10 Considerations For a Balanced Life
One thing that most people grapple with in life is the idea of how to live a life which is balanced. Some usually lean in one direction and are found wanting in other very important areas of life. No one area supersedes the other. They are all important. I am also not saying that you are supposed to spend the same amount of time in every aspect of life. It would be folly to eat into your business life and business time because you feel obligated to relate with your friends. In this article my main objective is to bring to light some areas which when you look into you can be effective and fruitful.
Areas to look at
1. Family & Home – You are born into a family, you grow in it until you stand on your own to start your own family with the one you love. Family is the institution we get most of our life lessons. How much time are you spending with your children, teaching them the ways of life? Showing them your life testimony. Showing them how to live a good honorable life. Parents are sometimes too busy to even spend an hour a day of the twenty four available just listening and coaching their own children. Children catch more from parents than from any other institution hence the need to walk the talk and live a life of integrity and righteousness. It is vital for parents to hide their own wars and personal fights from their children lest they duplicate that in their future.
2. Mental or Educational – This is in reference to the Psychological and cognitive aspects of your life. What are your mental patterns like? How much control do you have over your own mind? Sometimes people watch and envy those making progress in life as a result of their unwavering desire to keep educating the most vital muscle in the body, the brain. You can only go as far as the mind takes you. Expose the mind to good things and soon enough you will live to see yourself enjoy those good things. Increase the mind’s level of awareness and exposure to the areas of your passion. If you enjoy cars, buy car magazines, study on different models that exist. Develop your mental appreciation of cars and become a true master in the area. You will gather credibility and respect from your peers.
3. Recreation/Leisure & Sports – The body you use for all the very busy things of life deserves to be treated to leisure and soothing times. You will lose that which you do not invest in. Having spent the large part of your year working hard, please consider a vacation where the body is revitalized and prepared for the next busy period. Playing a sport or watching one can be a good way to treat oneself. I am concerned with people who believe in spending all their lives serious about chasing the dollar or whatever currency. You can never quench the desire for money. It is a never ending chase like a dog seeking to bite its own tail. It is however sad that people sometimes do not find enough time to enjoy the money they were chasing even after finding substantial volumes. Don’t be guilty about spending your money. Spend it the way you see fit with no regrets attached.
4. Career/Job/Vocation & Skill – This refers to your Career path and what you need to get where you are going. Are you doing what you have always wanted to do all your life? Are you passionate about your job or area of study? It is never too late to make an about turn on your career. Develop and sharpen the skills and talents you have. You can only excel to the degree that you are willing to practice and rehearse and sharpen your talents. For many, talents become dormant because they are not used regularly. The mentality that academic achievements are the only recognizable achievements in life has to go. Look around and see the areas where people are earning a lot of money. Check the pay cheques of soccer players in Europe, Basketball players in USA, Hollywood Star budgets, modeling contracts, formula 1 drivers. Most of those people are not academics. They realized their area of passion and ability and worked on it. Caution to parents – work with your child on areas you see they are gravitating towards and not force a career on them. You can live a good life doing just about anything positive as long as there is excellence in it.
5. Financial and Business – It is always important to reflect daily on your financial needs and how to meet them. It does not matter where your money is coming from; you still need to plan for its expenditure and usage. Monitor your spending habits and shy away from living outside your means. Own what you have to reduce the strain of debt. Create a business vision that outlasts your generation. Have goals that are trans-generational. Until you set financial and business goals you will never work towards them. You will easily become comfortable with your present achievements. Not everyone is a business person but almost everyone has some degree of access to money for livelihood. Be conscious that you need to earn your finances. Ill-gotten riches have wings. They fly away faster than you can ever imagine.
6. Personal & Character Issues – These are things that concern you in isolation from everything around you. Be selfish for a moment. What are you passionate about? Take time to understand your own temperaments. You cannot master others before you take time to master yourself. A good leader is one that knows his/her own character flaws and works on them to get the best out. Do a SWOT analysis of yourself. What are your Strengths? Improve on those, maintain them. Sharpen them. What are your Weaknesses? Work on them to convert them to strengths. Eliminate them totally. What Opportunities exist for your personally which you may not be exploiting now? Discover those and start working towards them. Lastly what are your Threats? What seeks to decimate your destiny? Beware of those. Live your life knowing that there are enemies to your greatness.
7. Health – Physical & Mental – Are you in the right frame of mind. What makes you go sad, glad or mad? What makes you tick or sick? Your health is actually your responsibility not for the Minister of Health’s. Take care of your body and it surely pays back by taking care of you. Your mental health is important. Avoid stress at all cost. Stress comes when expectations are not met. Frustrations are therefore the gap between what has been promised and what has been delivered. Endeavour to deliver what you promise and if you can no longer do it then communicate. It is a sure way to reduce your stress levels. Your health can be maintained when you monitor what you take in, whether it is real food or the information your mind absorbs. Negative information can only produce negativity in you. Find positive information to feed your mind. Whatever goes in is what you bring out just like in the banking system, Sometimes it comes back with interest. The same concept of sowing and reaping works with how you sow thoughts into your mind. You certainly reap more than what you sow; If you sow anger and bitterness, sometimes you reap murder. Sow seeds of happiness and joy and see how viral that can be, everyone will want to be around you all the time.
8. Spiritual – Cultural and Ethical – I usually do not write much about the spiritual aspect of one’s life but this time I know it is relevant to do so. Every human being is a spiritual being. You are a spirit, you live in a body (frame) and you certainly have a soul (mind, thoughts, emotions). I know there are diverse faiths reading this or in some cases, no faith whatsoever. You are what you worship or believe strongly in. You gravitate towards your beliefs. I am of the Christian Faith. I invest time in what I believe in. I am sold out in my Christian Cultural beliefs. My ancestors had a different belief system. One thing is fair to say that you have been given a myriad of choices. Choose the one that values life. Choose the one that values love for one another and that for your Creator. Spend time thinking about the ethical things of your life.
9. Community Service & Social Issues – In what way are you of benefit to the community or society as a whole. You did not get the talents and gifts just for you and your family. The moment you realize you can be of benefit to humanity then you begin to make an impact on others. Just like a cup was created to meet the needs of those who touch and use it, to drink water etc, you were created for a unique plan and purpose which is of benefit to those around you. It goes beyond just your family. Way beyond. Your community and nation need you. I am intrigued by people who claim “I have no interest in politics of this world, I have no involvement in constitution making…” What we do not realize is that politics and constitutional issues affect how your bread is buttered and if ever you can access the bread. In a way there is no politics without you. You do not need a title to make a difference in your nation. Be the light in your domain and your name becomes great.
10. Relationships/Friends & Networks – Networking is one aspect that every being always seeks to do given the opportunity. A human being is a relational being. That is why you have relatives. You are linked to the people who were conduits to bring you to earth, your mother and father. They too are linked to their fathers and it creates a family tree or family history. In society, you begin to create relationships with community leaders, business associates, customers and all the relevant stakeholders. Your power to network will propel your financial, social, psychological status in a big way. The bigger your network, the bigger the pool of human resources you can benefit from materially, physically and otherwise. Spend some time building mutually beneficial support systems around you. Who will miss you the day you die? For how much longer will people talk about you after you are gone or it ends when dust meets dust? Who do you lean on in great times of need for counsel, financial assistance or emotional support? Do not be a parasite; be fair on the networks you have built by oiling them with your own contributions. It does not mean simply paying your way into relationships with cash. It may mean creating time for others. Do unto others what you expect them to do unto you. It is a principle that works in any nation, culture or environment.