How To Create Balance In Your Life And Help Others Do The Same
So many people live a life that is out of balance, spending a dominant portion of their time and energy “on the job”. Balancing work and “other” time is critical because it allows other parts of your personality to come forward and be expressed. It gives more of a variety of experiences to draw from when relating to other people, as well as providing other outlets to meet people enhancing your social circle. It is also healthier. People who live more balanced lives are happier, as all parts of their personalities experience fulfillment. Do I need to convince you more?
In my experience, the eight areas of life that need to be balanced are:
• Career/Work – In the ideal world, we all love our work. In the real world, we do not. Find a way to be grateful for your job, and useful. You will spend a lot of time at work, better to have a positive experience while there. If you feel lost on your career path seek help. There are many books that are very insightful and inspiring.
• Creativity – This is where hobbies are important. Perhaps you are an artist? Find time to create. A great hobby is photography. You can do it as you walk through your neighborhood. It is also a great way to meet people, and to share experiences with others through your photos. There are countless others. What appeals to you?
• Finance – It is very important that you both have your current finances in order, and that you are building for the future. If you don’t have a solid plan, see out a financial planner. If you have debt, take steps today to begin pulling out of that debt. Debt is an epidemic in this country, and can serve to drastically slow you down in life, and force you to take jobs that you may not truly want. Take an honest look at your finances asap and commit to a plan of action, if you don’t have one already.
Health & Fitness – Get in shape and stay in shape. There is no substitute for a great diet either. These are critical for living a healthy, balanced life. People who eat right and are in shape have better attitudes than those who do not. If your body feels better, you will feel better.
Social – You need to spend time with your friends, relaxing and socializing. It is very important to have an active social life, as it keeps you connected and involved with the world. Also, having fun and sharing laughs helps you recharge intellectually and emotionally. Without an active social life, people tend towards depression and isolation.
• Family – This can be sensitive for some people who experienced difficulties with their parents when they were younger. Your family can be a great source of comfort and connection, as well being supportive through difficult times. It is common for people to feel challenged in their family lives. However, growing through these challenges forges character and integrity.
• Companionship & Intimacy – Ultimately, every person deserves a lasting, meaningful relationship. It can be both nurturing and challenging. Ultimately, it serves to help us be open to another person, and understand the nature of intimacy and love. Intimate relationships are important in any person’s development. The result is a greater sense of ourselves, and a more fulfilling and happy life. Most of you reading this book are probably looking for this.
• Austerity – Lastly, each of us needs time alone. This is when we recharge and connect with ourselves, and our purpose. Perhaps this is when we indulge in our hobbies, or when we practice daily meditation. Spending time alone helps us reenter the world feeling refreshed and connected.
Find outlets for your interests and then pursue them. If you feel that one or more of these categories are missing, creatively brainstorm ways to bring this into balance by taking some action. Perhaps you would benefit from taking a meditation class. Or, pick-up that novel you have wanted to read, but denied yourself. Hobbies are great, as are activities and events. Look out for the social calendars in your neighborhood. Here in New York City we have The Village Voice that is a free weekly publication. It lists all of the film, theater, music, nightlife and special events for the week. Also, in this current internet age, there are countless resources online that can help you get inside information on the events in your home town. Being out of balance is common, unnecessary and easily resolved. Use these tips, and get active!
How To Help Others
This leads me nicely into the final area of discussion when it comes to living with passion. The ultimate way to fulfillment and happiness is to get involved with service. There are thousands of different ways to give back to your community, and to your fellow man that go way beyond sending in donations to charity organizations.
Think back for a moment to the purpose you defined at the beginning of this book. I hope you took the suggestion to involve service in its theme. If you desire something in your world, or in your life, you must offer it first. Attractive men are secure, and selfless.
Let’s begin with that job you hate so much. Rather than seeing it as a place to get a paycheck, why not try to do a little extra and help others. I know, I know, they are all selfish people and there is no way you, in your right mind, would want to give a little extra to them. If you really feel this way, can you see now how much power they have over you? If something is in direct command of your daily happiness, if has a lot of power of you! If you were able to adopt an attitude of service, you might find that they don’t seem as bad as you originally thought, and you feel happier and more grateful in the process. Go the extra mile, it can only help you.
Or, with your free time, why not offer some time at a local men’s shelter or soup kitchen? Go to any hospital or related facility, walk through the doors, and tell the people at the desk that you would like to sign-up for their volunteer program. These facilities are usually starved for extra help, and will welcome you with open arms.
You could also sign-up to help organize local events, in particular, charitable events. They always need people to help them, and you might just meet some great people in the process
Do you see family time as a chore, or as a way to give time, companionship and love? I heard a wise man once say that, “encountering the family with hostility and resentment is a poison unto me; approaching the family with love and service serves to purify, if nothing else, myself and my world.” I will leave it at that.
The principal I want you to grasp here is that “you get what you give”. If you want people to be involved in your life, give them your involvement. If you want a relationship, you better learn how to give of yourself. Cultivating an open, generous and passionate lifestyle will serve you ten times more than any “line” in the book. It will do the work for you.
Exercise For You
Each day, do something anonymously helpful to someone else. Once you do it, you are not to speak of it to anyone ever. Acts of service are not to be flaunted. It could be as simple as helping an old lady across the street, to making anonymous financial gifts to your favorite local theater company. These actions may seem insignificant, but over time you will see how they impact you. Acts of service tend to encourage us to seek opportunities to give, transforming the lens through which we observe the world.