That’s balance. The world says get everything done; you say “One thing at a time.”
That’s how you prove to yourself that you’re here. Now. And that you matter right here, right now.
2. Enjoy Pleasure
That sounds odd. One would think that’d be a given, but we’re trained almost from birth to think of pleasure as something to be enjoyed “another time.”
Essentially, that’s hope, and hope is often the coral reef of the future, very pretty, but requiring extensive periods of time to develop tangibly.
Layer by layer of Now is needed. So get up today; visit a book store and have an excellent talk with the young lady behind the counter. She wants to write short stories.
Go home, make lunch, check social, turn on the TV, and notice what’s happened: you almost convinced yourself that tomorrow was good enough for getting things done. TV is now off. There’s gardening that needs to be done.
Enjoy the small, pleasurable acts peppered throughout every single day. Cherish them for one simple reason: they deserve to be cherished. They’re yours.
Those cherishable moments tell you that you are alive right now, they are the things that make you you, and they provide a useful counterweight to balance the less enjoyable moments.
3. Give Up From Time To Time
Eventually, everybody mentions giving up. The message is usually – and rightfully – don’t give up. Take a break, but come back to it.
But sometimes – with everything that’s going on in your life mixed in with everything you’re capable of accomplishing – it’s ok to give up.
It’s ok to let some things go, even some people, and find your bliss elsewhere. Not everything needs to be done.
Don’t give yourself the no-win scenario of “I don’t want XYZ, but I’ll come back to it.”
That’s not how you find balance in life.
Sometimes, what you’re doing in life – be it art, work, relationships or other obligations – will consume you, and you have to tell it it doesn’t have the right to do that.
Maybe you dreamed of something for 3 years and you now feel so little joy for it that it borders on hatred. Let it go. There are more dreams inside you than you’ll ever get to.
Recognize that life will test you. It’ll often feel like a no-win scenario. What then, my friend?
4. Change The Conditions Of The Test
Say no to yourself more often and – here’s the kicker – be fine with that.
A promise to a person, task, or idea is a precious thing only to an extent. If it drags more than it uplifts, it’s a burden.
If you’re overscheduled at getting the kids everywhere they have to go, odds are there’s a parent with more available travel time than you. Talk to people and you’ll be amazed how fast volunteers step up.
The harried, no-win scenario is all about feeling imbalanced, but that’s only if you constrain yourself to a narrow rulebook.
There’s something for everybody and a body for every thing. Entertainment is all of the above, but think of it as having a high mark, not the lowest common denominator.
Mental height raises your entertainment factor from the pure realm of “consume this” to the more participatory “try this.”
Think of the hectic world as a Thanksgiving buffet. Not everything is going to tickle all the buds on any single individual’s tongue. There will be tart cranberry sauce right next to sweet potato pie.
The overall meal, though, will be balanced. Why? Because you blended your spices, varied the tastes, and even stuck those weird booties on the turkey’s feet.
Before you embarked on this mission of the senses, you had a vision of family sitting back rubbing their bellies with smiles on their faces.
How you got them there matters. You entertained yourself with visions. Whatever you find to entertain you, make sure there is an aspect to it that makes you (and us) want to come back for more.
8. Manage Your Time To Your Benefit
For every “must do” or “have to be there,” slip yourself a little “if you wanna.”
An if-you-wanna can be any activity that pulls you out of the flow of time and into a sigh, a smile, or a moan of pleasure.
This doesn’t necessarily mean an hour of work should be balanced with an hour of pie. Five minutes of bliss can counteract half a day of meetings, errands, and obligations.
Managing time to your benefit means making sure to “schedule” things that show you you appreciate you!
9. Be Realistic
Life, no matter how organized and diagrammed you are, is not one of those programmable, driverless cars. Life needs you as an active participant, but not as an over-extended panic zombie.
Your drive, your vision, your willingness to engage the world in silent conversation: all of these lend themselves to a harmonious merging of that which you must do, that which you will do, and that which you might do.
Which is really all anyone can ask of you. Do you intend to do it all, or do you intend to do enough?
Think of it this way: Hell must have a helluva road crew to deal with all those good intentions and harried people. By the time you scrawl “The End” on your life’s work, you, my friend, are the supervisor you ultimately report to.