Is a “Balanced Life” really possible?

That would depend on what you’re trying to balance. A dictionary definition of balance is this:

a state of equilibrium or equipoise; equal distribution of weight, amount, etc.

But what are we really trying to balance? What needs to be equally distributed?

Is it time? No, I don’t think so. It’s impossible to be giving equal amounts of time to work, family, the spiritual life, their hobbies, and all the other important life areas. Since most of us work at least 8 hours a day, we all fail at balance if time is the measurement.

Is it effort? or Money?  No. It’s got the same thing as time. Just not possible.

I don’t think the ideal state of ‘perfect equilibrium’ exists: where all things line up and are in perfect alignment with each other. The world just doesn’t work that way. Instead we have a dynamic tension, in that we are always experiencing pushes and pulls from all the different concerns in our lives. Each area seems to be competing with one another for our time and attention.

So what are we really trying to balance? I would define a balanced life as giving equal importance to the areas of my life. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that my work or hobbies are just as important as my family or spiritual life. What I mean with equal importance is that we treat every area as important, and give it the time and attention it needs to become a beautiful part of our lives. This doesn’t mean that we spend equal time in everything. Some things need more time than others. There are times where one area will demand a majority of your time, and you have to refocus.

guitar

It’s like playing a guitar. Each string has a different tension. Plucking the right strings with the right tension at the right times will make beautiful music. It’s the same thing with life. If we learn to give the right kind of attention and the right kind of priority to the different areas in our lives, we will also make beautiful music. Each area, instead of demanding time and effort, will contribute to and enrich the other areas.

Of course, doing this does not come naturally. Much like playing a guitar, it’s something we need to intentionally learn and grow in as the years go by. Growing in this skill of life management will never end. I am far from an expert on this – I need to grow in this just like everybody else, but i have learned some things that I would like to share with you in the next few posts. Please stay tuned.

Update: Here’s the link to Step Zero.

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