Balance is an essential part of life. When elements in nature become unbalanced, they eventually correct themselves. The more out of synch the elements in nature are, the more intense the correction—what we call “natural disasters.”
If a houseplant is completely ignored, or only taken care of sporadically, the plant will not do well and might even die. If you give it too little attention—keep it away from sunlight, deny it water, or fail to plant it in the right soil—you can’t expect it to flourish. This is analogous to not taking care of an area of your life. By the same token, spending too much time and effort in a particular area of life is not healthy either. It’s like over-pruning the plant or providing it with too much water or sun.
As in nature, when we experience imbalance in areas of our lives—working too much, ignoring our finances, not taking time for self-love—there will be subsequent results.
There are 4 main areas of life most of us can identify with as being significant:
- Relationships – Our interactions with and connections to family, friends, and community.
- Finances – The money we earn, save, invest, and spend.
- Career – What we do (for pay or not) that contributes to our profession or career goals.
- Self – Our spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and physical needs and desires.
Every life area is important and needs attention to foster balance. When we spend most of our focus in one area—say, putting all our attention on our career—then another area will most likely suffer—for example, relationships or self-care.
Take a few minutes to determine what percentage of time and energy you spend in each of these areas. Are any of them lacking? Is there a way you can bring those areas into greater balance? What is one step you could take to do so? Perhaps it’s consolidating one or two workdays each week in order to spend that time with family. Or maybe it’s scheduling a monthly massage or earmarking 10 minutes each morning to journal. If your finances need attention, maybe consulting a financial advisor or a friend who excels in budgeting is in order. Commit to taking at least one action step in any life area that is out of balance, no matter how small it seems.
The amount of attention each life area needs may be different. Determine the amount of focus and energy that feels right for you. It may initially take a bit of focus, discipline, and effort to keep our life in balance, but like anything else we keep practicing, it will soon become second nature.