ends, we would experience an immense degree of loss and isolation if other parts of life were not providing any sustenance. This could also lead to prematurely beginning a new relationship in hopes of alleviating the pain and loneliness.
By having other areas of life to draw from, you experience yourself in a multitude of ways and feel more fulfilled as a result. Then, if something does happen, you are not wiped out by the loss or setback.
Life is meant to be fun and not just comprised of relentless responsibilities. Therefore, we don’t want to assume the one-dimensional role of strict adult, and forget the playful side of ourselves in the process.
We are more than any label we have been assigned. We need to balance out the components that make up a well-rounded life, or else experience the neediness, loneliness and discontent that results when we do not.
The following list provides some examples of a well-balanced life, and a guide to the many parts that make up the whole:
- Contribution – giving to the community, making a difference around you
- Hobbies – self-expression, experimentation, creativity
- Leisure – pleasurable activities, vacations, relaxing
- Alone Time – spirituality, self-care, peace
- Personal Growth – evolution, development, awareness
- Work – success, career, financial independence
- Relationship – love, intimacy, communication
- Friends – connection, joyful activities
- Family – love, belonging
Creating balance is not a one-time achievement, as it is a ‘balancing act’ to gain equilibrium. It is an ongoing process, whereby you are constantly fluctuating between the areas mentioned above.
For example, sometimes work requires more of your time due to a special project. Once the project ends, you readjust and fulfill the other areas. Similarly, when on vacation, family and leisure take center stage for a period of time.
It is important to be present in whichever area of life you are focused on, while not neglecting all the other pieces entirely. It is not about being rigidly balanced, but creating a blueprint for living which includes all parts of the whole.
Design a personal blueprint that includes all areas of a well-balanced life. Then, take some action toward filling in the missing pieces.