Balance: an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.
Why is balance so important in life? The answer remains in the definition. It keeps us from falling over or collapsing. There are times where I find myself overwhelmed by my own life. I like to take on a lot, and to accomplish anything of value, you have to be willing to put in the work. Although this bit of obsessiveness has to be flexible because too much will block you from leading a balanced life.
"Balanced" describes the feeling of being in control of multiple responsibilities but not neglecting the other important areas in one’s life like family, friends and the big one, you.
Many of times I’ve heard, “work hard while you’re young so you can enjoy the rest of your life.” Sounds like balance; work now and enjoy later. But, I feel this is the worst kind of advice. To me, it seems like more of a gamble. It doesn't take the many curveballs life will throw your way into consideration. There is nothing wrong with setting goals or planning for the future, but putting all your hopes for happiness on something down the road could be disappointing.
So how do we achieve a balanced life?
Multitasking is not always the best way to achieve better balance. Even though it feels like we are getting a lot more done, we can only really pay conscious attention to one thing at a time. Our conscious attention is commandeered to ensure the greatest outcome.
Remember what is truly important. Keep yourself grounded and aware of your priorities with obvious reminders. This could be inspiring quotes on your wall, or a picture of your family on your desk.
It’s easy to live in your head instead of being present in the moment. Take time every so often to focus on your breathing or to make mental note of the things you can hear, smell, or see in your immediate surroundings. Appreciate the little things around you.
Balance isn’t always a pressure between work and home. It’s about how we spend our free time. Don't waste leisure time and do something you enjoy. Find something that you do just for you and nurture it. No agenda. No purpose for this activity beyond having fun. Engage in a fulfilling pastime.
Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Everybody is different but, achieving balance, then, in my view, rests in not only working hard, but working smart.