There are four basic dimensions to our lives: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. How do we choose to spend our time? Family, relationships, social, financial, career, civic, volunteer, relaxation, vacation? If we’re concerned about our health and well-being, we’ll want to find ways to keep our lives in balance. Our behavioral health depends on it!
Balanced vs. Extreme Living. Balanced living may not sound as exciting as living life in the extremes. Admittedly, those who risk it all to accomplish extreme activities may feel a rush that many of us will never feel. So, it’s a personal choice that each of us must make. Daredevil extremes that require “going for broke” or “risking it all” have been romanticized by Hollywood and novels. For those of us who feel compelled to live in pursuit of extreme challenges, we should realize that extreme living often ends tragically. Yet, it’s also true that the bravest amongst us have accomplished incredible feats that have benefitted society in innumerable ways. For example, test pilots have paved the way for new and improved airplanes that have helped us win wars. Astronauts have given us an advantage in the Space Race. Explorers have discovered new lands. Even those who have taken on challenges just for the hell of it have contributed to our understanding of human potential. By pushing the envelope on what’s humanly possible, they’ve shown us what’s achievable. But, without making a value judgment, my purpose is to discuss the benefits of balanced living.
Healing Soul Wounds. An unspeakable tragedy, and its aftermath, caused me to become a student of overcoming trauma, easing psychic pain, and reducing tragedy in our world. As I’ve candidly discussed in my soon-to-be-published book, The Gift: Tragedy To Triumph — How To Rise Up After Life Beats You Down, tragedy can be a great teacher. In my opinion, the most miraculous gift, besides life itself, is the human capacity to survive tragedy and discover new ways to heal, grow, thrive, and, ultimately, triumph. As Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” We should celebrate the choices that we have by living a considered life — purposeful, intentional, and sustainable.
Amongst the most powerful tools I’ve stumbled upon for achieving self-transcendence through personal development are: self-love, forgiveness, gratitude, kindness, giving, and balanced living. Importantly, we can choose to live life more in the moment, rather than ruminating about the past or worrying about the future.
Creating a Balanced Life. No doubt, you’re familiar with the proverb: All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Sadly, it may even make Jack a (prematurely) dead boy! Creating our own personal wheel of fortune requires that we determine how much effort we want to exert on mind, body, and spirit practices. Deciding between work, play, health and nourishment, family, love, prayer, and volunteerism are choices that we must make. Rather than living our lives on autopilot, we must decide how much money, time, and energy we want to spend on career-advancing activities vs. stress reduction activities. How much of our energy do we choose to focus on self-focused activities vs. other-focused activities. How much money, time, and energy do we choose to exert in order to make our world better and to make a better world?
Has balanced living somehow managed to elude you? Or, did you live a balanced life that has insidiously unraveled? If you’re intrigued by the idea of living your life in balance and feel that you could benefit from guidance, encouragement, and accountability, a skilled life coach may assist you with practices that help to improve all aspects of your life. It’s hard work and it takes time. But, YOU are well worth the effort. As you sow, so shall you reap.