THE IMPORTANCE OF BALANCE


Balance is needed in everything we do in life. There’s the surface level understanding of balance where we know that everything should be done in moderation, and then there’s a deeper level meaning of balance that is relevant to everything you do, and it determines the results and fulfilment you get in your life.

The Uniqueness of Balance

One of the interesting things about balance is that it can’t be taught, only you can work out what the correct balance is in your life. You have to work out when something is too little or too much. This means that everyone has their own individual balance that will work for them, it’s very context-dependent which is why balance can’t be taught. No one else is able to experience life through your eyes, know your capabilities, your strengths, weaknesses, passions, so it makes it impossible for anyone else to be able to create the balance for you in your life.

This is a big trap that people fall into when following any type of advice from family or friends, from information online or in the news, or when following the steps of an idol or role model.

That’s not to say that you should never follow advice from other people, but the trick is being able to know when and when not to take that advice, and how closely you should follow that advice.

Dealing with conflicting information creates a huge issue for people when they’re trying to figure out the correct balance. This is why there is a lot of conflicting information on the internet. One author might be recommending a solution for a person who has a particular balance in their life, and another author might recommend a solution for someone who has a different balance.

For example, one author might be more focused on the dangers of high triglycerides, so their journal is about the importance of reducing sugar intake. Another author might be more focused on the importance of keeping a healthy cholesterol level, so their article is directed towards reducing saturated fats in your diet.

Neither study is wrong, but people make the mistake of thinking that one is true and the other is false, and so they limit all of their sugar intake, but then their cholesterol is at a dangerously high level.

The more you work on developing yourself, the more you’ll know yourself, so you’ll have a better grasp on what the correct balance is for you. Your balance will change over time. What you set your priorities on in your twenties and thirties might be your career and socialising, but then as you get into your forties and fifties, you begin to prioritise your health and family life. It’s important to realise that balance is dynamic, not static.

Examples of How Balance Works

There has to be a balance between laziness and overworking. If you spend all of your time procrastinating and never getting any work done, what results can you expect to achieve in your life? But if you’re spending every minute working, you’re going to burn out and not achieve the things you want to achieve.

There has to be a balance between chasing money and neglecting money. If you spend twenty years chasing money in a job you hate because you think you’re going to feel fulfilled once you can cash out, you’ll be bitterly disappointed. On the other hand, if you completely neglect money, how are you going to pay the bills, and travel to the places you want to travel to, and provide for your kids?

There has to be a balance between not caring what people think of you, and caring too much. If you walked around insulting people and blurting out whatever thoughts came into your head because you didn’t care what people think, that’s going to create huge issues for you. But if you never wanted to upset anyone so you never voiced your opinion, and never worked towards your goals because you were scared of what people might think, you’re going to feel miserable.

It’s important to realise that balance isn’t always in the middle. Some areas in life will require you to lean further over one side than others, but without leaning too far over. For example, it’s better to lean more towards the healthy side of eating, but if you take it to the extreme by being too restrictive with your nutrition then you’ll end up caving in and binge eating. The difficult part is to find that balance that works for you.

A Question to Ask Yourself

So how you do you actually find the correct balance for yourself? To find the correct balance in a particular area, you should ask yourself what you find fulfilling and meaningful in life. For example, if you have a goal of starting a business, you know that working on that business and getting it set up can be fulfilling. But then you have to ask yourself what else is fulfilling in your life.

Let’s say you have a passion for reading, it’s an important hobby to you. So you know that you want to fit in some time for reading each day. If you spent the entire time working on the business but didn’t make any time for reading, you’d feel like there's a void in your life.

The same applies in any area of your life, like in a relationship. If you ask yourself what you find fulfilling in life, one thing might be travelling by yourself. If this is the case, you might want to spend some time travelling solo every year.

But then when you ask yourself what else you enjoy in life, and you think about how much you enjoy your relationship with your partner. If you spent all of your holidays each year travelling solo, this would probably jeopardize your relationship. So you’ll want to compromise by making some time for going on holiday with your partner too.

If you spent all of your holidays on trips with your partner but neglected your other passion of travelling solo, you’re not going to feel completely fulfilled. Working out how much to compromise in a relationship is key.

Asking yourself what is meaningful to you can be applied to any scenario, like working out when to voice your opinion vs keeping your opinion to yourself. Again, look at what matters the most to you. You’ll want to stand up for things that are meaningful to you, but you might want to suppress your opinion on matters where you don’t hold a strong opinion and what you say could land you in trouble. Keep running through this until you find out what things are meaningful to you.

This is why balance is unique for everyone, because everyone has different things that they find fulfilling, and those activities bring them different levels of fulfilment.
For you, reading might be a huge passion of yours and you cannot go a day without reading a book. Setting some time down to read is vital, so you might set two hours aside a day to read. For someone else, reading might be something they do to relax and unwind, but they’re not really passionate about it, so they dedicate just thirty minutes a day to reading.

Trial and Error

To correctly implement balance in your life, you have to go through trial and error. Very rarely will you be able to get the correct balance the first time. Relationships, careers, parenthood, nutrition, and many other areas are a working process over time to find the correct balance.

In any area in life, you will fail many times before you are successful. Through experience, you’ll keep fine-tuning your balance until you find the correct fit, but it’s important to find out what you find fulfilling so that you’re balancing the correct things. You’re not going to naturally find the right balance for writing if you’re not aware that this is a top passion of yours and you’re not spending any of your free time writing.

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